As an ongoing effort to help maintain social distancing recommendations, our volunteer program has been temporarily suspended.

We apologize for the inconvenience, and appreciate your understanding.

Help Save Lives

Volunteers are essential to C.A.R.E.'s ability to save lives. We rely on volunteers at our adoption center to help us provide a high quality of life to our animals as they eagerly await a home.


There are ways for EVERYONE to get involved! Many volunteer duties directly help the animals, including exercising them, preparing food, cleaning rooms, and adoption counseling. ​Want to pick up a dog and take them to the park? Ask us about our Paws in the Park program. Volunteers may also assist outside of the adoption center in educational presentations, C.A.R.E. fundraising events, mobile adoptions, and more! See "Role Descriptions" in the Resources section below for more information. Include any special skills on your volunteer application. We’d love to utilize your abilities to save more lives!

C.A.R.E.’s volunteer program is intended for ongoing, weekly volunteers. We ask that all new volunteers commit to at least 25 total hours over the course of your time with C.A.R.E.

Who Can Volunteer?

C.A.R.E. welcomes everyone who wants to better the lives of animals. However, we want everyone to be safe. ​​

  • The minimum age to volunteer is 18 years old.

  • If you have an arrangement, situation, condition, or disability which requires assistance during your volunteering, or are a client of an organization (Arc of the Ozarks, Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Goodwill, etc.) which sends someone to accompany/assist you to volunteer, we have an Agency Contract and specific instructions to apply to volunteer. Contact us before completing the steps below. 

  • C.A.R.E. does allow individuals needing service hours for court-appointed community service and corrections programs; however, we have restrictions. Please review our court-mandated service policy to see if C.A.R.E. is the right fit for you.

  • Contact us if you are interested in bringing a group for a one-time volunteer opportunity.


Get Started

C.A.R.E.'s volunteer orientation and application are online, so it's easy to get started! Follow the steps below (in this order) to volunteer.

  1. Watch volunteer orientation video: The purpose of this video is to get to know C.A.R.E. and its volunteer opportunities to see if being a C.A.R.E. volunteer is a good fit for you. We will tell you about C.A.R.E., discuss our volunteer program and requirements, and talk about your next steps toward becoming a C.A.R.E. volunteer. Please note: C.A.R.E.’s volunteer program is intended for ongoing, weekly volunteers. We ask that all new volunteers commit to at least 25 total hours.
  2. Take orientation quiz: This short quiz ensures that our volunteers understand the main points from our volunteer orientation video. The quiz is password protected. The password is available in the orientation video. You must get at least four out of five questions correct, and we will contact you by email if you need to retake the quiz. 
  3. Complete online application: Provide your basic information. This application should take five minutes or less. (NOTE: If you are volunteering as a family, each family member must complete an application). You schedule your Volunteer Mentor shift when you submit your application. 
  4. Attend Volunteer Mentor shift: This is your first volunteer shift, and you will learn from hands-on, in-person training by an experienced volunteer or C.A.R.E. staff member! We need everyone who cares for our animals to be aware of our policies regarding the handling and care of our shelter pets. Animals, especially those in a shelter, can behave unpredictably sometimes. There is always risk in handling animals. C.A.R.E. rescues many animals from neglect, abuse, or death row, without detailed background information. This is why we give our volunteers the training to safely and positively interact with our shelter animals, even if the dog/cat becomes stressed or scared.