Friends of the New Haven Animal Shelter
Interested in Volunteering?

Applications for dog handlers, cat handlers and fosters have been closed.

Here's a description of our volunteer process:

We will have a period of time when interested parties can submit volunteer applications.

The link to the application and detailed descriptions of our volunteer tasks will be posted on this page during the enrollment period.

People who have completed volunteer applications and who have met our qualifications will be asked to schedule an individual orientation at the shelter. The orientation session will be approximately 1 hour and will consist of:

  • A tour of the shelter
  • A demonstration of dog and/or cat handling if the applicant is interested in those areas of volunteering. The volunteer will also be asked to handle an animal in a controlled environment.
  • A discussion of our volunteer group and the applicant's interests.

After the orientation, the new volunteer will be matched to tasks which will best fit the current needs of the organization. If the new volunteer is slated for animal handling, he or she will be assigned a dog and/or cat mentor who will work with the new volunteer until the volunteer is able to handle animals independently. New volunteers will not be allowed to handle animals on their own until they pass training. Fosters will shadow current volunteers to assess the foster's comfort level with animals until they are ready to foster.

Our Volunteer Video:


Volunteers are always needed, and it can be a fulfilling experience. 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 minimum 12 month commitment of at least 8 hours a month 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 to work directly with the animals. 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 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 fundraisers 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