Volunteers Welcome

Do you LOVE animals? Do you want to give back to your local Houston community in a meaningful way? Come volunteer at BARC Animal Shelter!

Our tiered volunteer program is here to help make it as easy as possible to jump right in to lend a paw at the shelter by organizing our new and existing volunteers into groups according to level of experience and time donated to the shelter.

Our tiered System is organized into 4 levels. Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. We also offer a unique tier, the BARC Buddies, to those who for whatever reason cannot or choose not to handle the biggest dogs in the kennel, but still want to help the shelter.

Don’t know anything about animal handling? That’s ok. Under our tiered system, you can learn from experienced volunteers who have been here for actual decades! We also have training courses established to help you learn more about your favorite fuzzy friends.

Are you an experienced animal guru already? Our tiered program is designed to factor in more than just time dedicated to the shelter. If you’re new to Houston or to BARC but have loads of critter know-how, then you will be placed in the appropriate tier that best represents your abilities.

All volunteers are required to attend orientation and training sessions at the shelter to prepare them to do their specific job. Please read the Volunteer Handbook before attending orientation: BARC Volunteer Handbook.pdf

frequently asked questions

    Volunteers must be 13 years of age or older.

    Volunteers 13-15 years old must always volunteer with a parent or guardian. Volunteers 16 -17 years old can volunteer on their own after attending orientation with a parent or guardian. Only an adult can handle the animals at BARC, so the parent or guardian must be in control of the animal at all times.

    You must be at least 18 years or older to handle most pets in the shelter. Minors can still participate in other activities that don't require direct animal handling such as enrichment building, animal photography, etc.

    BARC Volunteers are not required to contribute a minimum number of hours in order to stay registered, but you may be moved to an inactive status if you don't spend at least one shift every three months at the shelter. Inactive volunteers can always return right where they left off without having to reapply!
    BARC Animal Shelter can validate community service hours, but those hours are handled through our Animal Enforcement Office instead of our regular volunteer program. Please contact our volunteer coordinator at to be directed to the appropriate department.
    BARC hosts group volunteer events Fridays and Sundays in four hour time slots. Please contact our volunteer coordinator at to set up a service date.

How to Become a Volunteer

Code Yellow Report

Read the handbook

Read through our Volunteer handbook before signing up and attending orientation, so that you can have a good idea of what to expect from joining our Volunteer program.

Volunteer Handbook

Code Orange Report

Sign Up Online

Sign up to volunteer at BARC online by creating your account. Fill out the profile information and complete the initial registration as a volunteer.

Volunteer Sign up

Code Red Report

attend orientation

Once you have completed sign up, log in to to register for orientation. Volunteer orientations are held Saturday mornings at BARC and include a tour of the facility.

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BARC Information

3200 Carr Street,
Houston, TX 77026
Call 3-1-1 for more information

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