The volunteers of Pet Search give to the animals any way possible. As volunteers, they provide whatever services fit into their busy schedules. The following volunteer opportunities are available to people who really love animals…

Call, email, or stop by any event and ask us how you can help!

Foster Homes

The foster home program is the most important part of Pet Search. Domestic animals in need are matched up with a foster home, according to the needs and personality of the pet. The pet is housed in a family environment until a suitable home can be matched up for the pet. The foster home needs to provide a safe, secure, and loving environment for the pet until a suitable new home can be found. The foster pet is treated the same as a family pet in the foster home. All financial responsibility for the pet is absorbed by Pet Search veterinary care, food, litter, toys, etc. The foster home coordinator screens the prospective family and is responsible for filling out the adoption agreement with the family . The foster home has the final say in the placement of the pet, since they know the pet better than anyone else, as it is living in their home.

Foster applications
Microsoft Word:  Foster home application
PDF:  Foster home application


Pet Therapy

Pets are taken to a senior citizen areas, nursing facilities, group homes throughout the area to bring enjoyment to the residents of these facilities. Pet Therapy is scheduled usually in the evening, once a month around the volunteer’s schedule. Pets that attend pet therapy do not need to be a registered therapy pet; they are required, however, to be current on inoculations and to be healthy, clean, and very sociable, since the residents love to hold and pet as much as possible. This is a very rewarding program as it take about an hour of a volunteer’s time and brings much joy to the residents. This is also a way that boy/girl scouts can earn merit badges for community service.

Humane Education

Volunteers are scheduled to meet formally/informally with groups of adults or children to discuss Pet Search programs, care for pets, reasons for altering pets, pet first aid, etc. Pets can also betaken to these programs. These programs are generally 1/2 hour long (depending on the age of the audience) and are free. Many groups, however, give a donation for the service for the homeless pets.


The fundraising aspect of Pet Search is very important to the success of the programs, as this is what pays for all the services. Pet Search attends a variety of events ranging from dog and cat shows, to craft fairs and community events. The items sold at the booth are primarily made by the volunteers and supports of pet search to be sold to benefit the pets and the programs provided.

  • Volunteers at booths: Volunteers are needed to donate a 2-4-hour shift to work at the fundraising booth – selling items, handing out literature, answering questions about Pet Search and the programs. it is a great way to spend an afternoon or evening in terms of meeting other animals lovers and sharing the good work of Pet Search.
  • Donation Cats: Donation cats are placed at local businesses to collect donations used for the care and placement of the animals in the program. Donation cats need to be picked up monthly and replaced with empty containers. These containers are located throughout the area (usually in the area where the volunteer lives).
  • Crafts: Animal-related crafts are very popular with people that stop and shop at the Pet Search booth. Crafts ranging from picture frames and jewelry to handmade toys such as chew men and catnip snacks are sought after by shoppers all over the area. Homemade treats are also very special for our four-legged friends. Crafts can be donated, or the crafter may turn in receipts for the materials used for reimbursement.

Checking References / Following Up on Adoptions

Checking the references of prospective new parents is very important to ensure that the pet is going to a healthy, caring environment where the pet’s health is considered important. The foster home coordinator will ask the new parent for the name and telephone number of the veterinarian used; a phone call is made to make sure that the family does keep the pets healthy and inoculations to date. Volunteers are also needed to follow up on adoptions to see if there are questions, concerns, or problems concerning the pet and/or placement.

Visitations to Homes of Prospective/New Parents

Volunteers are needed to schedule and visit the homes of prospective new families and to follow up with adoptions by making visits to the new family’s home at a mutually convenient time for both the volunteer and the new family. This helps ensure a safe and healthy environment for the pet and also to make sure that all articles of the adoption agreement are being met by the new family.

Transportation of Pets to Veterinarians

Pet Search feels that we can guarantee the health of the pet by having the pet vet checked, wormed, altered, if appropriate for the age of the pet, and all shots prior to adoption. Volunteers are needed to transport animals to the veterinarian and pick up animals after surgery. Veterinarians are needed for morning, afternoon, and evening appointments.

Off-SIte Adoptathons/On-Site Adoptathons

Volunteers are needed to take pets to on-site adoption areas, such as PetsMart at Strabane Square and Petco at Trinity Point in Washington ,Tractor Supply in Washington and Petco in Wheeling for weekend adoptathons. The pets and volunteers are available during Saturday and/or Sunday afternoons for visits and socialization; the volunteers can answer questions about the pets being shown.

On Site Adoptions occur at the home of the foster family where potential new parents and pets can spend time in the animal’s environment. Appointments are made based on the foster home’s schedule.

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Feral Cat Rescue

The overpopulation of homeless cats has tripled in the last two years. One homeless female cat can produce over one million cats in her lifetime through the overbreeding of these unwanted pets. Feral cats can carry diseases such as feline leukemia and feline AIDS and can spread these deadly diseases throughout colonies. Volunteers are needed for trapping of feral homeless cats throughout southwestern Pa. The cats need to be transported in traps to various veterinarian hospitals in the area for Felv/FIV testing and spaying/neutering. Cats that have potential to be family pets are relocated to foster homes after altering; feral cats are re-released several days after surgery to new and existing colonies that are maintained by colony caretakers.

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