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Paws for Life is 100% volunteer-run. We have no paid staff and we are completely dependent on the generosity of volunteers.

Every role in PFL is filled by a volunteer.

Volunteers are the backbone of the rescue, and we believe that encouraging and providing ongoing education, training and opportunities for volunteers allows for active involvement, contributions and leadership.


Paws for Life is always looking for reliable, committed volunteers. There are many ways to help homeless pets and we hope you’ll join our team!

What We Look For in Our Volunteers



Volunteers must commit to give at least three hours of time every three months to remain an active PFL volunteer in good standing. Our hours and opportunities are very flexible.



Our volunteers need the passion to save animals, the compassion to give of themselves and to believe in our mission.

Become a Volunteer

Step 1:

Complete our volunteer application and liability waiver.

To become a foster parent, please also visit our page about fostering for PFL, then complete the foster care application.

Step 2: 

Someone from Paws for Life will contact you to schedule training for your preferred role.

Step 3:

Welcome! Paws for Life will provide you with a Volunteer Manual and add you to the PFL Volunteers Facebook group, which will keep you up to date on volunteer opportunities and needs. You’re on your way to helping homeless cats and dogs!

Step 4:

Once you've been volunteering with us for at least a year, you will be eligible to take on a coordinator role (if you want.) You would receive additional benefits from this role, including paid registration fees to attend conferences and educational workshops. 

Volunteer Education & Training Opportunities

November 1: Cat Care Volunteer Training
5:30 – 6 p.m. at Petco, 2675 S Rochester Rd, Rochester Hills
Would you like to help homeless cats, but you can't foster? Become a cat care volunteer. Some of our adoptable cats live at Petco, 2675 S Rochester Rd, Rochester, MI 48307. Our volunteers go there daily to spot clean their cages, refresh their food and water, scoop their litterboxes and spend some time giving TLC and playtime. Volunteers use an online calendar to sign-up for available shifts. Join us Nov. 1 at 5:30 p.m. Email with questions or for more info. 


November 13: TNR Training

11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at All About Animals, 23451 Pinewood St., Warren

Learn about Trap Neuter Return, best practices in colony cat care and winter sheltering. Network with other people trying to help cats. Walk away knowing what steps to take next. Class fee: $10 (covers cost of TNR handbook). Register by emailing your name, telephone number, city of residence and class date you will be attending to


November 14: "Capacity Crisis: Let's Talk Solutions"

Live virtual panel discussion and Q&A

Join industry experts from noon to 1 p.m. as they share their approach to managing today's unprecedented capacity challenge and review current data to identify some of the causes of the crisis. The panel will also answer live questions from the audience. Everyone is welcome. Admission is free. Get details on panel experts and register.

December 14: "Conversation-based Adoption Counseling" webinar
More information to come.

September 20-22, 2023: Animal Welfare conference, Grand Rapids

Volunteer Roles

Cat Volunteers

  • Cat Adoptions: Help place cats and kittens in forever homes

  • Cat Behavior: Provide training and advice to adopters experiencing cat behavior issues

  • In-Store Cat Care (Rochester Hills): Sign-up for shifts to care for our cats and kittens that live at Petco in Rochester Hills 

  • TNR & Community Cats: Coordinate a trap, neuter, return program to manage community cat populations

Event Volunteers

  • Adoption Events: Greet visitors, answer questions, explain our adoption process and keep animals comfortable

  • Food for Events: Coordinate food to be served to people at various events and fundraisers

  • Event Transport: Drive dogs or cats to and from events

Dog Volunteers

  • Dog Adoptions: Help place dogs and puppies in forever homes

  • Dog Behavior: Certified trainers provide training and advice to adopters experiencing dog behavior issues

  • Dog Walking (Clinton Township): Sign-up for shifts to walk and spend time with adoptable dogs in a Clinton Twp boarding kennel

Animal Care Volunteers

  • Lost Pet Reunification: Help develop an area-specific manual and program to assist pet owners whose pets are lost or missing

  • Medical: Track and communicate medical needs of animals in the rescue

  • Surrender Prevention: Develop a program to assist pet owners so that they do not have to surrender their pets to a shelter or rescue

Administration Volunteers

  • Fundraising: Join the fundraising team to plan and execute events and programs that raise money

  • Photography: coordinate professional photography opportunities for the adoptable pets in our care

  • PR and Marketing: Develop a marketing program and assist with public relations and media relations activities

  • Online Stores: Manage PFL’s online stores 

  • Volunteer Recruitment: Get creative and find opportunities to recruit new volunteers

  • Volunteer Retention and Recognition: Help manage our volunteer retention and recognition program, tracking volunteer hours and accomplishments

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