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Coming Soon!

Shelter Helpers

Animal Care Centers of NYC now offers one-time volunteer opportunities for people who want to see what volunteering at a shelter is like, or who aren't ready to make a long time commitment just yet. 

Interested students can sign up for a session at any of our three shelter locations on designated "Shelter Days".  Guided activities include Books with Boroughbreds and Profile Photographer sessions. Each session will include a short introduction and tour of the shelter prior to the start of the activity.


Each session has a suggested donation of $10 per participant. Scholarships are available. Spaces for each session are limited and participants will be chosen on a first-come, first-serve basis. Students under15 must be accompanied by an adult.

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Books with Boroughbreds

Ages 6-17

Animal shelters do more than just feed and house homeless animals. We must also take care of their emotional needs. Happy animals are healthy animals! 

Help the animals in our shelters feel calm, safe, and loved by reading a book to them! They aren't picky about what you read, so bring along your favorite book, magazine, or even your homework! 

Not only can you help an animal by spending time reading to them, you also help to socialize them. This means that a calm, non threatening interaction with you can help them to feel safer around other new people too! This goes a long way in helping them to get adopted.

During our orientation, you will learn about animal body language and how to spot the animals most in need of a nice, soothing story.

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Treat and Toy Making

Ages 6-17

Just like people, animals have feelings and experience emotions like happiness, fear, stress, and love. We know that the shelter can be a stressful place for animals, being a new environment with different sounds, smells, and people. One way we can help them to feel safe and happy is to treat them will compassion, kindness, and patience. It also helps to give them treats and toys!

Treats and toys aren't just fun though - they also help to build trust, socialize, and engage our animals' natural behaviors and instincts. We also only use force-free, positive reinforcement training methods, so they play an important role in keeping our animals intellectually engaged and ready for adoption. 

Young people can help, by spending time helping to make enrichment toys and treats for our cats, dogs, guinea pigs, and rabbits. Together we will learn more about animal needs, make toys and treats to keep them happy, and then share them with the great shelter pets in our Care Centers!

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Profile Photographers

Ages 10-17

When animals first arrive at our shelters, one of the first things we do is take their photo. However, the first few hours of coming to a shelter can be the most stressful, and sometimes those intake photos don't show them at their best. 

For this reason, it's  important to take photos of each animal once they adjust to shelter life and feel happier and less stressed! These are added to their online adoption profiles, so people outside of the shelters can see all of the wonderful pets we have for adoption. 

Young people can help us get those "purrrfect" shots by being Profile Photographers! All you need is a phone that can take photos. During our orientation we will talk about how to take a great shot that we will add to their official profile on our website!

Shelter Helpers Calendar

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