When you adopt from a no-kill shelter, you save two lives. The animal you adopt and the one that replaces them.

New Volunteer Meeting

Saturday October 7 4:30 pm


8301 W 191st Tinley Park, IL


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Volunteer with Peoples Animal Welfare Society (P.A.W.S.)

Volunteers are the backbone of our facility and aid our staff in daily operations. While we do have individuals that prefer to concentrate on one specific area (i.e. cats, cleaning), the majority of our volunteers are multifaceted.

The volunteer experience at the shelter includes (but is not limited to):

  • cleaning animal areas and facility
  • assisting potential adopters
  • speaking to public about Peoples Animal Welfare Society’s mission
  • dog walking / feeding / handling
  • cat socializing / feeding / handling
  • bathing animals
  • greeting guests for special events

If there is anything you are physically unable to do, please notify us before you begin volunteering.

You will make a tremendous difference in the lives of the animals in our care.  Help us work towards making a more humane community for all animals!

Attending a volunteer orientation is the first step in becoming a volunteer here at People’s Animal Welfare Society (P.A.W.S.).  Before anyone can start volunteering, they must attend this orientation.  Here you will learn the basics of being a volunteer, and will be trained in handling dogs or cats.

As a non-profit organization, we greatly value our dedicated volunteers.  In becoming a volunteer, you become part of our team, representing P.A.W.S. to the general public and helping us in supporting the animals at the shelter.  Whether you work directly with the animals or assist with other tasks around the building, whatever you choose to do has a tremendously positive impact on our shelter and the animals.  We simply wouldn’t be able to do it all without you!

All new volunteers are required to participate in a volunteer orientation before they may start actively volunteering at the shelter.  Please keep an eye on our upcoming volunteer orientation for the next exciting opportunity!

Volunteer Opportunities

Dog Companion:
Work one-on-one with the dogs to walk, socialize, and learn basic training commands.

Cat Companion:
Volunteers take the shelter cats out of the cages to provide exercise, grooming, and socialization.

Adoption Outreach:
Volunteers take animals to designated locations and promote the adoptions of these pets. They also distribute information about the shelter, collect donations, promote membership, and interact with the public.

Special events:
Volunteers attend special events, either on site or at various locations to promote the shelter and assist in collecting donations, and handling shelter animals ready for adoption.

Girl Scouts/Boy Scouts

We love working with our local Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops! Schedule a tour for your troop to earn their badges and learn about P.A.W.S.!

How Can You Help?

  • Set up donation drives/drop boxes
  • Volunteer at P.A.W.S.
  • Volunteer at events for P.A.W.S.

Please contact us at volunteer@pawstinleypark.org to learn more!

Volunteer Application
May be an image of 1 person, chihuahua, park and text
We are proud to introduce to you our volunteer of the month ED UNGER!
Ed was nominated by his peers because:
“Ed takes such wonderful pictures of our cats & dogs. I know this gift is instrumental in getting our furry friends adopted.”
“Ed works so hard to show our animals at their best!”
“Ed takes pictures every week and it’s a lot of work!”
Ed started volunteering because “My wife Cindy was volunteering first. When her partner had surgery, I stepped in to help. I’ve been here since.”
When asked why Ed enjoys volunteering: “I enjoy making a difference for the animals.
Ed chose to pose with Jillian, a fellow “old dog like him”! Jillian is a wonderful 8 year old Malnois who still is full of energy!
We are so grateful to have a wonderful volunteer like Ed as part of our family! For 15 years, Ed and his wife Cindy have gone in every week, rain or shine, and taken pictures of all of our resident animals to help find them a home. Ed also works many of our events and is a regular volunteer handling our big dogs! Ed’s dedication to perfection is like no other! Ed, thank you for using your talent to capture so many smiling faces. Even in retirement, you continue to save lives and we are so lucky to have you!

Volunteer FAQ

How do I become a volunteer?

The first step is to fill out our Volunteer Application. Please fill out the application online. Once we have received your application, you will be contacted through email to set up a Volunteer Orientation (please allow 4-6 weeks for processing).

Is there an age requirement to volunteer?

Yes. Volunteers must be 18 years or older.

My teenager wants to volunteer. Can they?

We do have a Junior Program for volunteers between the ages of 14 and 17 and must have parental consent.

What is the time commitment?

The minimum commitment is a standing minimum 3-hour shift each week for at least 6 months.

Mornings 7:30am – 10:30am (Saturday and Sunday only)
Afternoons 11:30am – 4:00pm
Evenings 6:00pm – 9:00pm

How soon after orientation can I begin volunteering?

Right away!

How has the pandemic affected volunteer operations?

Peoples Animal Welfare Society (P.A.W.S.) prioritizes the safety of everyone who walks through our doors. Anyone entering the shelter must wear a mask at all times (properly, over the nose), sanitize frequently, and keep socially distant from others. Additionally, we limit the amount of volunteers allowed on-site per shift. You’ll learn more about specifics during your orientation.

What should I wear?

Closed-toe shoes are required for volunteering in all animal areas. Sneakers or hiking shoes are the preferred footwear. Clog-type shoes are not permitted. Long pants are strongly recommended for volunteering in any animal care area. Volunteers are advised to dress in layers during the spring, fall and winter months because the mornings can be chilly and the afternoons warm.

Can I bring my child with me when I volunteer? I want him/her to have the experience of caring for animals.

Unfortunately, no. We do not have volunteers under the age of 18 working at the shelter. Additionally, if you are watching your child, you are not focusing 100% on your job, which can be dangerous.

Can I bring my family member or friend to volunteer with me?

No. Anyone who performs the duties of a volunteer or enters Staff Only areas (such as the corrals) must be a registered volunteer of Peoples Animal Welfare Society (P.A.W.S.). This is for the safety of our staff, volunteers and animals.

Does Peoples Animal Welfare Society (P.A.W.S.) offer foster opportunities to volunteers?

We do have a a foster program that is open to Peoples Animal Welfare Society (P.A.W.S.) volunteers. You will find out more about this at your volunteer orientation.

How do I volunteer for events?

Peoples Animal Welfare Society (P.A.W.S.) volunteers are welcome to volunteer at all events. Once you have attended both orientations, you will begin to receive weekly volunteer emails with information on upcoming events and volunteer opportunities.

Can I pick up any infections or diseases at the shelter?

Our cats and dogs are all under veterinary care and have received their standard vaccinations. In the event an animal comes down with a contagious infection, we isolate them from the rest of the shelter and inform volunteers of their condition. While we take every precaution to protect our staff and volunteers, the risk of contracting minor infections   ( i.e. Ringworm), is present in all animal shelters and facilities with a large number of animals.

I have a disability. Can I still volunteer?

Peoples Animal Welfare Society (P.A.W.S.) has a place for everyone. Some of our volunteer opportunities (such as dog walking) require volunteers to be in good physical condition, however, we have different options for volunteers of all abilities.

Do you accept court ordered community service?

At this time we do not offer any court ordered community service.

Have more questions?

Please email us at volunteer@pawstinleypark.org .

Volunteer Application


P.A.W.S. Tinley Park

8301 W. 191st Street
Tinley Park, Illinois 60487
Telephone: (815) 464-7298