Young at Heart is a volunteer-based organization, and our big-hearted volunteers are people just like you with a love of older pets and some time to spare. We need volunteers to help us run special events, transport pets, help with fundraisers, adoption events and more! If you have a love of animals and are willing to roll up your sleeves, dig in and help out, read on!
All volunteers are required to attend a one hour volunteer orientation session, held on a monthly basis, and must pass a criminal background check in order to begin volunteering.
If you’re in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago, you can make a tremendous contribution to Young at Heart’s wonderful work by volunteering your time. Please check out some of our ongoing volunteer opportunities below and contact us at [email protected] to get started!
Children: Junior Volunteers age 10 or older are welcome to volunteer at Young at Heart with a parent. We are currently inviting parents with children interested in volunteering to attend our volunteer orientation session with their child in preparation of a new Junior Volunteer program. Junior volunteers do not undergo a background check, but it is required of each parent/guardian that would like to volunteer along side their child.
Community Service: For liability reasons, we cannot accept court-appointed community service hour volunteers. We can only accept organizational and educational community service hours at this time.
General Volunteer Info
Because Young at Heart does not have a shelter facility, our volunteer opportunities vary throughout the year. Hands-on animal care volunteer opportunities are available at our two in-store cat adoption centers. Other opportunities are shared with volunteers via email, and as an approved volunteer, you may pick and choose the opportunities that suit your schedule and preferences. It takes a village to save and care for senior pets, and if everyone gives a little time, we can make a big difference!
Our foster homes are the heart of our organization, where senior pets get the love and comfort of being in a home while waiting for adoption. All of our senior animals are rescued from shelters where they have as few as 3 days to get out or they will be euthanized. Foster homes, whether long term or short term, help us rescue these senior pets from a very sad fate. Without them, we would not be able to rescue the senior pets that we do. The more foster homes we have, the more lives we can save!
Learn more about becoming a Young at Heart foster parent here.
If you are interested in pursuing this opportunity, please a complete a foster application, so we can match a foster pet to you, your home and lifestyle.
Outreach / Adoption Events
Young at Heart holds many adoption events throughout the Chicago suburbs where we bring our available dogs to meet the public. We need volunteers who enjoy working with people and are enthusiastic about promoting animal adoption to help set up, talk to the public about our organization, care for the dogs during the event, and promote adoptions.
Cat Adoption Center
We have two small cat adoption centers located in the NW Suburbs of Chicago. One is at Best Friends Pet Care in Prairie View, and the other is within Petco in Lake Zurich. We are in need of volunteers to help clean the litter boxes, the floors, the windows, the cages, and play and socialize with the cats. Ideally, we are looking for people who can go once a week on a fairly regular basis, but are open to all schedules. Adoption centers require regular cleaning to look their best and to keep the environment as healthy as possible for our cats. Grooming of the cats, including cleaning ears and clipping nails and overall health checks, is another opportunity for those with ample cat-knowledge
Pet Taxi Team
Members of this team will be on call to transport our dogs & cats to and from adoption events, vet appointments, shelters, and foster homes. We are also always in need of Pet Taxi Team members willing to run supplies to foster homes.
Pet Food Pantry Team
Young at Heart’s Pet Food Pantry program, Nina’s Pet Food Pantry, provides pet food to two local human food pantries so that the clients in need of food can provide food to their four-legged family members as well. Pet Food Pantry volunteers hold pet food drives, bring pet food to and from the storage unit, and deliver to the food pantries on a weekly basis.
Special Event Planning
Young at Heart holds a number of special fundraising events throughout the year that are a major source of our revenue. We need volunteers to help in every stage of planning and facilitating these special events.
Behavioral Training (Certified trainers only, please)
Young at Heart offers support to our new adopters and foster homes. We are looking for certified dog trainers and behavioral specialists to work directly with our new adopters and foster families.
Got other skills that Young at Heart can use? Tell us about them and we'll put you to work!
I'm Interested! What's next?
If you’re in the Northwest suburbs of IL and can help out on a regular or on an as-needed basis, drop us a note at [email protected] to find out when the next volunteer orientation is to get you started!