Give your time, and get so much in return.

Catskill Animal Sanctuary operates with a small full-time staff, so we rely on caring and dedicated volunteers for much of what we do. If you love animals and want to help create a more compassionate world for all beings, volunteer at the Sanctuary.

Our volunteers assist with animal care, business administration, Compassionate Cuisine, Camp Kindness, weekend tours, outreach, events, special projects, and more.

To Volunteer:

  1. View our volunteer opportunities below.
  2. If you’re a new volunteer, complete the online Volunteer Interest Form to become eligible. We will send you a reply email with next steps.
  3. If you have volunteered previously, complete the online Volunteer Schedule Request Form, ideally at least seven days prior to your requested shift to allow us to schedule accordingly. After submission, a Sanctuary staff member will contact you to confirm.
  4. Remember to check back often, since we’re always working on something new!

Our Animal Care department is responsible for the overall health and wellbeing of our 300+ animal residents. We need approximately four to eight volunteers each day to assist our staff with animal care-related tasks. Typical volunteer activities include:

  • Mucking barns and coops
  • Pasture cleaning
  • Cleaning and filling water dishes and troughs
  • Restocking hay/straw/shavings
  • Washing dishes, chopping produce and other kitchen tasks

Business Administration volunteers provide office support to the various departments needed to keep the Sanctuary running and mission focused. Typical volunteer activities include:

  • Filing, photocopying and shredding
  • Data entry
  • Maintenance of office space
  • Processing online sales orders for shipping
  • Running errands for office personnel

The Compassionate Cuisine mission is to educate people about preparing delicious vegan meals and living a compassionate vegan lifestyle. Our on-site Compassionate Cuisine program relies on the support of volunteers to help with our cooking classes and special events. Cooking classes are generally offered year round, twice a month on Saturday afternoons. As dates and times for events vary, please check our Events Calendar for specific dates and times.

For our cooking classes, typical volunteer activities include:

  • Setting up and prepping before class
  • Assisting during class
  • Washing, drying and putting away dishes
  • Post-class cleanup

For our special events, typical volunteer activities include:

  • Event-day setup
  • Food preparation, sometimes a day or so in advance of the event
  • Serving food
  • Event-day breakdown and cleanup

Please Note: Experience in the kitchen is desired, but we welcome anyone who has a passion for food and wants to work hard; volunteers are able to taste delicious vegan food and receive any recipes or class packets that are available.

Learn more about Compassionate Cuisine.

Camp Kindness is a weekly day program for children between the ages of eight and 14, which focuses on fostering compassion for all living beings. Camp runs Monday through Friday, from July 9 through August 3, with a special leadership camp program from August 6 through August 10.

It is strongly preferred that Camp Kindness volunteers participate for the entire duration of camp. This helps volunteers develop a rapport with campers, as well as the Sanctuary’s animal residents.

Camp Kindness volunteers are crucial for providing a safe and fun environment for the children we serve. This position provides an opportunity to work at a unique summer camp that encourages children to learn age-appropriate lessons about the plight of farmed animals, as well as the similarities between animals and humans, while exploring compassionate choices.

Typical volunteer activities include:

  • Assisting educators in leading activities and supervising campers
  • Facilitating connections between campers and the resident animals of the Sanctuary
  • Ensuring that children have a positive, fun and educational experience
  • Helping set up and clean the camp room at the beginning and end of the day
  • Organizing and preparing camp materials
  • Performing other tasks and duties, as assigned.

Learn more about Camp Kindness

Our Tour Greeter has an important volunteer role during our open season from April through November, as this individual is charged with the responsibility of ensuring visitors experience the Sanctuary as a unique, safe and welcoming environment.

Schedule: 10:30 AM – 3:30 PM, Saturday and/or Sunday.

Typical volunteer activities include:

  • Welcoming visitors to the Sanctuary, and answering visitor questions
  • Directing parking to ensure the most efficient use of our limited parking area
  • Orienting visitors to the Sanctuary by providing information on the tours and schedules
  • Enforcing visitor guidelines in a friendly and firm manner
  • Maintaining ongoing communication with Sanctuary staff, including Welcome Hut, Tours, and Animal Care

Please Note: Due to the public relations component of this role, additional duties, qualifications and training will be discussed by a Sanctuary representative after you have indicated Weekend Tour Greeter as a volunteer interest area; greeters do not need to be available every Saturday or Sunday during our open season.

Learn more about our Sanctuary tours.

Our national program connects volunteer mentors with individuals for one-on-one individualized support to help them become and remain vegan. As a mentor, you’ll answer questions, share information and resources, discuss challenges and celebrate successes.

Research shows that a supportive environment is vital for helping people become and remain vegan — and we’ve created a program designed to support mentors in guiding others.

The New Leaf Vegan Mentor Program is right for you if you’ve been vegan for one year or more, can spare one to four hours per week, and are enthusiastic about sharing your vegan knowledge and experience.

Volunteers receive a free training in vegan mentorship, gain new vegan advocacy skills, make a difference in someone’s life, help save animals and the planet, and join a powerful community of vegans who share your values.

Learn more about the New Leaf Vegan Mentor Program.

Our Outreach department is responsible for raising awareness of the Sanctuary’s emergency rescue work and innovative educational programs, as well as increasing stakeholder engagement. In addition, the Outreach team oversees special fundraising and educational events.

Typical volunteer activities include:

  • Representing the Sanctuary at vegan/vegetarian food festivals, animal rights and environmental conferences, and other networking events
  • Helping plan and execute on- and off-site special events
  • Assisting with research projects and data entry
  • Performing other tasks and duties, as assigned

Our Outreach department oversees the creation, planning and execution of special events, including but not limited to Cocktails & CowTales, our annual fundraiser in New York City; Shindig, our on-site summer festival; and Gobble & Groove, our on-site fall festival.

Typical volunteer activities include:

  • Setting up, breaking down and cleaning up
  • Greeting guests and processing check-ins
  • Directing parking during on-site events
  • Staffing raffle, silent auction and merchandise tables
  • Serving food
  • Soliciting and securing product donations for raffles/auctions
  • Ensuring the safety of animal residents during on-site events
  • Performing other tasks and duties, as assigned

Check our Special Events Calendar for upcoming events.

There are many special projects at the Sanctuary that contribute to our mission of rescuing, protecting and caring for farmed animals in need. Due to our limited resources, most of these projects cannot be completed without the time and special skills of volunteers.

We will update this section of our Volunteer page regularly to inform you of our needs related to special projects.

Currently, Catskill Animal Sanctuary is seeking volunteers for the following special projects:

1. Interior Painting – The Homestead and Welcome Hut (weekdays only)

2. Exterior Painting – Fences, Buildings, and Portable Shelters

Individuals with an interest in volunteering professional skills (e.g., carpentry, engineering, inventory management, data processing, marketing, landscaping, mechanics, etc.) on or off-site are encouraged to apply.

Offsite opportunities vary throughout the year and may include assisting with the promotion of special projects, event support, identifying and procuring donations of money and/or supplies, and more.

We will post offsite and special project opportunities when they are available, so please check back, sign up for our newsletter to receive updates or email jobs@casanctuary.org with your idea for how you want to help!

Important Information

For your safety, as well as the safety of our animal residents, the minimum age to volunteer is 12; volunteers who are 12 to 15 years old must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

To operate any Sanctuary vehicles or equipment, all volunteers (of any age) must have a valid license and be trained and approved by staff.

Before arriving at the Sanctuary to volunteer for the first time, please complete the online Volunteer Interest Form. You will receive an email with next steps, once we receive your completed form.

If you have volunteered at the Sanctuary before, please complete the online Volunteer Schedule Request Form, ideally at least seven days prior to your requested shift to allow us to schedule accordingly. After submission, a Sanctuary staff member will contact you to confirm.

Please Note: When you commit to a volunteer shift, you become a valuable member of our team and play an important role in the success of the Sanctuary’s mission. Our staff scheduling and task assignments are based on the assumption requested and confirmed volunteer shifts will be filled. For that reason, we ask that you please refrain from making a commitment that you may not be able to fulfill. If you are not available to complete your confirmed volunteer shift(s), please send an email to jobs@casanctuary.org as far in advance as possible. By doing so, the Sanctuary may be able to fill the shift with another volunteer or staff member.

If there are more than four members in your group, please email jobs@casanctuary.org to schedule your volunteer shift.

If you have any special needs or service animals, please contact us directly at jobs@casanctuary.org so we can plan volunteer activities for you ahead of time.

1. Check the weather forecast for zip code 12477, and dress/pack accordingly.

2. Wear weatherproof clothes and boots that you wouldn’t mind getting muddy.

3. Bring work gloves, if you have them.

4. Bring sunscreen and rain gear, as needed.

5. Pack a vegan ‘brown bag’ lunch (no meat or dairy, please, out of respect for the animals).