Animal Volunteer Opportunities Abound in NWA

Animal Volunteer Opportunities Abound in NWA
Photo by Stephanie Conway Cadence Conway, one of the youngest volunteers for the Fayetteville Animal Shelter, poses with the two puggle sisters Blaire and Claire that she walked at the Fayetteville Farmer’s Market.

Photo by Stephanie Conway
Cadence Conway, one of the youngest volunteers for the Fayetteville Animal Shelter, poses with the two puggle sisters Blaire and Claire that she walked at the Fayetteville Farmer’s Market.

Whether you have a few hours a month or a few hours a week to spare, there are endless opportunities to help homeless pets in Northwest Arkansas. Shelters and rescues rely heavily on a strong volunteer base to help fulfill their mission of no more homeless pets. It takes a village to care for the animals and there are many options available for a person that wants to get involved and make their community a better place:

Pet Photographer

Photographers capture the unique personality of each dog and/or cat and uploads the photos and descriptions to Petfinder. A picture is worth a thousand words and having an eye-catching Petfinder profile is key to helping a pet get adopted.

Dog Walker

Dog walkers are critical to the success of any shelter because it gives the dogs their much needed exercise as well as human interaction. Both a.m. and p.m. shifts are available and volunteers can sign up on a scheduled basis depending on the volunteer’s availability.

You can also be an event dog-walker. This involves picking a dog up from the shelter and traveling to an adoption event. The most common off-site adoption event for Fayetteville Animal Shelter is Farmers Market on Saturday mornings. Other events pop up throughout the year but Farmers Market is the most popular and consistent. This is a great option for volunteers because its the most flexible.

Foster Parent

Fostering a dog or cat is a true gift to both the shelter and the pet. It frees up space at the shelter for other cats and dogs; and it gives the pet an opportunity to live and be loved on in a home environment. Fostering does involve a high level of commitment because a foster parent would need to be promoting the pet as adoptable. That would include taking the foster to adoption events and getting their information out on social media, etc. It is extremely rewarding work!

Cat Socializer

Photo by Stephanie Conway Dirk, the Doxie

Photo by Stephanie Conway
Dirk, the Doxie

For shelter cats, getting out of their cage and interacting with a volunteer is the highlight of their day. Whether they are being snuggled or engaged in play, a kitty needs to be socialized in order to be more adoptable.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer and would like more information, please contact one of the many shelters in NWA. For a full listing of area shelters, visit

September Fundraisers and Dog Friendly Events:

  • Doggy POOL-ooza Party benefiting Tailwaggers of Siloam Springs is set for Sept. 12 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Siloam Springs Aquatic Park. Dogs take over the pool for an end-of-summer swim. It’s $10 per dog and humans are free! There will be food available and contests including a relay race, frisbee toss and costume contest. All dogs must be on a 6-foot leash when not in the water.
  • Nomads Music Lounge will be offering a special dog menu on Saturday, Sept. 12, for their monthly Pups on the Patio from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Menu includes $2 Dog Smoothies, $2 Chicken Sno-Cones and $3 Treat Platter, as well as a full food menu and craft beer selections. Ten percent of all sales are donated to the Washington County Animal Shelter and adoptable dogs will be available.
  • One of Fayetteville’s newest bars, Big Star Lounge, is hosting a dog and cat food drive benefiting Rangers Pantry on Wednesday, Sept. 16, at 5 p.m. Bring donations of dog and/or cat food and enjoy an evening of fun…this one is for two-leggers only.
  • BYOD (bring your own dog) to Yappy Hour benefiting the Animal League of Washington County Sept. 17, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the Mermaids Restaurant patio in Fayetteville. A $10 admission includes appetizers, music and gourmet dog treats.
  • Doxie enthusiasts do not want to miss the ”Weiner Takes All” Weinie Dog Races on Sept. 19 during the Bella Vista Hay Days. Pre-registration preferred and racing fee is $20.00. Racers check in at 10 a.m., racing starts at 11 a.m. Definitely worth the drive to Bella Vista. Visit for a list of activities.
  • Everyone is invited to take part in the Tailwaggers 5K Trail Run or 1 mile fun run on Sept. 26 at Bob Henry Park in Siloam Springs. Runners, walkers, animal lovers, families, everyone welcome, DOGS too! 5K or one mile fun walk, bounce house, children’s obstacle course, face painting, adoptable animals and lots of FUN! It’s $20 in advance and $25 the day of the race (includes t-shirt and goody bag for the first 100 signed up).

Hope to see you around town or at one of these great events!

xoxo Dirk and Stephanie

Visit for links to these events!

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