Friends of the New Haven Animal Shelter

The next orientation is Sunday August 13 at 11:00 AM.
The class will be limited to first 35 applicants.

The volunteer general orientation is a mandatory first step in order to become a volunteer with our organization. There is no need to sign up in advance, you can just come to the shelter on the specified date. The general orientation will last approximately 1 hour and includes a basic overview of shelter policies, a description of volunteer opportunities, and a tour of the shelter. If you are interested in being a dog handler, you will be assigned to a mentor who will work with you until you are ready to handle our shelter dogs on your own. If you are interested in working with the cats, there will be a separate training session which will take place after the basic orientation. If you can't stay for the cat training session, we will schedule additional sessions until everyone is trained.

We only have orientation sessions 3 or 4 times a year because the time between sessions is needed to train the new volunteers, so please make every effort to attend when one comes up. The orientation session takes place at the shelter and is usually scheduled on a Sunday at 11AM. When a session is scheduled, we will post the date on the main page of this website and on our Facebook page. There is limited seating there, so please bring a folding chair if you can.

Our Volunteer Video:


Volunteers are always needed, and it can be a fulfilling experience. If you have a minimum of an hour or two to spare each week, please consider joining our group. You must be at least 18 years old, and you must be able to work independently and be able to read our cage cards. We require a 6 month commitment either socializing cats or dogs, walking dogs or helping out in other aspects some of which are listed below. Volunteer hours at the shelter are Monday through Saturday 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. so please be sure you have this time slot available in your schedule if you would like to volunteer. We need dedicated people who are truly interested in making a difference in our animals' lives.

Volunteer Tasks:
  • To walk, play, socialize and train our animals to be the best they can be.
  • To bathe dogs on the Friday prior to an adoption event. These usually take place on the first Saturday of the month.
  • To take videos of our adoptable pets for our YouTube channel and for Petfinder.
  • To participate in our adoption events throughout the Greater New Haven area held on the first Saturday of each month. We need dog and cat handlers to assist the public in choosing a new companion. We also need help loading the adoption van prior to events and unloading the van after the events.
  • To assist with transportation and help find rescues.
  • We need cat, dog and small animal fosters to provide a warm safe environment for healing or just learning how to be with a family. To be a foster you must complete orientation and be known by the staff.
  • To help with our various fund-raisers and educational programs.


Monday to Saturday
12:30 - 4:30 p.m.


e-mail: fotnhas.info@gmail.com
Phone: 203-946-8110

Mailing Address

Friends of The New Haven Animal shelter
P.O. Box 9056 Brewery St. Station
New Haven, CT 06532