Where can I find an application form?
There is no application form online. Filling out an application form is not the first step in the application process. The first step is to register for, and attend, an orientation. Application forms are emailed to attendees of the orientation after the session.

I do not see an orientation date online/the orientation has passed. When is the next orientation?
If you do not see an upcoming orientation date on our website page, that is because the next date has not yet been set. As soon as a new date has been set, it will be posted immediately on our website. So just check back periodically.

How old do I have to be to volunteer?
All volunteers must be 18 years of age or older to participate in our Volunteer Program, which has roles that involve shelter operations, animal handling, and adoption processes. However, if you are at least 15 to 17 years old, you are qualified for some roles on the Outreach Team. You may reach out to paulsanders@nycacc.org for more information. For all other opportunities open to those under 18 years old, please reach out to our Community Kids Program at CommunityOutreach@nycacc.org.

Is there a time commitment for volunteering?
We ask our Care Center volunteers to make a commitment to our program of 6 months with a minimum of 6 hours in each month. Due to the extensive training requirements, we are not able to accept short-term volunteers. Please visit our Volunteer Opportunities page to find out more details about specific volunteer positions.

What if I can't make the 6-month commitment?
We will review requests on an individual basis if you have special circumstances that prevent you from volunteering for 6 consecutive months, provided you have time to do more than 6 hours per month.

Can I continue volunteering after my 6-month commitment is fulfilled?
We would be happy to have you stay in our Volunteer Program after you have completed your initial 6 months of service. To remain an active member of our team you will be required to continue serving the minimum of 6 hours a month for as long as you would like to stay in our program. If you have been inactive for one month or more without communicating with us, your account will be deactivated. If you wish to return to the program you may have to re-train or reapply to the ACC Volunteer Program depending on how many months you were inactive, how long you were a volunteer, and how consistent you were with serving the minimum of 6 hours a month.

What if I need to go on leave?
You are allowed a maximum of two months’ absence provided you reach out to us prior to your leave. If we do not hear from you a month after your last communication, your account will be deactivated. If you need a leave of more than two months, it is recommended that you resign from the program, and reapply when your schedule frees up.

Can I have multiple assignments or locations?
You have to start out in one Care Center and one assignment. After a few months of service wherein you are able to consistently complete 6 hours a month or more, you may reach out to any Volunteer Department staff member to request an additional assignment or Care Center location. For Animal Companion assignments however, if, after training, or after serving a few shifts, you have assessed that it is not suitable for you, you may request to switch to a different Animal Companion assignment. Or if you transfer residences such that a different Care Center is more accessible, you may request a transfer to the more convenient location.

Why should I sign up for shifts?
Shifts are set up so that coverage is evenly spaced throughout the day. We cannot have overcrowding on a specific shift due to volunteers who did not sign up. Other volunteers with more flexible schedules sign up for shifts that have no coverage yet. It also allows staff to know how many volunteers are expected in a given assignment. This is why signing up for shifts is a mandatory part of our volunteer policy.

What if I can't do a full shift (i.e. I can do every Wed from 9am-11am instead of 9am-12pm)?
Volunteer shifts are windows of time. You may come in anytime during the two-hour shift period you signed up for, and leave earlier or later than said shift. Your punch in and punch out time will track your actual served hours. As long as you are fulfilling your 6 hour per month requirement, you can shorten or lengthen shifts you signed up for. Exceptions to this are assignments that require you to be there for the entire shift such as Adoption Line Facilitator, Mobile Adoption Events, Community Pets clinics and certain Outreach events where specified.

I have court appointed hours or community service hours due; can I fulfill my requirement at ACC?
At the moment, ACC is not able to accept volunteers needing to fulfill court appointed or community service requirements

Can I come in just to play with or socialize with animals?
Only volunteers who have passed our training program are allowed to handle our boroughbreds. While we believe that all of our animals are wonderful, they require care that only trained animal handlers can provide.

What if I already have training from a shelter where I previously volunteered?
Each shelter or rescue group have their own protocols based on their organizational needs. Therefore, you must undergo and pass the specific training program of ACC.

Can we bring friends and family members with us to help at the Care Center?
Volunteers are not allowed to bring friends, family members or pets with them during their scheduled volunteer shifts.

Why is there a $25 volunteer fee?
We charge an administrative fee to cover the costs of the Volunteer Program. This includes processing costs, your volunteer ID badge, an official volunteer t-shirt, supplies, and training sessions. If you cannot afford the fee at the moment, you may request that it be waived after you receive the email that you passed the interview.

What if I have any concerns or questions as a volunteer?
Volunteers are encouraged to discuss any concerns with the Volunteer Department staff.

Should I worry about taking an illness home to my pet?
Always be sure to wash your hands before handling any of your own animals. You may likewise want to change your shoes or your clothes. Also, be sure that your animals are current on their vaccinations. If you have further questions, you should talk with your own veterinarian.