Homeward Trails has rescued nearly 30,000 animals through an amazing network of dedicated volunteers who perform a variety of tasks that help save the lives of dogs and cats in need. Volunteers are critical to our success and perform many vital functions at Homeward Trails. We could not do what we do without our wonderful volunteers!

capital hill eventYou will find a number of opportunities that allow you to participate in a meaningful way with the flexibility to participate as your schedule allows.  Please note that most of our volunteer opportunities require volunteers to be over 18 years of age.  If you are under 18 and looking to help out please refer to our Youth Volunteers page.

Fostering – Provide a temporary home for a rescued animal until an adoptive home is secured. If you’re interested in fostering, please check out our Foster Program.

Application Screening – join our dynamic cat and dog adoption teams and help us save more animals by screening adoption applications or assisting our Adoption Coordinators by doing vet and rental reference checks!

HT volunteersAdoption Counseling – Spend time on the weekends at the Adoption Center helping match adopters with their new furry friends.  Adoption Counselors screen adopters and finalize adoptions – a fun an rewarding job!

Transportation – Drive animals from our shelters partners, to and from adoption events, and take our animals to medical appointments

Events – Provide support for adoption events and/or special fundraising events throughout the year. To check out some of our upcoming events, visit our Events Page.  We also need Event Coordinators to help run our cat and dog adoption events.

Fundraising – Help us raise needed funds to keep going! Consider an office donation drive; accept donations in lieu of gifts for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries; hold an event at your home, at your favorite bar, at your church…anywhere you enjoy spending time; hold a bake sale; create an online giving page; set up a giving page on Facebook; and more! Ask us about all the different ways you can help raise needed funds for our animals. Contact

Administrative and Office – Help us file, clean crates, make adoption folders, make copies and all the other tasks that help us keep our operation going! Contact

Volunteer at Meow Palace – Help care for, socialize and clean up after our resident adoptable cats.  We always need more volunteers and we have morning and evening shifts available 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Contact

Volunteer at the Adoption Center – Help our staff care for, socialize and clean up after our resident dogs.  We always need more volunteers and we have hours available 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Contact

Group Volunteers – We love large groups of volunteers who can help us accomplish big projects at the Homeward Trails Adoption Center located in Fairfax Station, VA.  If you would like to schedule a volunteer project for your office of civic organization please  contact

Other – If you have an idea for volunteering, share it with us! We love new ideas. Contact

You can become an HT volunteer by completing our Volunteer Questionnaire below. After you fill it out, our volunteer coordinator will follow up with you.

    First Name (required)

    Last Name (required)


    City (required)

    State (required)

    Zip (required)

    Phone (required)

    Alternate Phone

    Your Email (required)

    Are you under 18 years old? (required)
    Under 18Over 18

    Do you have a car?

    Which are you interested in working with/to help? (required)

    Do you have previous experience handling animals? (not required to volunteer)

    Do you have previous volunteer experience with an animal rescue/shelter? (not required to volunteer)

    Please rank your level of interest in each HT volunteer activity on a scale of 0 to 5.

    Home Visits – Visit a prospective adopter’s home to ensure it is a safe place for an HT animal to live (a step needed for every adoption). These take place during the week and/or weekends and volunteers generally visit homes near their own.

    Team Fundraising/Event Planning – Work within a team of volunteers to raise funds for special needs animals. This can include yard sales, restaurant nights, online efforts, office fun and more. It is lots of fun, very rewarding and not very time-consuming

    Adoption Events – Interact with potential adopters at events where they can meet adoptable animals and learn more about HT’s adoption process. The events almost always take place on weekends.

    If interested in adoption events, can you…

    Handle dogs/cats at eventsTransport animals from boarding facilities/foster homes to eventsPost announcements about events on listserves/Craigs List

    Transports (long distance) – Drive to/from a pick up point to retrieve animals coming from shelters. The drive may be as long as 2.5/3 hours one way and usually takes place on the weekends.

    Transports (short distance) – Drive animals or meds/supplies to/from foster homes, to the vet, to boarding facilities, etc. This usually takes place around the DC metro area and may be needed during the week and/or weekend.

    Publicity/Marketing/Outreach – Can you man an HT booth at a community event? Can you help us increase our marketing and publicity? This entails talking about HT, passing out info, taking donations, creating marketing campaigns in our area.

    Other – If there are special skills you have that you feel HT might benefit from, please share them! We may have office needs and/or other things that you can help with!

    Any Other Comments?