Volunteer at MAC

Volunteers are an essential part of the inner-workings of McKamey Animal Center and play an important role in saving animal lives in Chattanooga! Volunteers are at the frontlines of helping staff to provide quality love and care for animals and helping get them into forever homes!


We are always looking for passionate, dedicated volunteers to help us further our mission and we can put almost any skill and interest to good use! Check out the available volunteer roles below.

Volunteer Requirements
  • Volunteers 16 years of age or older may volunteer independently.
  • Volunteers age 10-15 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian for all shifts and training.
  • Volunteers must attend a New Volunteer Orientation prior to beginning volunteer service.
  • All volunteers must complete four hours of Essential Shelter Help (non-animal handling tasks) before they are able to work with animals.

  • All volunteers must be willing to commit to a minimum of 6 hours of service each month for at least 6 months, ideally the same 2-hour shift per week.
  • To help with costs and not take away from the animals in our care, volunteers are asked to pay a one-time $25 commitment fee, which covers the cost of your volunteer t-shirt, nametag, and training.
Volunteer Positions

Our dog walkers help us move dogs throughout the shelter and take them on walks to release energy and socialize.

Cat Socializers help our cats learn to interact with people and humans alike. These volunteers help provide positive enrichment to keep our cats happy and comfortable.

Cat and Canine Caretakers closely monitor our animals to make sure any and all needs (cleaning, food, water, socialization, alerting for medical needs, etc…) are met. They are instrumental in keeping our furry friends healthy and happy. The Volunteer has the option to be trained in both areas or an area of their preference.

In this position, volunteers assist staff with performing duties associated with Admissions- including but not limited to the intake of animals, setting and confirming appointments, and conducting lost dog/cat walkthroughs.

Volunteers helping in this area assist with the adoptions process to get animals under MAC’s care to forever homes while providing visitors an excellent customer service experience.

Enrichment Volunteers ensure dogs receive enrichment as often as possible by creating something yummy to eat, something interesting to sniff,  a nice chew toy, or any activity asked by our enrichment team.

MAC hosts special events throughout the year and we can always use help! Special Events volunteer help with set up/tear down, cleaning, interacting with attendees, and more depending on the event!

Volunteers in our Vaccine Clinic assist with pet intake, record keeping, and other administrative tasks.

Our photography team is made of volunteers with varying skill levels who love taking pictures of animals! Anyone can be on this team! We even have a beginners photography class to help you.

Volunteers in this position help MAC staff with administrative tasks like emails, calls, data entry, etc…

We often transport animals to other shelters to ensure we are not over capacity. Volunteers have the opportunity to transport these animals to shelters who will love them as much as we do.

Every volunteer must complete Essential Shelter Help (ESH) training before moving on to animal handling courses and other opportunities. ESH tasks include cleaning cat condos, litter boxes, kennels, and assisting staff with tasks such as laundry and  dishes. This position essentially helps all areas of the Center with essential non-animal handling tasks.

Steps to Getting Started
  1. Please complete a Volunteer Application below.
  2. Once your application is received, our Volunteer Program Manager will be in touch to schedule you for an orientation.  
  3. Attend an orientation, pay your volunteer fee, and get started volunteering at MAC!
  4. After attending your orientation, you will have the ability to sign up for additional training classes, i.e. dog handling, etc. 
Group Volunteering Opportunities

Looking to volunteer with your business or civic group? We would love to have your help! Group activities often include animal interaction time, working on an enrichment project, or whatever else may be needed around MAC, and an educational presentation about animal welfare and MAC’s history! We always love ideas if you have them! Fill out the interest form below to get started! 

We kindly ask for a 30 day notice minimum when submitting a group request form as our group events calendar fills up very quickly!

Community Service Volunteers (CSV)

To be considered for participation in MAC’s Court-Ordered Community Service, individuals must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older;
  • Have no charges or convictions related to sexual crimes, crimes against animals, children or seniors, any violent crimes, or related offenses;
  • Provide official court documentation stating the nature of their offense, the number of hours to be completed and the date by which those hours must be completed;
  • Provide a current driver’s license or other form of photo identification (to be copied on the first day the applicant is scheduled for work hours);
  • Pay a $25.00 application processing fee (to be collected on the first day the applicant is scheduled for work hours).

Court ordered community service volunteers are not permitted to work directly with animals. However, they can perform other tasks that are critical to the work that we do, including:

  • Laundry Services
  • Washing Dishes
  • Scooping Play Yards
  • Garbage Removal
  • Window Washing
  • Sanitizing Crates

Anyone interested in performing their court ordered community service at MAC must be approved in advance – no walk-ins will be accepted

Applications can be submitted here: https://form.jotform.com/212235165175047.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Applicants should expect to wait at least one full week before their application is reviewed. If there is a tight window for completion of hours, applicants should apply to another program.

Applicants will be notified as to whether they have been accepted (usually within one week of submission), when they can begin volunteering and what their schedule will be. Generally speaking, court-ordered community service hours can be scheduled Tuesday through Saturday, 9 AM – 5 PM. Alternate times may be considered by the MAC Volunteer Manager on a case-by-case basis.

Service hours are assigned at MAC’s convenience, based on the organization’s needs and availability. This may or may not coincide with an applicant’s Court-ordered deadlines – again, if there is a tight window for completion of hours, the applicant should apply to another program. Schedules will be determined by MAC, and cannot be altered without express prior approval of the MAC Volunteer Manager.

Applicants are responsible for tracking their own hours, ensuring that MAC’s documentation of their hours completed is accurate, and ensuring that all court-required documents are completed. If there is a dispute as to how many hours have been successfully completed, MAC’s record will be considered official and final. MAC will not be responsible for submitting any paperwork to any agency (except as mandated by law), nor will it be liable for retaining records of copies of work hours completed.

  • CSV Volunteers must arrive on time for their assigned shift(s) – anyone arriving more than 15 minutes late for an assigned shift will be removed from the program.
  • CSV Volunteers must dress appropriately: closed-toed shoes (no sandals) and long pants are required. Clothing must be in good repair (no holes, no rips or tears) and may not have offensive language or messaging. Undergarments (underwear and bras) may not be visible, and excessively sagging pants will require belts. If clothing is deemed unacceptable, the CSV Volunteer will be asked to leave the Center.
  • No weapons of any kind are permitted on MAC property.
  • Cell phones and personal items should be left outside the Center and may not be used on site.
  • Harassment, abuse, intimidation, insubordination or other disrespectful or demeaning treatment of staff, other volunteers or the public will be grounds for immediate dismissal from the program.
  • CSV Volunteers are permitted in assigned areas only – anyone found outside a permitted area may be immediately dismissed from the program.

Have A Question?

If you have a question about the MAC Volunteering program that was not answered on this page, please click below to email our Volunteer Program Manager.

Already A MAC Volunteer?

If you are already a MAC Volunteer, have completed your orientation and have paid your administrative fee, you can login below to sign up for shifts, check your hours, etc.

Contact Us

McKamey Animal Center

4500 N. Access Rd.

Chattanooga, TN 37415

McKamey Animal Center was founded in 2008, serving the pets and people of the cities of Chattanooga, Red Bank and Lakesite, Tennessee. MAC is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit charitable organization.