ACCT Philly volunteers are vital to the success of our shelter – we simply couldn’t do what we do without their tireless efforts to save lives and make Philadelphia a better place for animals.

Our volunteers are the best and the brightest in the city, but we recognize that the volunteer program itself needs to be improved. As a nonprofit organization, it is crucial for us to utilize our volunteers’ passion and skill to the fullest possible potential.

With this in mind, we are excited to announce ACCT Philly’s New Year’s resolution: to make the volunteer program stronger, more engaging, and more effective! By better engaging volunteers, together we can make amazing changes for homeless pets.

For this exciting resolution to be possible, we must first press “paws” on new volunteer orientations from October until the beginning of the New Year. This temporary pause on orientations will give us much-needed time to to focus on areas identified by Best Friends Animal Society as needing improvement: the onboarding and training of volunteers. Volunteer orientations will resume in the new year – but you may not recognize their snazzy new format!

It is important to note that all existing ACCT Philly volunteer programs will continue as usual because we rely heavily on volunteer support. Current volunteers are free to walk dogs, socialize cats, attend events – all activities that they (and the animals!) have come to expect and enjoy will continue throughout and beyond the orientation “paws”.

During this transition period, people interested in becoming new volunteers will need to wait until January to attend an official orientation – but that doesn’t mean they cannot begin helping pets now! ACCT Philly will allow new volunteers to immediately assist with the following:

    • Offsite tabling and adoption events (no animal handling, our apologizes)
    • Trap, Neuter, and Return activities in support of our Community Cat Program
    • Cleaning, caring for pets and general support of the PetSmart Everyday Adoption Center
    • Cleaning, caring for cats, and general support of offsite Petco cat habitat locations

Community members interested in becoming an ACCT Philly volunteer may email volunteer@acctphilly.org, or visit the Volunteer section of the website for further information.

We appreciate your patience during this transition and cannot wait to roll out these essential upgrades to our program!  Thanks to you, 2018 is shaping up to be a pretty incredible year for Philadelphia’s homeless pets.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I signed-up for one of the October new volunteer orientation sessions – are those sessions still being held?
A: Yes! October orientations will still be held and we encourage people already signed-up to please attend. However, the orientation will be a modified version of our previous orientation.

Q: I am a current volunteer, will I still be able to volunteer?
A: A resounding YES! We need current volunteers to continue volunteering their time and talents, especially during this transition period.  All volunteer programs will continue throughout and after the transition period.

Q: For how long will the new volunteer orientation “paws” be in effect?
A: We anticipate the “paws” on orientations lasting from October 2017 through January 2018. This is flexible.

Q: What current volunteer programs will be changing?
A: None.  We are focusing on improving the onboarding and training process of new volunteers.

Q: Why are you changing how new volunteers are introduced to the shelter?
A: Volunteers are the backbone of our organization. Starting from Day One, we want them to feel welcome and empowered to make a difference. This means we need to do a better job informing them of rules, policies, and most importantly, areas/departments that can most benefit from their specific talents.

Q: Will current volunteers be involved in this process?
A: Having buy-in and input from current volunteers is essential to the success of this program. A task force comprised of volunteer leaders and ACCT Philly staff will meet regularly to work on the new orientation and onboarding processes.  Members of the task force have not yet been selected, but we hope to make the announce during October.

Q: Are other organizations involved?
A: Best Friends Animal Society (BFAS) is helping ACCT Philly create and implement new volunteer onboarding and training practices.  BFAS will be onsite at the shelter during October to meet with staff and volunteers.

Q: I have more questions, who should I contact?
A: Please start by reaching out to our volunteer coordinator, Kelsey at volunteer@acctphilly.org.