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Become a RedRover Responders Volunteer

RedRover Responders volunteers are the backbone of our efforts to provide lifesaving care and sheltering for animal victims of natural disasters, cruelty and neglect. Volunteers come from across the country and all walks of life, but they have one thing in common: a commitment to helping animals in need.

We welcome volunteers with all levels of experience, from the casual pet-lover to the seasoned shelter worker. All volunteers must meet our qualifications described below and complete our volunteer training program, which includes a half-day workshop and completing the online FEMA course IS-100b: Introduction to the Incident Command System.

RedRover Responders volunteer training program

What do volunteers do?

Once volunteers complete the training program, they are eligible to be deployed to a RedRover emergency animal shelter. Some of the duties volunteers may perform at an emergency shelter include:

  • Setting up and dismantling the shelter
  • Walking, grooming and socializing the animals
  • Feeding animals and cleaning cages
  • Organizing supply donations
  • Reuniting animals with caregivers
  • Assist with evidence gathering in cruelty cases
  • Assisting with veterinary care by taking notes or transporting animals to and from their cages

When they are not volunteering at an emergency animal shelter, RedRover Responders volunteers may choose to stay engaged by:

  • Volunteering at their local animal shelter
  • Completing training courses in disaster preparedness, such as those offered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Completing training courses in pet first aid and CPR
  • Helping their own community improve its pet disaster preparedness
  • Representing RedRover at educational events, such as disaster preparedness fairs
  • Representing RedRover at meetings of local emergency preparedness community organizations, such as CERT, CART/SART or VOAD
  • Attending animal handling and behavior conferences or workshops
  • Providing office assistance at RedRover's headquarters in Sacramento

RedRover is unique in its use of its volunteers in leadership roles. Volunteers who gain some experience and have special skills may be able to assist in these unique roles.

  • Facilitating or assisting with volunteer training workshops
  • Leading a team at an emergency animal shelter
  • Capturing video, photographs and interviews at an emergency animal shelter
  • Writing about experiences at an emergency animal shelter 
  • Working closely with RedRover staff to talk with various media 

Qualifications to be a RedRover Responders Volunteer


  • Age 18 years or older
  • An email address that you check regularly and access to the Internet
  • Current tetanus immunization
  • Complete FEMA course IS-100b.
  • Attend an in-person volunteer training workshop
  • Agree to the RedRover Responders Code of Conduct

Highly Recommended:

  • Complete 50 hours of animal handling, preferably at your local shelter or through a rescue group (may be completed after training)
  • Able to withstand the physical demands of deployments, including ability to lift at least 40 pounds, and stand, kneel or bend for long hours in varying temperatures and conditions



View answers to frequently asked questions about volunteering with RedRover Responders.