Watch CBS News

Best Volunteer Opportunities For Animal Lovers In OC

OC Zoo header 610x250
(credit: Orange County Parks And Recreation)

It's easy to fall in love with animals, particularly when they end up without a home. If you are an animal lover, there are lots of ways you can help and work with them. Most animal-care centers have volunteer programs that allow you to work with the furry creatures you love so much. These are the best places in the county for you to volunteer with animals.

(credit: OC Animal Care)

OC Animal Care
561 The City Drive S.
Orange, CA 92868
(714) 935-6848

OC Animal Care is an open-admission shelter for animals that are injured or given up by their owners. Animals can stay at this shelter as long as they are healthy both in body and temperament. This shelter has plenty of opportunities for both youth and adult volunteers. If you have a child or group of children who wants to get involved, you'll find plenty of ideas for them to pitch in. Adults can get involved by walking dogs, socializing animals and many other ways. You must complete a volunteer orientation if you would like to get involved.

(credit: CBS)

Orange County Humane Society
21632 Newland St.
Huntington Beach, CA 92646
(714) 536-8480

The Humane Society has a lot of ways to get involved with both the animals and the organization. You can apply to help walk dogs, or to be a cat cuddler, which just might be the cutest job title ever. Both of those positions are between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Volunteers must be 18 or older with health insurance, and must contribute at least eight hours a month. You can also benefit the Humane Society by participating in its regular charity events such as golf tournaments, banquets as well as much-needed fundraising events.

(credit: CBS)

The Pet Rescue Center
25800 Jeronimo Road, Suite 100
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
(877) 277-7938

The Pet Rescue Center is a non-profit organization that provides a sanctuary for animals from a variety of places. Animals come here from shelters, veterinarians and rescue groups and stay while a home is sought for them. Volunteer opportunities abound here from hands-on opportunities like socializing animals and transporting them to adoption events to social media and keeping up the website. If you're interested, applications are available on the Pet Rescue Center website.

Related: Best Dog-Walking Trails In Orange County

OC zoo FB
(credit: OC Zoo)

OC Zoo
1 Irvine Park Road
Irvine, CA 92869
(714) 973-6847

The zoo seems like a natural workplace for any animal lover, and the OC Zoo offers lots of ways to get involved. You can apply to be a regular volunteer, in which you can get involved with animal keepers or with general maintenance of the zoo. Docent volunteers are part of the education programs offered by the zoo. Docent volunteers may give tours, classes or other special educational projects. All volunteers must be at least 18 years old. Applications are available on the zoo's website.

Dickens the German Shepherd
(credit: Coastal German Shepherd Rescue)

German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County
120 Tustin Ave. Suite C-1111
Newport Beach, CA 92663
(714) 974-7762

The dogs that come to the German Shepherd Rescue generally arrive there because previous owners move or can no longer find the time for a pet. Whatever the reason, it's unfortunate that the dogs end up there. However, you can help by walking dogs, taking them to adoption events and a lot of other ways while the dogs await a home where they can stay for the rest of their lives. Volunteer opportunities are available for those less than 18 years old, but volunteers must be 18 or older to work directly with the dogs.

Related: Best Pet-Friendly Restaurants In Orange County

Gary Schwind is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. His work can be found on

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.