Volunteer Opportunities

Happy Tails Pet Sanctuary welcomes new volunteers. They keep our organization running. If you want to help homeless and abused animals, we need you. Training is provided. There are many ways you can give of your time, including cleaning the center; helping individuals adopt an animal; fostering a dog or cat; and answering voicemail.

Please email htvolunteers.sac@gmail.com for more information. Below is a complete list of positions.

volunteer holding an orange cat

Adoption Center Clean-Up Crew (weekly or biweekly):

Ensure the cats stay healthy and happy and customers want to visit longer. This is a critical role. Keep our facility clean and sanitize cat enclosures and cages, dishes, cat beds, towels, replenish food and water, etc. Ability to stand, bend, stoop, squat and lift up to 20 lbs.

“Catnip” Area Clean-Up Crew (weekly or bi-weekly):

Provide food and water, clean litter boxes and sweep. Ability to stand, bend, stoop, squat and lift. When the work is done you have the option to socialize with special cats - many feral but some friendly! Shifts are 3-4 hours a day, and evening and weekends are available.

Adoption Counselor (3-hour shift, weekly or biweekly):

Adoption counselors are taught how to screen potential adopters to help them through the pet adoption process. Customer service, socializing and caring for the adoptable animals is also performed in this fulfilling role. This role can be done either at the adoption center in East Sacramento or at one of our off site adoption events.

Cat Feeders, Adoption Center/Sanctuary:

Refresh kibble and water dishes and provide soft and special diet food. Observe and report on the eating habits of the cats. 1-2 hours. Schedule needs will be provided by the lead volunteer.

Foster Caregiver (Cats):

You provide the TLC, we provide the animal, food and supplies. You transport animal to and from our vet for care, we cover the cost (must be pre-approved). You transport to adoption sites, we help find them homes. Note: Only volunteers age 21 or over are eligible to participate in this program.

Foster Caregiver (Dogs):

Happy Tails is looking for new fosters to join our dog foster team! Contact our dog foster coordinator at dogs@happytails.org if you're interested in learning more about this rewarding volunteer opportunity! Note: Only volunteers age 21 or over are eligible to participate in this program.

Follow-Up Adoption Calls (from home):

Call individuals who adopted an animal from us in order to see how things are going, provide information, answer questions and verify the well-being of the adopted animal. You'll be provided with a list of questions to ask (and answers!). This position can be done  from the comfort of your home.

Junior Volunteers (ages 12-17):

Junior Volunteers help with a number of duties including clean-up, basic grooming, animal socialization and assisting adult volunteers. Please contact happytailsjuniors@gmail.com for more information.

Voice Mail Responders (from home):

 A rewarding way to serve the community from home. Assist the public with a variety of questions about HT. Shifts: Return approximately 2-8 calls per shift; shifts are 7pm to 1pm or 1pm to 7pm. A manual is used for training. Requires good phone/verbal skills, working computer/internet, Word access and email.


Drive pets to spay/neuter appointments in the morning and/or pick up in the afternoon Tuesdays and Thursdays. Take to Vet. appointments (varies from an early morning appointment to afternoon) and occasional emergencies. Pickup cats from other rescues that are HT cats. You don’t need to be available for all of the above.

Special Events:

Happy Tails puts on or attends a number of events each year.  These events help us raise awareness about what we do and its importance, and/or fundraise. Events include larger events like our annual Open House, to smaller fundraising or promotional events hosted by local businesses (breweries, yoga studios), to participating in large multi-organizational events. Volunteers can play many roles in this area from performing behind the scenes event planning to helping at the event.

Board Members:

We are always looking for individuals with skills in leadership to join the Board of Directors. Specific areas of expertise and experience include: fundraising, public relations, social media, grant writing, veterinary medicine, organizational operations and management.

How to Become a Volunteer

  • Complete and submit your volunteer application online
  • The Lead of your volunteer interest will be in contact within 5 days.
  • If you are not contacted within 5 days please contact htvolunteers.sac@gmail.com
  • Begin training in your new volunteer role.
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