Boston Adoption Center Volunteer Program • MSPCA-Angell

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Boston Adoption Center Volunteer Program


We are so grateful for the concern and offerings of support we’re getting from our community during this confusing time. Our staff is currently doing a wonderful job taking care of the animals in the shelter, while also helping pet owners who are struggling to provide for their animals in the wake of COVID-19. Sadly, we have had to suspend our volunteer program for the foreseeable future. The safety of our volunteers is incredibly important to us, and though we rely on the help of local animal lovers for nearly every aspect of the work we do, we need to limit the amount of people coming into the adoption center, and interactions we’re having.

We do not know what the future will bring, and in what ways we will need your support the most. If you’d like to help us right now from home, please consider making a donation

As the situation changes, and we need more assistance from our community, we will reach out via our social media sites. Please follow us for the most up to date information about our needs and challenges on Facebook and Instagram. We will also use these outlets to let you know when we’re able to start accepting new volunteers. We look forward to that time, and hope to meet you then!


Want to devote your time to helping animals in need? Volunteer at the MSPCA Boston Adoption Center! We care for over 5,000 animals annually and are here 365 days a year! We rely on our volunteers to help us with everything from cleaning to matchmaking.

Active Volunteers Log In Here

Volunteer Philosophy

Volunteers are an integral part of the MSPCA team and are critical to the success of our mission. Through their unique talents, skill, knowledge and care, volunteers improve the lives of the animals we touch through our programs and in our communities. The staff offers a well-structured volunteer experience with an orientation, mentorship sessions, and subsequent specialized trainings. We provide an inclusive and integrated culture of support, treating each other with kindness and care. Together, staff and volunteers act as positive role models, demonstrating the organizational values of Excellence, Collaboration, Positivity, Service, Integrity and Compassion as we strive to support animals in our community and the people that love them.

What Do Volunteers Do?

– Clean!
– Feed cats, dogs, and small animals
– Provide animal behavior enrichment
– Dishes
– Laundry
– Educate and interact with visitors
– Help with adoptions
– Enrich the lives of the animals

What Kind of Positions are Available?

Volunteer opportunities are available year-round. All positions require a six-month commitment to a scheduled time each week. Certain positions are only open during specified hours each day, but typically each position is a two-hour per week assignment. All volunteers must attend a two-hour orientation as well as a follow-up training with a mentor before starting their position.

Foster Caregiver

Cat Caretaker

Hours: Daily from 7am-5pm. (one weekly two hour shift)

Responsibilities: Our Cat Caretaker volunteers provide hands-on care to the animals, ensuring that the shelter living environment remains safe, clean and as comfortable as possible. Cat Caretaker volunteers greet the cats available for adoption in the morning and clean and disinfect cat condos and colony rooms. Cat Caretakers coming in the afternoon will spend time in Cat Receiving mainly cleaning empty cages to prepare them for incoming cats. Volunteers also provide all cats with appropriate food, water, toys and blankets.

Cat Room Monitor

Hours: Tuesday –Friday 1pm-5pm, Saturday-Sunday 11am-4pm (one weekly two hour shift)

Responsibilities: Cat room monitors interact with visitors and monitor visitor interactions with adoptable felines while socializing the cats and kittens. Monitors assist visitors with questions regarding adoptions and work to ensure the cleanliness of each cat cage in the adoption room. Monitors ask people to refrain from improperly handling or antagonizing the cats. Monitors help reduce the transmission of disease between animals and help members of the public find the animal that is the best match for them.

SafeWalk Volunteers (Dog Volunteers)

Hours: Tuesday – Friday 1pm-5pm, Saturday – Sunday 11am-4pm (one weekly two hour shift)

Responsibilities: Dog walking is our most popular volunteer activity at the Adoption Center!

All of our dog volunteers go through our Safewalk program. The Safewalk program teaches volunteers how to help our homeless dogs learn behavior skills that will make them more adoptable, help them receive sufficient physical and intellectual exercise, and keep them safe until they find their forever home.

These opportunities exist in graduating forms; from teaching dogs to sit for a cookie while they are in their kennels, to feeding them at mealtimes, to walking them using training and management techniques that are safe and kind.

Small Animal Cage Cleaner and Socializer

Hours: Daily from 7am-11am. (one weekly two hour shift)

Responsibilities: Our Small Animal Cage Cleaner Volunteers provide hands-on care to the animals, ensuring that the shelter living environment remains safe, clean, and as comfortable as possible. Responsibilities are to clean the cages for the rabbits, rats, mice, hamsters, guinea pigs, etc.  Small Animal Volunteers are also encouraged to spend time with each animal.

Pet Paparazzi

Hours: Daily from 10am-12pm (one weekly two hour shift)

Responsibilities: Pet Paparazzi volunteers have an eye for photography and an ability to capture the cutest shots of our adoptable animals for Petfinder.  Pet Paparazzi volunteers are needed to take high quality pictures of the animals available for adoption. Volunteers also edit pictures when needed and upload the pictures to our software program. Videographers are also needed!

Housekeeping Helper

Hours: Daily from 7am-5pm. (one weekly two hour shift)

Responsibilities: Feeding and caring for over 150 animals each day generates a whole lot of dishes and laundry. Cleaning and Housekeeping is what keeps our adoption center ticking. Anyone willing to risk dishpan hands is welcome to become one of our Housekeeping volunteers.  We have an industrial strength washer, dryer, and dishwasher to help you get the job done. This position doesn’t involve direct contact with the public, so it is a great way to contribute if you prefer helping behind the scenes.

Little Book Worms

Hours: Tuesdays 9:15am – 11:15am.

Responsibilities: Little Bookworms is a community program run from our adoption center geared towards toddlers and their caregivers. Volunteers present fun, animal themed songs, games, and stories. Experience with children and small animal handling is a plus for this position but not required.

Medication Administration Assistant

Hours: Monday – Sunday 7 – 8 am and 3 – 6 pm

Responsibilities: Administer medications and procedures to animals in the shelter as prescribed by the veterinarian. Medication may include pills, liquids, and ointments. You will assist with the feeding of special diets, administer subcutaneous fluids, do some light cleaning and prepare oral suspension medication.

Spay/Neuter Clinic Discharge Assistant

Hours: Monday – Friday 2:45 pm – 4:30 pm

Responsibilities: Spay/Neuter Clinic Assistants will help low income clients and adopters who have recently had their animal spayed or neutered at the MSPCA’s Shalit-Glazer Clinic. The clinic completes up to 20 surgeries a day. Clinic Assistants will answer any questions owners have regarding their pets surgery. They will also provide owners with after care instructions and help sanitize the post operative area, cages and equipment after use.

For Medication Assistant Position Only: Interested applicants will have an interview with clinic staff and have a shadow day.  If chosen to continue, the volunteer will have a two week working trial period and staff will determine if the volunteer is a good match for the shift. *Please note, it’s useful to have animal handling experience but it is not a requirement for this position. As well, only purple level Safe Walk volunteers would be able to administer medications to dogs once approved by staff.


How Do I Apply?

We are currently not accepting new volunteer applications during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Are you a Veterinarian? We are looking for MA licensed Veterinarians to volunteer at our Spay/Neuter Clinic. Interested in learning more? Email

Become a Rescue Rider! We are looking for animal lovers out there to join our ‘Rescue Riders’ team. Join the Rescue Rider’s FB group and stay in the loop when we have wild and domesticated animals that need immediate transport to surgical appointments, loving foster homes, or specialized rescues. You could be chauffeuring a hawk with a broken wing to Tufts one day, and a stray elderly cat with a broken heart back to its worried owners the next! You don’t need to say yes to every plea, but know that if you’re able to take on one of these Rescue Rides, you’re profoundly helping the shelter and most especially, the animal you’re driving. Visit our Facebook Group Page and click on the Request to Join Group button. Tell your animal loving friends to do the same, and help us help more animals!

Questions? Email