Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteering at MCAS: How to Get Started

Thank you in advance for your interest in volunteering at Manatee County Animal Services. Volunteers must be 18 years or older. Please see section below for Junior Volunteer opportunities.

  1. Fill out and submit a volunteer application.
  2. Attend a new volunteer orientation (registration is not required): Dog Volunteer Orientations are held every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at the Palmetto Adoption Center, 305 25th St W, Palmetto, FL 34221. Cat Volunteer Orientations are held every Thursday at 2:00 p.m. at the Downtown Cat Adoption Center, 1002 Manatee Ave W, Bradenton, FL 34205. Orientations are approximately one hour. Orientations are not held on County Holidays.
If you have at least one year of previous volunteering experience at an animal shelter or rescue group, a fast-track volunteer option may be available. Please contact 941-742-5933 ext. 8307 for more information.

Current Volunteers

All current volunteers are required to have an accepted online application/liability form and have attended a volunteer orientation prior to volunteering. All volunteers receive important e-mail communications on shelter happenings, volunteer opportunities and trainings. If your contact information changes, including your email, please contact 941-742-5933 ext. 8307.

Fostering Opportunities

Foster parents are volunteers that provide temporary care for animals who aren't quite ready for adoption due to age, health or behavior. The necessary supplies are provided by MCAS, so all you need is time and love to give! If you have room in your home and heart and are interested in becoming a foster volunteer, please contact 941-742-5933 ext. 8322 or consider attending a Foster Meet Up for further program information.

Junior Volunteer Opportunities

Junior MCAS volunteers must be 16 - 17 years old. Duties include dishes, laundry, cleaning, and enrichment. Junior volunteers are prohibited from handling animals.

Junior MCAS volunteers must have the required parental consent and liability form on file prior to starting the program. Forms are available at the front desk of both adoption centers. Junior MCAS volunteers are encouraged to attend a new volunteer orientation, but it is not a requirement. For students wanting to earn community volunteer hours, students are responsible for tracking their hours and having a supervisor sign any forms at the completion of each shift.

For more information on the Junior MCAS volunteering or school and community group outreach, please contact 941-742-5933 ext. 8307.

Enrichment Meet-Ups Every Thursday at 2:00 p.m.

Enrichment keeps our shelter animals happy and healthy, but not sure if you have the time to be a volunteer? This weekly meeting is open to the public and suitable for all ages.  Learn some of the basics of our enrichment activities, including filling toys with peanut butter, puzzles, ice treats and more. This hands-on group works with shelter staff to ensure that all our animals receive these beneficial activities. Every Thursday at 2:00 p.m. at the Palmetto Adoption Center. Also, please bring a jar (or two) of peanut butter to donate (and make sure that it does not contain xylitol or other artificial sweeteners)!


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