Volunteer and Foster

Considering providing a donation! When you donate, you help us purchase enrichment toys and foster supplies needed for the animals in our care!

Volunteer for us!

The animals and staff at ACC  need you! We are a very busy shelter with many animals and people entering through our doors. We strive to provide the best possible service and always need volunteers!

To be considered a full time volunteer there's a minimum time requirement of 4 hours a month.

Where volunteers are most needed:

  • Lobby Attendant & Animal Interaction – Volunteers assist front counter staff by retrieving animals from the adoption kennels for citizen introduction and adoption consideration. Pet owner education also is relayed through conversations with the adopters. Plus, pet owners often search for lost animals at our shelter and need direction from volunteers.

  • Exercising/Socializing Animals – The shelter's dogs, cats and rodents spend a lot of time in their cages and kennel runs. Volunteer attention given to the animals through walks, petting, side yard runs and toy play provide the physical release and trust building interaction needed.

  • Laundry – The staff needs help with making sure laundry is washed, dried, and folded up.

  • Off-site Adoption Events – Adoption saves animal lives and the opportunity to adopt is given not only within the shelter but also at various off-site locations throughout the county. Volunteers are needed to assist with adoption event preparation including animal social skill assessment, animal bathing and supply gathering. Adoption events are managed through volunteer shifts and the jobs include animal showcases, public education, adoption agent paperwork duties and mascot costume wear!

  • Rabies Vaccination/Microchip Clinics – Volunteer support to the vet staff within clinics is needed on the second Saturday of each month. Assistance includes filling out paperwork and line control.

  • Weekdays Spay/Neuter Clinics - Animal patient check-in, surgery recovery monitoring, instrument pack assembly and crowd control are some of the jobs assisted by the volunteers.

  • Pictures, videos, bios – Animals are made adoptable every day. New pictures, videos, and bios need to be created for marketing them in order to help them find new homes.

  • Kennel Cleaning - We are always in need of kennel cleaning assistance due to staffing and other challenges. This includes both dogs kennels, cat cages, and even washing bowls and Kong toys.

  • Tag Team - We have an ID tag machine that prints info on ID tags for pets. We use it at the shelter as well as at offsite info booths during pet events to provide free ID tags to those who want/need one. Volunteers are trained to use the machine and it is super easy.

  • Microchip Check Point Booths - We go out to loads of events every year. Events where there are lots of animals attending are the perfect place to do a microchip check point where microchips are scanned and written down to not only register in our local and national databases, but also to give to the owners. Volunteers are trained how to use the scanner and fill out of the forms; super easy.

After processing your application, and completing a background check, you'll be scheduled for a drug test. Once cleared, you'll be scheduled to meet with a CMPD staff member. Then, you will be partnered with a volunteer mentor for training, and receive your On-Site Activity shirt for $5.

The volunteer process can take some time since we are part of the police department. We ask that you be patient while your application and background checks are processed. Once complete, you'll be contacted for a drug test, and then contacted to attend a volunteer orientation. The process could take 3-6 weeks but the wait is worth it.

Ready to join the volunteer team? Great! Fill out the volunteer application.


Are you looking to have your group come visit and give a helping hand for a few hours or a day? We appreciate the assistance with tasks like laundry and cleaning around the shelter! Please contact our volunteer coordinator at cody.trespalacios@cmpd.org.

If you are already a volunteer, be sure to enter your hours at myimpact.com.


supervisor cody with his dog on a mountain Our Volunteer Coordinator Cody Trespalacios

Foster for Us!

The smallest, youngest, and most vulnerable pets need you!

Fostering a pet is not a lifetime commitment; it’s a commitment to save a life.

We are always looking for foster parents who are willing to open their home and hearts to take animals home to help with various health, behavior, or medical needs.

Why foster?

  • Fostering provides a safe and healthy environment for animals who need to heal, grow or get some extra TLC while they look for homes. This includes important socialization.

  • Fostering animals creates more space in shelters for other animals in need.

  • Your life becomes a lot more interesting (and adorable)!

  • Fostering introduces cats and kittens to new pools of prospective adopters.

  • It's so rewarding to watch them learn and grow.

  • Fostering animals saves lives. Period!

Things to note before becoming a foster parent:

  1. You do not need to be a full CMPD Volunteer to be a foster parent.

  2. Being a foster parent includes actively looking for a new home which means that the animal could be listed as available, and your contact information will be listed on the website.

  3. Potential adopters will contact you directly via your email. First email has first dibs to meet and adopt. We do not do home/vet/reference checks.

  4. Some foster animals need to be separated from the rest of the pets in your household.

  5. Pictures are bios are required to be sent to our foster coordinator within the first week they are in your home.

  6. Fosters can keep certain fosters pets for up to 6 months, but, if they are not adopted, they will be required to come back to the shelter. Or you can adopt them yourself.

  7. Our greatest foster needs are:

    • Small and large dogs who need socialization
    • Large dogs who need a break from the kennels
    • Pets who had to undergo surgery or need medical recovery
    • Bottle baby/neonate orphaned kittens
    • Weaned kittens that need socialization and weight gain
    • Momma cats with nursing babies

You must be at least 18 years of age before applying but you do not have to be a Mecklenburg County resident.

How to apply:

Sign up to foster!

*Please note that this foster program is only for our shelter animals in need of foster care. If you own a pet that you need to find a foster home for, you need to contact rescues groups to see if they can assist or visit the rehoming pets page for resources.*

If you are already a foster parent, you can schedule health checks/follow ups for your fosters.




Other Volunteer Requests

ATTENTION ALL HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS: If you have chosen animal fields or animal cruelty/abuse for your projects, please read carefully.

If your project includes a questionnaire, please email our Officer Conner at julia.conner@cmpd.org and he will be happy to answer them. One on one interviews are possible but by appointment only.

We know that your projects may require volunteer hours. Unfortunately, due to the volunteer unit being under CMPD, anyone under 18 years of age is not allowed to volunteer. If you are 18, we can set you up with our volunteer coordinator to sign a waiver and be assigned to some projects around the shelter, but it will not include animal interactions.

As an alternative, we always need money and supplies to help our shelter animals. If your project allows, you can hold a fundraiser and/or donation drive for us. Head to the donation page to find out what supplies we need, and which funds you'd like to finance.


Court order volunteering: please contact Supervisor Miller at kimberly.miller@cmpd.org

This is a completely separate program from the full volunteer program.