Alliance for Animals works to heighten public awareness of animal rights issues and animal suffering, and to promote the humane treatment of animals everywhere. They do this through public education and provision of direct services to those most in need, including affordable spay/neuter services, shelter and adoption and information referral. Volunteers are needed for a variety of positions, including kennel assistant, office assistant, veternary assistant, shelter and clinic help, foster care for cats and dogs. More information on volunteering for Alliance for Animals can be found here.
Billerica Cat Care Coalition
BCCC is a no-kill cat rescue and adoption organization that works with feral (wild) and abandoned cats. They advocate for humane methods of feral and owned cat care in the animal protection community. This includes promoting low-cost spay or neuter of pets and educating the public on local animal issues, such as by offering advice and assistance to residents dealing with homeless cat situations or who need to re-home a cat. This organization, based in Billerica, has a variety of available volunteer positions, including treasurer, fundraiser, grant writer, carpenter, driver, and trapper. More information on these opportunities and how to apply can be found here.
Buddy Doy Humane Society
This organization is a non-profit animal shelter located at 151 Boston Post Road in Sudbury. As of late April 2015, the volunteer program at Buddy Dog is currently full, but you can still sign up to be on their wait list. To ensure the safety of everyone, new volunteers must be 15 years or older and will be required to attend an orientation and training session. Buddy Dog does ask for a minimum commitment of 4-months of volunteering, but remain flexible to meet your own scheduling requirements. Email here to be added to their waitlist or if you have any questions reguarding volunteering.
Drumlin Farm is a wildlife sanctuary located at 208 South Great Rd in the nearby town of Lincoln. Volunteering at Drumlin Farm offers a variety of exciting opportunities and internships for people of all interests and experience levels. The Garden Volunteer Group has an minimum age requirement of 15 years for its volunteers while the Farm Ambassadors’ requirement is 16 years. To help take care of wildlife at Drumlin Farm, you must be over 18 years of age and are expected to commit to volunteering once a week for at least 6 months. Check here for additional qualifications for Wildlife Care. Group Project opportunities are also available for groups of 10-25 people interested in volunteering on projects or chores around the farm.
Friends for Tomorrow is a non-profit organization aimed with providing emotionally challenged young people with the therapeutic benefits of horseback riding. Located in Lincoln at 133 Weston Rd, Friends for Tomorrow requires that volunteers be at least 14 years old and able to commit at least one hour a week of service. Tasks may involve taking care of the horses in the barn, helping children in their lessons, setting up games for lessons, tack cleaning, or even event planning. Additional information concerning volunteering can be found here.
Located at 40 Baker Bridge Rd in the nearby town of Lincoln, Lovelane Special Needs Horseback Riding Program is a therapeutic horseback riding program that has a dramatic impact on the physical and cognitive development of children with special needs through its holistic approach and unique, supportive environment. Volunteers assist in maintaining and operating riding facilities as well as in organizing and running fundraising events. To be qualified to volunteer, you must be at least 16 years old. More information on Volunteering at Lovelane can be found here.
The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a non-profit humane society which advocates for animal protection and veterinary medicine and provides direct hands-on care for many animals. Their services include animal protection and adoption, advocacy, humane education, law enforcement, and veterinary care. To apply to volunteer with the MSPCA, you must be over 16 years old and be willing to give a regular time commitment. Volunteering can be done at the three MSPCA Animal Care and Adoption Centers in Boston, Nevins Farm (Methuen), and Cape Cod. Please note that available positions and necessary qualifications vary by location.
Located at 1 Central Wharf in Boston, the New England Aquirium offers many great opportunities for local volunteers. Volunteering applications are accepted year-round and are run on a rolling basis. Volunteers are able to apply to a variety of different positions and examples of responsibilities include:
- Preparing food for the penguins, fish and seals
- Feeding the animals in the Giant Ocean Tank
- Educating and interacting with visitors
- Making ice toys for the seals
- Designing surveys for the Teacher Resource Center
- Conducting research on conservation projects
- Taking photos at special events
Please note that to work directly with the animals, volunteers must be at least 18 years old. Volunteers ages 16-18 can participate in the Aquarium Guide Training Program where, for 4 hours a week for 6 months, teens can learn about the Aquarium exhibits and marine science to become an Aquarium Guide. Applicants should be aware that many of the volunteer positions require a 6 month commitment.
Phinney’s Friends is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization that helps people in Massachusetts and their pets stay together. Their four different programs include:
Regular Program: Helping out clients in the Boston area who live with a chronic illness or disability, or have pets who need constant help.
Food Program: Distributing pet food and supplies to cats and dogs whose owners are going through a financial hardship.
Emergency Program: Helping low-income pet owners with pet emergencies by fostering animals and by helping pay for boarding or veterinary treatment whenever a pet is at risk of being euthanized or surrendered.
AIDS Program: Distribute pet food and much-needed supplies to AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, a nonprofit that supports people living with HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis C and other sexually-transmitted diseases. This helps to alleviate some issues for pet owners facing the extreme dual hardships of poverty and illness.
To help out with Phinney’s Friends, there is no minimum time commitment required. It is important to note that they do not have a physical office so all animal care tasks are performed from your home, or you will visit pets at their home or at another volunteer’s home. You must be at least 16 years old to volunteer for administrative tasks, but you must be 18 years old to work with directly clients. When you apply, you will be required to read the Volunteer Manual and fill out a Volunteer Packet, which includes a CORI check, since you will be asked to assist vulnerable populations. More information on getting involved at Phinney’s Friends, such as the various responsibilities of volunteers, can be found here.
Save-A-Dog, a non-profit animal shelter, is located at 604 Boston Post Rd in Sudbury. Volunteer opportunities are available at Save-A-Dog for people 14 years or older. In addition to adult volunteering, the teen volunteer program allows teens to volunteer during the school year as well as during the summer and requires a commit to volunteering every other week. Volunteers are needed to help with transportation, fundraising, special events, their newsletter, and their website as well as with taking care of the animals. Both teens and adults who apply to volunteer must attend a mandatory Information Meeting.
Zoo New England: Franklin Park Zoo & Stone Zoo
The Stone Zoo at 149 Pond Street in Stoneham and the Franklin Park Zoo at 1 Franklin Park Rd in Boston, are both run by Zoo New England. They have several volunteer programs for both teens and adults.
At the Stone Zoo, teens ages 14 and older can volunteer as part of their Wild Bunch program. If you are 16 or older, you can also get involved as an Ambassador or Petting Zoo Aide. Other opportunities for those over 18 include Education Interpreter, Gardener, and Keeper Aide.
At the Franklin Park Zoo, the Jr. Zoo Teen program is an opportunity for teens ages 11-14 to get involved. Teens ages 14 and up can participate in the Wild Bunch program and there are also positions available for those 16 years or older as a Junior Keeper Aide. Those over 18 can also get involved as a Commissary, Education Interpreter, or Gardener.
Please note that certain qualitifications vary by position. More information on volunteering at the Franklin Park Zoo or Stone Zoo can be found here.