4Paws Rescue Team Volunteer

The Kitties Need You


The 4Paws Rescue Team operates with an all-volunteer work force. To become a 4Paws volunteer, fill out this volunteer contract. The number of feline lives we can save is directly related to the generosity of those who give their time to our cause.

Different volunteer activities require varying degrees of commitment, ranging from 30-minutes per week to in-home foster care.

To stay update on urgent volunteer requests, follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our volunteer email newsletter.

Types of Volunteers

cat with tie

Volunteer Coordinators

We are urgently looking for volunteers to dedicate a couple of hours a week to help coordinate our volunteer and foster community. Email [email protected] if you are interested.


Front Office Help

These individuals would answer emails, return calls, and review paperwork to help us place our current foster cats and process more cats and kittens into loving homes.

Foster Homes

Foster homes offer temporary housing for cats and kittens. 4Paws pays for pre-authorized vet services. Fosters provide food, shelter, and love. Fosters transport their wards to and from adoption fairs, usually held 2x month in Northern Virginia Petco stores. The time commitment varies from a few weeks to a couple of months depending upon the volunteer’s availability.

In-Store Care

These individuals are asked to commit to one hour each week to care for the cats that are temporarily housed at Petco stores in the Northern Virginia area.

Volunteers give the cats fresh food and water, scoop the litter, clean the cages and provide love and attention to the cats at the store of their choice. Due to Petco’s store policy, store volunteers must be at least 18 years of age.  

Adoption Fair Set-Up

Volunteers are needed to help set up cages for adoption fairs. For Petco Fairfax the setup takes place the Friday night before a show and lasts approximately one hour. Other locations vary.

Due to Petco’s store policy, adoption fair assistants must be at least 18 years of age.

Event Assistants

Assistants help run an adoption fair one or two Saturdays each month. Volunteers talk to potential adopters and help them handle cats available for adoption. At the end, volunteers dismantle the cages.

Due to Petco’s store policy, adoption fair assistants must be at least 18 years of age.

Home Visit Inspectors

Volunteers set up appointments with adopters to visit their homes and pets. New volunteers are trained by an experienced person and briefed on appropriate responses to questions that may arise. The visits usually take twenty minutes and are limited to the geographical location requested by the volunteer.

cat in carrier for transport

Cat Transport

Volunteers are needed to transport cats for a variety of reasons. Sometimes cats need transportation from a store to the vet; other times they need to be moved from one Petco store to another. Requests are usually flexible to fit the volunteer’s schedule. Most frequent need for transportation is on the weekend and during the day on weekdays. Please fill out the form below to become a cat transport volunteer.

barn mouser cat and kitten

Barn Cat Adopters

Some sweet, but shy, city cats have few options for a decent life. They are perfect for a warm barn in the country!

Contact us if you have or know of a barn for some of these cats. We deliver these diligent mouser cats (altered and vaccinated) and provide advice on integrating them into barn life. Your new barn cats will earn their keep by helping to control the rodent population, and you’ll be saving a feline life (or two!).

Voicemail Returns

Volunteers can return calls from people who need help placing their pets or stray cats that they have found. These volunteers are asked to commit to check the voicemail three times each week and return approximately five calls each time.

Note: Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult while listening to and returning voicemails.

Web Help and Upkeep

Do you have experience maintaining websites, developing digital content, or measuring online performance? Reach out to our web team at [email protected] with some of your skills and interest areas. The time commitment is flexible with your skills and availability.

You can also support our digital presence by renewing our web hosting or purchasing social media ads. Our website, email, and social presence are all funded through volunteer hours and web-specific donations.

Volunteer Spotlights from the Blog

Volunteer Spotlight: Rochelle Millard
Rochelle has been a volunteer with 4Paws for 4 years. She started …
<strong>Foster Volunteer Spotlight: Ashley Motley</strong>
Zaater came into 4Paws from Kuwait and was diagnosed with Dry FIP. …
2022 Message from the President: Barbara Lipson
4Paws volunteers continue to rescue homeless cats from local and rural shelters …
<strong>Foster Volunteer Spotlight: Kitty Pettus</strong>
This is Freyja. Freyja was at a kill shelter in North Carolina …
Rescue Spotlight: Puddin
Puddin came to 4Paws from Afghanistan. One of our volunteers graciously drove …
Foster Spotlight: Petrol
Petrol was found at a gas station in rural Maryland. He was …
Volunteer Spotlight: Karen Ortega, Fairfax Petco Store Coordinator
My volunteering story with 4Paws began in Spring 2018, when I went …
Volunteer Spotlight: Edith Rochon
More than twenty years ago my husband and I had our first …
Volunteer Spotlight: Natalie Mulloy
I decided I’d become a volunteer for 4Paws the day that I …
Pet Transporters Needed
Volunteers are needed to transport cats for a variety of reasons. We …
Volunteer Spotlight: Sharon Lawrie
I am the 4Paws Coordinator for Meows Corner. I am the primary …
Volunteer Spotlight: Carol Stone
Our first adoptions from 4Paws were three kittens in the early 2000s. …
Volunteer Spotlight: Sandy Uhler
It was magic. Sandy Uhler, now known to many 4Paws volunteers, cannot …
Adoption Spotlight: Rudy
Hello, my name is Rudy. I used to be called Amrullah. I …
Foster Volunteer Spotlight: Melissa Matthews and Bryan Davies
Our Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) saga started last October, when ‘Ginger’ one …