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Volunteering with our animals is a rewarding experience. The animals enjoy the extra attention and exercise from our volunteers who provide love and support to the animals. There are various opportunities in the shelter, at our partnering adoption sites or at events for volunteers. If you volunteer at the shelter, you must be available to volunteer during our open hours; for off-site events and the Machesney Park Petsmart days and times will vary.

Court ordered community service does not fall under our regular volunteer program. You must arrange with your probation officer or whoever is supervising your court ordered public service to be assigned to complete your hours at Animal Services. Court ordered community service involves but is not limited to washing dishes, doing laundry, mopping and vaccuming. Please make arrangements through your probation officer at the Adult Probation office. Do not fill out a volunteer application if you are required by the court to do public service.

To join our regular volunteer program, volunteers must be a least 18 years old and pass a background check. All cats and dogs that live at the volunteer’s address must be current with a rabies shot and county rabies tag. All volunteers must attend an initial orientation and a brief mentoring period. You can live outside Winnebago County unless you want to foster.

All volunteers will be asked to read, understand, and adhere to the Winnebago County Workplace Bullying Policy.

Volunteer Board meetings are held the first Tuesday of each month at 6pm.

If interested in volunteering, please see the list of opportunities below and view the New Volunteer Orientation document. A volunteer application is available at the end of the orientation document. Adobe Acrobat is required to view the presentation. Once you complete the application, you will be contacted if we need more information or about the mentoring schedule. Thank you!

Volunteer Opportunities

Animal Caretaker and Adoption Counseling

  • Directly involved in aiding with exercise, socialization and training of our cats and dogs.

  • Great opportunity for volunteers with strong person-to-person skills.

  • Help match potential pet owners with suitable pets.

  • Ask visitors questions and gather information about their lifestyle and what they are looking for to ensure a happy, satisfying adoption.

Foster Care

  • Great opportunity for volunteers with a nurturing personality who have a little extra room in their home or who want to house a temporary pet.

  • Help take care of kittens or puppies that are too young to be adopted or adults that need a little bit of extra care and socialization. Animals available for foster may include those with upper respiratory, kennel cough, injured, needing socialization, or long-term residents.

  • We also have a Foster-based Adoption program for frightened or long-term residents where the foster parent may take the animal to training and promotes the animal for adoption through social media, adoption events and word-of-mouth.

  • All foster volunteers must be Winnebago County residents, and all your cats and dogs must be current with vaccinations and spayed or neutered.

2016 Fosters Infographic

PetSmart Adoption

  • Distribute information and answer questions about WCAS, adoption, various pet related issues, educate the public on the problem of pet overpopulation, spaying or neutering, and microchip identification.

  • Volunteers are required to handle cats available for adoption and complete adoption paperwork once a cat is adopted.

  • Duties include cleaning and sanitizing cages, replacing bedding if needed, changing food and water and giving playtime. We do have transport opportunities for volunteer willing to transport cats to and from the Wisconsin Petsmart locations. Must have a flexible schedule and be available to pick up at WCAS during regular business hours Monday-Friday.

Internet Photos

  • Excellent opportunity for volunteers who enjoy taking pictures.

  • Pictures increase the dog or cat's adoptability by showing its personality

Events and Fundraising

  • Excellent opportunity for volunteers who enjoy fundraising activities and organizing events.

  • Volunteers are also needed for setup at events, manning information table, and handling adoptable animals.

ID Your Cat or Dog!

Use a rabies tag, microchip, or an ID tag with your name and current phone number.

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Want to adopt a particular breed of dog or cat? Click to contact us!

Winnebago County Animal Services
4517 North Main Street
Rockford, IL 61103
P: 815-319-4100
F: 815-319-4101

Shelter Hours:
Monday: 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Tuesday-Friday: 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday: 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Sunday: CLOSED
*Please note, all adoptions end 30 minutes prior to closing.

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