Volunteer opportunities

We’re thrilled that you’re interested in volunteering with Best Friends–Utah. Sometimes, the best gift you can give to pets in need is your time. We rely on hundreds of dedicated volunteers to help Save Them All.  

To sign up as a volunteer, simply register at volunteers.bestfriends.org or click the button below. You will be asked to create a profile and watch short introduction video. Once your profile is complete you can explore the available shifts under the CALENDAR/SHIFTS tab or go to the LEARN tab to read more about our specific programs. These calendars contain available shifts, each one with a different task and different time. Our program calendars start with “BFAS-UT”.  Select any available shift to read more about it, and register or put yourself on the wait list if you’d like to come. Some shifts do require an orientation or training. Check out the “BFAS-UT: Training & Orientation” calendar to view available classes.

You will also receive a welcome email confirming the completion of your profile.  If you don’t see it within the hour, check your spam box!  This email also contains instructions on how to sign up for shifts. Signing up for volunteer opportunities is done on a self-serve online calendar basis, allowing you to choose the opportunities that fit with your schedule.  If you need special accommodations, or need help signing for a shift, please contact our volunteer department at  utahvolunteers@bestfriends.org or call 801-574-2423. All volunteers must sign up for shifts in advance, we cannot accommodate drop-in volunteers. Below are the different volunteer opportunities available.

Please note: Unless otherwise noted, our minimum age for volunteers is 12 years old, and volunteers under age 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.  

 

 

Large Group Volunteer Opportunities
Volunteers must be at least 16 years old.

Due to a lack of space and need for large projects, our Salt Lake City regional offices do not currently have opportunities for working with volunteer groups. However, our large-scale events like NKUT Super Adoption and Strut Your Mutt are perfect opportunities to get your group involved in saving the lives of Utah animals! We are currently recruiting groups of 6 or more volunteers for our spring NKUT Super Adoption event, for setup on April 27th and tear-down on April 30th. If you are interested in participating as a group, please complete this form.

 

Offsite and small group volunteer opportunities
Volunteers for off-site opportunities do not have a minimum age requirement.

If you need a small group project, Eagle Scout project, or have children under age 12 who want to do something to help the animals, we offer several off-site volunteer opportunities. These projects do not require that you create a volunteer profile and are open to anyone. Click below for information on any of the following opportunities, and email utahvolunteer@bestfriends.org with any questions or to coordinate projects.

A few ideas for projects include:
- Pet Food Pantry pet food & supplies drive
- Collect and create kitten toys
- Make blankets for kittens at our Spay/Neuter Clinic

 

Kitten Nursery
Volunteers must be at least 16 years old.

The kittens at the Best Friends Kitten Nursery need ‘round-the-clock care, and much of that TLC is provided by volunteers. The nursery is a medical facility, and volunteers are fully gowned and gloved to keep the kittens safe and healthy.  You can help with bottle-feeding, food preparation, socialization, and more.

The Kitten Nursery is open seasonally, only active when there are kittens to care for.  We recruit new volunteers late each spring with an application, after which you’ll attend an orientation plus 10 hours of additional training before being approved to care for the kittens by yourself.  We require a minimum commitment of 2 hours per week once you are fully trained, and regular weekly shifts are available 22 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Watch this video to learn more about volunteering at the Kitten Nursery then submit an application if you are interested in volunteering.

 

Animal Care (Pet Adoption Center, Sugar House)
Volunteers must be at least 18 years old to volunteer with dogs.
The Best Friends Pet Adoption Center in Sugar House features cats and dogs available for adoption from three of our shelter partners: Salt Lake County Animal Services, West Valley City Animal Services, and Davis County Animal Services. Adoptable cats live at Best Friends full-time, and come either from shelter partners or from our Kitten Nursery.

Volunteers interested in caring for our animals must first attend a minimum of three volunteer shifts at the Pet Adoption Center, then attend either a Dog Handler or Cat Care class. Due to high demand for these positions, these classes are only offered when we have a need for more animal care volunteers. For all animal care opportunities, we require a minimum commitment of 6 hours per month for 6 months of animal care volunteering. Check out the “BFAS-UT: Training & Orientation” calendar at volunteers.bestfriends.org to view available classes.

 

Foster
Fosters are volunteers and must be at least 18 years old.
If you love animals but can’t adopt, you can help by fostering a pet. For more information and to apply, click here.

 

Administrative Assistance
In addition to adopting out animals, our Sugarhouse Pet Adoption Center also houses our program’s administrative offices. It takes a lot to run everything behind the scenes, and we couldn’t do it all without volunteer help. We need help with data entry, clinic appointment reminder calls, voicemails, filing, and general office tasks. We also have volunteer shifts dedicated to our Food Pantry and to making winter home for community cats.
These shifts are found on our “BFAS-UT: General Volunteering” calendar.
Note: These shifts do not involve hands-on animal care.

 

Street Team
Volunteers must be at least 16 years old.

Do you have an outgoing personality and a passion for Best Friends and our mission? We need your help!

As a street team member you will be responsible for going out into the community to serve as a representative of Best Friends Animal Society - Utah. Best Friends hosts community outreach booths at several events, such as festivals and farmer’s markets, throughout the year. You’ll partner with staff and fellow street team members to represent Best Friends Animal Society - Utah not only at events, but also at local businesses and organizations, and assist in distributing marketing materials in the community. Unlike the majority of our volunteer shifts, this opportunity is scheduled directly through the staff managing our outreach activities.
To apply for the Street Team, email Kim McDaniel at kimm@bestfriends.org.

 

Community cat programs
Community (aka stray, feral or free-roaming) cats are among the most at-risk pets in shelters around the country. Best Friends–Utah provides trap/neuter/return (TNR) assistance throughout the state so that community cats can live safely in their neighborhoods and stay out of shelters. TNR is a humane and effective way to gradually decrease the number of these cats in our communities. Volunteers are needed to help with everything from education and outreach to trapping and caring for cats. If you are interested in assisting with trapping community cats, transporting cats, or door-to-door community outreach, email utahtnr@bestfriends.org. Click here to learn more about our community cat programs.

 

Spay and Neuter Clinics
Volunteers must be at least 18 years old.

Best Friends - Utah offers a unique opportunity to be a part of our life-saving mission “behind the scenes” at a real veterinary clinic. Our Spay/Neuter Clinic, located in Orem, provides between 50-100 low-cost or free spay and neuter surgeries every day, and is crucial in helping to make Utah a no-kill state. You can help prepare surgical packs and vaccines, set up the surgery suite, talk to clients, and more!

Orientations for volunteering at our Spay/Neuter Clinic are offered regularly on our Training & Orientation calendar (visible once your volunteer profile is complete). All volunteers may sign up for a Cleanup Crew shift at the Orem clinic without attending an orientation.

We'll be opening volunteer shifts at our new Spay/Neuter Clinic in South Ogden in mid-2017.

 

Events
We have three major events each year: Strut Your Mutt in the fall, and NKUT Super Adoption in both spring and fall. To sign up for shifts at these events you must be registered as a volunteer. Our volunteer department will post event calendars one month before each event and you will receive an email alerting you to when shifts are posted. Event shifts fill up quickly, watch your email for announcements. These events are a great opportunity for one-time volunteers or groups to volunteer together.

Strut Your Mutt
Volunteers must be at least 16 years old to volunteer in a setup or tear-down shift. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old to volunteer in any animal care shift.
This annual dog walk and fundraiser benefits not only Best Friends, but also local rescue groups, shelters and other organizations that are part of Best Friends’ No More Homeless Pets Network and our NKUT Coalition. It’s a big and fun event, so lots of volunteers are needed to pull it off successfully. Click here for more information about Strut Your Mutt. The next Strut Your Mutt will October 14th at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City.

NKUT Super Adoptions
Volunteers must be at least 16 years old to volunteer in a setup or tear-down shift. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old to volunteer in any animal care shift.
Best Friends–Utah holds two super adoption events each year. These popular events feature 700 or more adoptable pets, who come from dozens of Utah rescue groups and shelters. Hundreds of volunteers help hundreds of animals go home in a single weekend. Click here to learn more about NKUT Super Adoptions. Our next Super Adoption will be April 28th and 29th at Legacy Events Center in Farmington, Utah. We need volunteer help April 27 - April 30.

Interested in volunteering as a group for spring Super Adoption?  Please complete this form.

 

Community Service
Volunteers must be at least 16 years old.
We accept court-ordered community service volunteers with certain misdemeanor charges. Some of the misdemeanor charges we accept are DUI, possession, traffic incidents, etc. We are unable to work with charges that are violent or sexual in nature, or charges that involve deceit or dishonesty (for example theft, breaking and entering).We can approve you to complete your community service hours here at Best Friends - Utah once we receive a copy of your court documents. Any volunteering you do with us before we receive and approve your paperwork will not be counted toward your community service hours.

Before your first volunteer shift, please set up a time with us to sign your community service volunteer agreement and learn how to use our hours tracking sheet. You can set up this appointment by emailing utahvolunteer@bestfriends.org. Appointments are available between 9:30 am and 5:30 pm, Mondays through Saturdays.

 

Internships

Best Friends - Utah seasonally hosts internships for Kitten Nursery Caregivers and Veterinary Assistants, and additional internships are available throughout the country.  Please click here to view available positions.