Click a link or scroll below to read about volunteer opportunities in our:

Foster Animal Programs

Become a Foster:

Serve as a KITTEN or CAT, PUPPY or DOG FOSTER PARENT. We can’t intake new animals without foster homes to welcome them. IAR provides all food, medical care, and extensive training for foster families. Any personal pets in home must be spayed/neutered, current on vaccines, and FeLV negative (cats). Must be willing to attend adoption events in Durham and Chapel Hill and to transport animals to our clinic facilities in Durham.

Foster Support Roles:

Clinic Check-In Assistant – Meet each foster at clinic, review their paperwork, make sure they know exactly what is needed at that visit, and that their records are in order.  Also, help with some preparation such as pulling vaccines. There is the possibility of assuming more responsibility if interested.

Clinic Volunteer – We are often in need of volunteers for our Wednesday night clinic. We will train, but the volunteer must be comfortable holding cats and dogs, be able to give vaccines and microchip animals, and should understand the responsibilities of fostering. The volunteer should be able to commit to Wednesday nights.

Act as an adoption event host. A fun way to spend an afternoon once a month!

Cats: Host is responsible for posting the names of the attendees on the web the week before the event, and, on the day of the event, setting up crates for the cats, ensuring that the event goes smoothly, and overseeing the clean-up afterward.

Cat Team Crate storage and distribution – Store up to a dozen folding crates to be used at cat adoption events. Contact the hosts of the cat adoption events every week to see how many crates are going to be needed at the event and transport the crates to the event location sometime Saturday before 1:30 pm, and then pick up the crates between 4 and 7 pm Sunday night to store until the next event.

Social Media Advocate – Become an advocate for one or more of our foster animals by publicizing them using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other means of internet communication.  Advocates will work closely with the animal’s foster family in an effort to increase the visibility of animals who have been in the program a long time.

Petco Caregiver – provide care and entertainment for cats staying at adoption centers.

Respite Caregiver for Dogs – Provide temporary care for an IAR dog while the foster parent is on away. This is especially needed over holidays!

Serve as an In-Store Adoption Specialist – Meet with potential adopters at our Petco adoption centers on weekends when we do not have an adoption event there. Duties involve explaining the adoption process for both cats and dogs and introducing cats in residence to customers who might be interested in adopting them. Generally 1-3 pm one Saturday or Sunday a month.

Cat Socialization Specialist/Cat Foster Assistant – Visit cats staying at one of the pet stores or in a foster’s home to give them extra attention and play time. Requires a commitment to come in once a week at a time of your choosing.

Dog Support Roles – This program is designed to match volunteers who cannot foster dogs the opportunity to work with dogs in foster care.  We have lots of opportunities for volunteers to become involved:

  • Walk, exercise, and spend time visiting/cuddling/playing with the dogs
  • Take photos and write up profiles
  • Take dogs to vet clinic and other appointments
  • Take dogs to adoption events, meet and greets, etc

Volunteers can schedule mutually convenient times with the foster.  Must meet with the program leader for initial training and introductions.

Fundraising Team

Join the fundraising team to help plan our major events during the year! Right now is the time of the year to get in on the early planning and help choose the events we will have in the coming year. We need help to make these events happen, so we can continue to care for animals in need in our community!

We have three major fundraisers: the Fast and Furriest 5K, the Painted Chair Auction, and the Year End Appeal. All take effort but the Painted Chair Auction, which raises more than $60,000 after costs, is a very large event. We need much more effort than is currently available if we’re to continue successfully running this annual favorite year after year.

Email us at [email protected] to learn more about how you can get involved!

Community Education Program

Classroom Volunteers – Required: once monthly availability for 3 hours during school times, availability for 2-3 hours of training (timing is flexible) prior to starting in classrooms, willingness to learn and present the materials approved by IAR for classroom education, professionalism

Education Program Support – Support the education team by returning phone calls and emails, working on scheduling with schools, making copies etc. Can work on your own time. Need to be pleasant, professional and timely with communications.

Feral Program

Feral Team Community response – Respond to pleas for assistance from the community by communicating with the person requesting assistance, evaluating how IAR can help, and arranging for that help.

Feral Team – Assist with the rescue of at-risk community or feral cats for spay/neuter but who are not candidates for intake into the foster adoption program.

Barn Home Relocation Specialist – Work with the Facebook group to identify people in the community who can offer accommodation to outdoor cats who can no longer stay where they are living.  The cats would be spayed/neutered/vaccinated before being moved.  You would coordinate with those offering accommodation to ensure they are fully informed of their commitment and assist in setting the cats up in their new home.  Full training will be provided and you will work with a mentor.

Food Procurement – IAR needs pet food to support our growing feral cat program and for community members needing help to feed their pets.  Seeking one or more people to implement a donation program which could include

  • placing donation barrels at grocery stores, vet office, other businesses
  • asking for broken bags to be saved for IAR
  • periodic donation drives at businesses
  • arranging for pickup of donations and transport to IAR storage site

Cat Trap Wrangler 10AM- 1:30 PM one or two Sundays a month. Help with moving the traps with post-surgery cats to waiting area and loading them into the trappers’ cars. Also, general clinic tasks as needed.

Colony Caretaker – Feeding/watering feral cats one or more days a week. Monitor the condition of the cats in the colony and notify the Feral Group if sick or new cats appear at the colony.

Veterinary Technician. – Assist with spay/neuter clinics held Sunday mornings twice a month. This position requires previous experience or training. Must meet with our veterinarian to confirm qualifications.

Other Opportunities

Office IT Support – Help our office team with printer or software problems to keep us running smoothly and efficiently.

Volunteer Coordinator –  Respond to volunteer applications and requests for information about volunteering. Present the volunteer orientation once a month. Work with team leaders to identify volunteer needs and to match volunteers with those needs.

Volunteer Coordination Team – Organize casual events for volunteers to meet and socialize every six weeks or so. Assist the volunteer coordinator by following up with new volunteers to make sure they have found a job that suits them.

Email Team – check IAR’s main email one day a week at least 3 times per day. This email account is the first method of communication for many people who contact IAR. It’s a great way to contribute to IAR from the comfort of your own home or job. Must be familiar with email and have regular access to an internet connection.

Phone Team– Remotely monitor the IAR phone voicemail messages and forward them to the appropriate teams (adoptions group, cat team, dog foster, feral, fundraising, etc.). May be done from home. Training is provided.

Adoption Screening Team – Volunteers will check submitted adoption applications on a single day of the week. They will do all follow-up correspondence with the adopter if any questions arise.  Screeners must be very familiar with rescue policies and our local area.

Web Team – We need web developers who have extensive knowledge of WordPress, PHP, JS and JSON and who are familiar with integrations.

We also have ongoing needs for skilled graphic designers, videographers, social media content producers, etc. If you have skills you think we might need, get in touch!

For more information about any of these opportunities please contact [email protected]