Save a life.


Make a difference.

As a foster-based rescue, volunteers are critical to the work we do. We could not possibly save all of the animals we do, and place them in forever homes, without the hard work of our dedicated volunteers.

We rely on foster homes to save animals’ lives.

There are numerous volunteer roles available, whether or not you have a lot of time to give. Below is an overview of our current volunteer needs, but we also welcome you to contact us at to suggest how you might be able to help DC PAWS Rescue.

Foster:  Without foster homes, we cannot bring dogs and cats to the DC area to begin their search for a forever home. Fosters not only provide a safe home for the animals we rescue, but they also help our Adoption Coordinators assess each animal’s personality and needs and determine what a suitable home and family would be. We need both full-time fosters, who foster the dog or cat through adoption, and short-term fosters, who foster until long-term fosters can be secured and cover full-time fosters when they need to travel or take vacation. Visit our page on fostering to learn more.

Adoption Coordinator:  Every dog and cat is assigned an adoption coordinator, who becomes the advocate for the animal, works closely with the assigned foster, and screens all applications for the dog/cat. The adoption coordinator also works with adopters during the adoption transition and provides guidance and resources as needed.

Foster Coordinator:  We are always in need of foster homes.  Foster coordinators screen applicants for fostering and provide them with initial foster training to ensure our dogs and cats are placed in safe environments.

Volunteer Coordinator:  Our volunteer coordinators recruit volunteers for adoption events and other rescue events, as well as provide any necessary training and guidance.

Event Coordinator: Event Coordinators organize adoption events and other rescue events, manage volunteers, and provide guidance and training to the volunteers.

Handlers:  Since fosters cannot always attend adoption events with their foster dogs and cats, we often need additional handlers at events to keep our animals safe, and facilitate their interactions with prospective adopters and the public.

Drivers:  Our dogs and cats may need rides to adoption events and medical appointments, and we need volunteers to pick up and drop off dogs and cats when their fosters are unable to.

Home Visit Volunteers:  We require a home visit before approving individuals to foster or adopt one of our dogs or cats. The purpose of a home visit is to ensure that a prospective foster or adopter will provide a safe and loving home for one of our animals.  A home visit takes just a few(20-30) minutes.  We provide instructions and a checklist of things to look out for during the review.

Public Relations:  We use social media and other media outlets to provide exposure for our dogs and cats in need of foster homes and adopters, as well as announce adoptions and raise funds. We need volunteers who are experienced in social media, media relations and blogger outreach.

Graphic Designers: Help us make captivating images that we can share online or publish in print.

Grant Writers:  We could really use experienced grant writers to help us evaluate and apply for grants that could bring much-needed resources to DC PAWS Rescue and our on-the-ground rescuer in South Carolina.

Website Editors: Help us improve our website, keep topics updated and provide fresh content. Knowledge of WordPress is helpful.

Photographers/videographers: Capture the best images of our cats, dogs and special events.

Fundraisers:  Rescue requires financial resources, and we can always use the help of experienced fundraisers who are able to think of creative ways to raise funds so that we can save even more dogs and cats.

General Administrative Support:  With rescue comes necessary record-keeping and data entry, and we always need reliable volunteers to keep our records and databases updated.  This work can be done from home.

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