Volunteer Guidelines

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with Animal Rescue Rhode Island (ARRI)!

ARRI understands the importance of volunteerism, not only the value of volunteers to our organization, but also the interest in and need for volunteer activities for people in our southern Rhode Island community. We welcome children and adults as volunteers, engaging people in all aspects of the organization from assisting with kennel cleaning to serving on the Board of Directors. As the health and welfare of our animals, is our number one priority, some restrictions to our volunteer policy do apply.

  1. Volunteers must be 14 years of age.
  2. All volunteers must submit a complete, signed application online at our website www.AnimalRescueRI.org.
  3. All volunteers must attend an orientation prior to working with our animals. Orientation dates can be found on our online calendar.
  4. All Volunteers between the ages of 14 and 16 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian while volunteering. This adult must also complete an application and attend an orientation.
  5. Volunteers between the ages of 16 and 18 years of age may volunteer on their own, but must have their application signed by a parent or legal guardian.
  6. All volunteers who have been inactive for more than 1 year must complete a new application and attend a Volunteer Orientation.

Once you have completed the volunteer orientation you are welcome to volunteer at Animal Rescue Rhode Island. Please contact the shelter office, 401-783-7606, Extension 105, or shelter@animalrescueri.org to schedule times for you to join us at the shelter.

Court-order Community Service

Court-ordered community service hours are available at ARRI on a limited basis. Please complete the Volunteer Application, read and sign the Court-ordered Community Service Agreement, and then contact shelter staff, shelter@animalrescueri.org, about scheduling your hours.  Thank you for your interest in assisting ARRI!

Other questions you may have:

How should I dress?

We ask volunteers to come “dressed for success.” No flip flops or open-toed shoes. To protect your skin from amorous kitties, we recommend t-shirts (no bare midriffs), long sleeved shirts, jeans, and closed toe shoes. Old clothes are fine since you will be working with the animals or on the grounds; so getting a tad dirty should be expected.

Can I bring my own pets?

Please leave your pets at home! The presence of an “outside” dog or cat at the Shelter can be very stressful to the shelter animals, and of course, to your pet. Also, leaving your pet in your car is strictly forbidden. In fact, during certain times of the year, leaving your pet in a car can be considered animal cruelty.

Can I come earlier or later than scheduled?

We ask that you try to adhere to your scheduled time so volunteer visits are spread out throughout the day. Please be respectful of other volunteers and staff members when making these decisions.

Can I bring my friends or children?

Yes, but a completed application and orientation are required. We also ask that you keep those accompanying you to minimum to avoid overcrowding and to ensure a pleasant experience for both pets and volunteers. For safety purposes only children aged 14-17 are allowed to volunteer (unless accompanied by an approved group leader). NOTE: Volunteers UNDER 18 must complete the application and have it signed by a parent, and then attend a volunteer orientation.

Can I smoke?

No smoking, drugs, alcohol, or weapons are allowed on Shelter grounds. Theft or willful destruction of property/grounds may result in immediate dismissal, and possible prosecution.

Other questions? Contact the shelter at shelter@animalrescueri.org.

Please note: Orientations will be held only if the minimum number of registrants is reached.