Visit to learn more about our Volunteer Program!

  • General questions
  • Community
  • Youth
  • Corporate
  • Students
  • Fostering
  • Non Direct Animal Care Opportunities


  1.  How do I become a volunteer at Five Acres?

Please submit an application to volunteer If you:

  • are over the age of 18
  • have your own health insurance policy
  • have reliable access to the internet to access Better Impact, our volunteer management software program, as well as an email address that is checked regularly
  • meet the Essential Capabilities of Five Acres Animal Shelter Volunteers needed to volunteer safely
  • are able to adhere to and follow volunteer program guidelines and policies, as outlined in our Volunteer Handbook
  • are interested in volunteering directly with dogs and/or cats, and have availability to volunteer for a 2 hour shift weekly.

2. Here are some of the many ways that volunteers help us!

  • Dog Walking and Enrichment
  • Kitty Cottage Care Team
  • AniMeals Pet Food Pantry Program
  • Front Desk/Reception volunteer
  • Join our Maintenance/Facilities Crew
  • Spay Neuter Clinic Assistant
  • Special Events volunteer


3. Steps to become a Five Acres Animal Shelter Volunteer:

  • Visit our Volunteer Page to learn more about out Volunteer Program.
  • Complete a new Volunteer Application.
  • Process your registration fee.
  • Complete the Online New Volunteer Orientation.
  • Schedule time to meet with Kate for a 30-minute New Volunteer Planning session.
  • Schedule time with an experienced volunteer to take you through your first shift to get started.

4. Is there an age limit to volunteering?

Due to the nature of working with live animals in a stressful environment, as well as having a minimum age for volunteering outlined by our Five Acres insurance policy, we cannot authorize individuals under the age of 18 to volunteer directly with our animals, though we do appreciate the philanthropic spirit of kids from toddler-17!  Please check out the Youth Involvement page on our website to learn more about how younger kids and young adults can help the animals at Five Acres!


5. Why do I have to pay a registration fee?

The registration fee covers your volunteer t-shirt, access to your volunteer portal and other expenses associated with our Volunteer Program and Appreciation events.  As a nonprofit organization, Five Acres thanks you!

  6. Can I just come to play with the dogs or cats without going through orientation?

We do not offer this type of opportunity to unoriented and untrained volunteers. The shelter can be a stressful place for animals, offering the potential for an animal to act out in a manner that could be unsafe for a person, the animal, or both. Our volunteers are trained on the proper way to handle animals in this environment, and because our top priority is to keep these animals safe, we do require each volunteer to go through orientation and shadow training.

  7. Can I volunteer virtually?

Yes, you can!

  • If you become a trained dog walker, you are invited to participate in Mobile Events or Cuddle Breaks.  These are off-site events and held at fun venues and businesses around the St. Charles/St. Louis area.
  • As a trained dog walker, you can become a volunteer for our Adventure Team to take dogs off campus (must be trained and walk dogs on campus before getting approved for the Adventure Team).
  • We also have creative opportunities for both kids and adults (for details, please CLICK HERE)!
    • Make snuffle mats or no sew blankets for our animals.
    • Make homemade treats for dogs and/or cats.
    • Host a donation drive at your school, workplace, or neighborhood event



  1. What is the process to volunteer with Five Acres if you are required to volunteer a certain number of hours (school, organization, religious, corporate/workplace volunteer time off)

Whether you are a corporate group, student or community group, or not old enough to volunteer with animals quite yet, there are still plenty of ways that you can make a difference at Five Acres! You can turn a special occasion into a fundraiser for the animals, organize a supply drive, or check out ideas for those under 18 to create some special items for the dogs and cats in our care!  Please visit our YOUTH INVOLVEMENT page for more ideas!

   2. I need to fulfill court ordered community service hours, or my attorney has recommended I complete service hours.  What should I do?

We are not able to accommodate those seeking community service hours for a pending court case, or for hours suggested by an attorney for you to complete in preparation for a pending court case or charge.


Click to learn more about opportunities for Corporate Groups

  1. Company Volunteer Time Off (VTO) – If you are with a company who gives you a certain number of days or hours that you can volunteer away from the office, here are your options to fulfill service for Five Acres!  Because of the time and specific training that is required to work with the animals, we are unable to accommodate groups who are interested in working directly with the animals.  Volunteers who work directly with animals go through extensive training to know what to expect and learn about our policies and procedures when it comes to being on our campus working with the animals.  We like to remind people that this is a shelter, so most of our animals are pretty stressed out and, while here, do not act like they will once they are home able to relax and get loved on and pampered!  We welcome you to hold a Donation Drive for Five Acres!  Visit our Wish List or check out our Amazon Wish List to collect items for the dogs and cats of Five Acres!  Once items are collected, we’d love to schedule time with you to bring the donations to the shelter and play with a few dogs!

2.   My group of co-workers/employees from my company is interested in coming to Five Acres to help complete a project or help in whatever way we can.  How do we go about that?

As we share on our website, Five Acres appreciates corporate groups who wish to partner with Five Acres to make a positive impact on the health, wellness, and livelihood of the animals in our care!

Because of the time and specific training that is required to work with the animals, we are unable to accommodate groups who are interested in working directly with the animals.

Here are some ideas for you to consider when deciding how best you would like to partner with us!

  • Sponsor a Donation Drive!  As a nonprofit, these items are always appreciated!  If you would like to hold a Donation Drive, here are the links to our General Wish List, our Amazon Wish List that point you in the direction of exactly what we need at any given time!
  • Become a Sponsor for one of our special events!  Contact Madeline for more details.
  • Sponsor an adoption fee for a dog or cat!  Email Madeline learn more!


3.  I have heard that Five Acres offers Cuddle Breaks to companies.  What are those?

  • If you’d like Five Acres to bring some adoptable animals to your business for a one-hour lunch time Cuddle Break for a donation, we invite you to visit our Corporate Involvement page and scroll down to Cuddle Breaks to complete a Cuddle Break Registration Form!


  1.  I am an elementary age Girl Scout Troop leader, and I am interested in bringing my troop to Five Acres to earn their Pet Care Badge.  How do I go about that?

We love when Girl Scout troops want to come visit Five Acres, learn about responsible pet ownership, get to know Five Acres, what we do and why, and learn some ideas about how they can help the dogs and cats in our care, as well as help animals everywhere!

Please visit the Youth Involvement page and scroll down to Girl Scout Troop Visits!


2.  I am going to be working on an Eagle Scout project, or a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award for Girl Scouts, and would like to do something to benefit Five Acres.  What is the process for this?

We have welcomed several Boy Scouts to Five Acres to complete projects to earn their Eagle Scout award, and have been a recipient of many Gold Award projects, as well as Silver and Bronze level projects.  Please see the Youth Involvement page for more information!


3.  I have a child who is younger than 18 who LOVES animals and wants to volunteer with Five Acres.  What can we do to make this happen?

Unfortunately, we can not have individuals under 18 volunteer here on campus.  However, we encourage you to consider other options, such as holding a donation drive.  You could also make snuffle mats, no sew blankets, make homemade treats, etc.  Check out the Youth Involvement page for more details!


  1.  Student needing service hours for a class, NHS, a club, group, committee, organization, religious organization (ie Confirmation), graduation, hours needed to fulfill requirement for school program (volunteer hours in preparation for vet school, grooming or training school, any number of hours that would not be in congruence with a weekly 2-hour volunteer shift).  If the student is over 18 and is interested in coming in regularly (weekly for at least 6 months), they can complete a regular volunteer application.  If the student is not yet 18, please refer to the Youth page on the website for ideas.


  1.  All Foster and Adoption applications are online – go to Get Involved, then click on Foster a Pet, and complete an application to foster either dogs or cats.


These are opportunities for volunteers 18 years of age or older.

  1.  AniMeals Pet Food Pantry Program – AniMeals is for families to get necessities for their pets (up to 4); just need a letter from a church, social services agency and they can come in to get food, treats, and many other things they might need for their pets, with our end goal of making sure the animals can stay with their people!  AniMeals volunteers help our community get what they need.
  2.  Front Desk – Our Front Desk volunteers greet members of our community coming in to drop off donations, meet a new dog friend, or shop in the Gift Shop.
  3.  Spay Neuter Clinic – Clinic volunteers assist the veterinarian and her assistants with the spay neuter before prep and after care.
  4.  Maintenance Crew —  Maintenance Crew volunteers help with anything to do with our facilities that have been identified as needing a small repair to helping to get bids for larger ones!
  5.  Gift Shop – Our Gift Shop is tiny but mighty, bringing in about $20,000 a year to the shelter!  Gift Shop volunteers help go through items to sell, price them, and organize in the Gift Shop space.


Volunteer Hours

Every day:

Canine Clubhouse

7-9am – dog walking and laundry

10-12pm – enrichment

1-3pm – dog walking

4:30-6pm – dog walking

Kitty Cottage

9-11:30 – Cottage Keepers, Kitty City, Light Duty, Morning Feeding, FeLV Rooms, Kitten Room

4-6pm – Evening Wrap. Up, FeLV Rooms and Kitten Room

VOLUNTEER.        FOSTER.        ADOPT.      DONATE.