Young at Heart is a volunteer-based organization, and our big-hearted volunteers are people just like you with a love of older pets and some time to spare. We need volunteers to help us run special events, transport pets, help with fundraisers, adoption events and more! If you have a love of animals and are willing to roll up your sleeves, dig in and help out, read on!

All volunteers are required to attend a one hour volunteer orientation session and must pass a criminal background check in order to begin volunteering. We host small orientations several times a month. Each session holds a maximum of 10 people, so they fill up fast!

If you’re in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago, you can make a tremendous contribution to Young at Heart’s wonderful work by volunteering your time and your talent. Please check out some of our ongoing volunteer opportunities below and contact us about volunteering to get started! 

Children: Junior Volunteers age 8 or older are welcome to volunteer at Young at Heart with a parent. We are inviting parents with children interested in volunteering to attend our volunteer orientation session with their child.  Junior volunteers do not undergo a background check, but it is required of each parent/guardian that would like to volunteer alongside their child.

Community Service: For liability reasons, we cannot accept court-appointed community service hour volunteers. We can only accept organizational and educational community service hours at this time. 

General Volunteer Info

Opportunities are shared with volunteers via email, and as an approved volunteer, you may pick and choose the opportunities that suit your schedule and preferences. It takes a village to save and care for senior pets, and if everyone gives a little time, we can make a big difference!

Volunteer Opportunities

Adoption Center in Woodstock, IL

Young at Heart's new adoption center for senior dogs and cats is located in Woodstock, IL. There are SO many volunteer opportunities available! Volunteer shifts usually consist of a required combination of adoption center cleaning duties and animal interaction/care. New volunteer orientations are held on a regular basis at the adoption center. Please note that all volunteers must undergo and pass a criminal background check as part of our insurance requirements for allowing kids to volunteer and for having a junior volunteer club. We have a tiered volunteer program that allows each volunteer more privileges the more they volunteer. Our current volunteer hours are currently the same hours that we are open to the public: Tue - Fri from 11am - 4pm and Saturday 11-2; Closed Sunday/Monday.

Outreach / Adoption Events

Young at Heart holds many adoption events throughout the Chicago suburbs where we bring our available dogs to meet the public. We need volunteers who enjoy working with people and are enthusiastic about promoting animal adoption to help set up, talk to the public about our organization, care for the dogs during the event, and promote adoptions.


Our foster homes are the heart of our organization, where senior pets get the love and comfort of being in a home while waiting for adoption. All of our senior animals are rescued from shelters where they have as few as 3 days to get out or they will be euthanized. Foster homes, whether long term or short term, help us rescue these senior pets from a very sad fate. Without them, we would not be able to rescue the senior pets that we do. The more foster homes we have, the more lives we can save!

Learn more about becoming a Young at Heart foster parent here.

If you are interested in pursuing this opportunity, please a complete a foster application, so we can match a foster pet to you, your home and lifestyle.

Pet Taxi Team

Members of this team will be on call to transport our dogs & cats to and from adoption events, vet appointments, shelters, and foster homes. We are also always in need of Pet Taxi Team members willing to run supplies to foster homes.

Club Grand Paw™ Team

Young at Heart’s senior to senior program, Club Grand Paw™, is an enhanced senior to senior adoption program. Volunteers assist with getting Club Grand Paw™ pets to the vet, groomer, check in on adopters as often as every week, and help to ensure both senior pet and senior adopter have the support system they need to enjoy each other in their golden years.

Special Event Planning

Young at Heart holds a number of special fundraising events throughout the year that are a major source of our revenue. We need volunteers to help in every stage of planning and facilitating these special events which include our annual Mutt Mosey fundraiser walk and our Silver Paws Gala.


Got other skills that Young at Heart can use? Tell us about them and we'll put you to work!

I'm Interested! What's next?

If you’re in the Northwest suburbs of IL and can help out on a regular or on an as-needed basis, drop us a note about volunteering to find out when the next volunteer orientation is to get you started! 

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