Volunteer Opportunities

Our dedicated volunteers are the heart and soul of our organization

How You Can Make A Difference

Over 350-plus volunteers generously devote their time to caring for ARF’s stray and abandoned animals. Daily care consists of feeding, walking and exercising, training and socializing animals to prepare them for adoption, cleaning and disinfecting cages and shelter facilities, working with adoptive families, and providing love and companionship.

Additionally, volunteers participate in community awareness programs and adoption events, fundraising events, and educational and social programs.

We are always in need of compassionate helpers! Here are some of the ways you can make a real difference in the lives of our animals.


Dog Companions

Volunteer Dog Companions donate their time and energy to care for our dogs at the shelter. Dog Companion Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older.

We’re looking for dog lovers who can commit at least 2 – 3 hours a week, or every other week. Your shift duties include taking dogs for walks, cleaning up after them, providing fresh water, and giving them plenty of TLC! Volunteers also need to help with laundry (dog bedding & toys) and general clean-up of the Dog House. When possible, special attention is given to the dogs by sitting with them, brushing them or enjoying extra play time in the back pens.

During open hours, Dog Companions also work with prospective adopters, showing our dogs to their potential new families. Interested volunteers can also learn how to perform Adoptions, the last step in our animals’ successful journey to their forever loving home!

Help is needed 7 days a week / 365 days a year!

Weekdays: 9am – 11am, 3:30 pm – 8:00pm
Weekends: 9am – 11am, 1pm – 4pm & 6 – 7:30pm
For more information, contact volunteerwitharf@gmail.com


Feline Friends

Feline Friends donate their time and compassion to our cats at the shelter or at our off-site PETCO and Pet Valu locations. Feline Friend Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older.

We’re looking for cat lovers who can commit to at least two hours a week, or every other week. Your shift duties include making sure cages are clean, providing fresh food and water, helping with laundry (cat bedding and toys), grooming, general clean-up of the Cat House and helping to socialize shy and timid cats. You will also assist in cat adoptions.

Help is needed 7 days a week / 365 days a year!
Weekdays: 3:30 pm – 8:00pm
Weekends: 1pm – 4pm
For more information, contact volunteerwitharf@gmail.com

Off-Site Cat Companions

Berea ARF adopts cats and kittens through several retail partners in the area. Volunteers are needed on a twice-daily basis to clean the cages and provide socialization and exercise for the cats.

We currently feature cat adoptions at three retail partner locations:

Pet Supplies Plus  in Berea

Petco Westgate in Fairview Park

Petco in Strongsville

Volunteer hours vary at each location. If you would like to be a part of the Remote Cat Care team, please contact us for more information at arfcats@bereaanimalrescue.com.


Welcome Desk Receptionist

Our Welcome Desk volunteers make a great first impression for ARF! Duties include greeting and directing visitors, answering the phones and taking messages, and providing information about adoptable animals, events and services to callers. You also may be asked to help keep our beautiful lobby tidy and to assist with other light administrative tasks as needed.

Contact arfwelcomedesk@gmail.com for more information.

Recycling Aluminum Cans

ARF collects aluminum cans in an ongoing recycling program. Our collection bins are located at the shelter and taken weekly to Berea Metal Recycling. We’re not only looking for aluminum can donations but also volunteers to help transport them to our local recycling center. Your efforts help raise $7,000 – $8,000 annually! For more information, please contact Corky Wilson, Recycling Volunteer Coordinator, grammacats@cox.net

Please note — we can process aluminum cans only; dog food cans are steel and are not accepted by our recycler.

If you’re dropping off cans, please be sure to have them in a secure bag. We cannot accommodate loose cans in the recycling bin. Thank you!

Reading to Rescues

Berea ARF’s Reading to Rescues program gives children ages 6 and up the opportunity to spend time reading to cats and dogs at the shelter. Each 30-minute session also includes some enrichment (playtime) with the animal! All children must be accompanied by an adult, and an ARF volunteer will oversee the session. If you’re bringing more than one child, the 30-minute session can be split into shorter segments.

Click on the dog or cat link below to request a time slot. The adult’s name goes on the signup and the child/children’s name goes in the “comment” section.  Please include your phone number. We ask that you only sign up for one slot per month to allow everyone the opportunity to read. If all slots are full and you would like to be placed on a waiting list for any cancellations, email arfdogenrichment@gmail.com and we’ll let you know if an opening becomes available.

If you need to cancel or reschedule your session, please let us know at least 24 hours ahead of time by emailing arfdogenrichment@gmail.com.   If you are not able to let us know within 24 hours, please text  Mary at 440-823-6280.

Sign up to read to dogs here

Sign up to read to cats here

Fundraising and Events Committees

Berea ARF hosts numerous fundraising events throughout the year to help support our operations. The Fundraising Committee is a great way for people to make a real difference for the animals – and it’s also a lot of fun! Help is always needed in planning events, manning the ARF booth at community events, offering ideas for new revenue-generating opportunities, as well as publicity and support.

If you’re interested in learning more, contact arfdevelopmentinfo@gmail.com.

Copyright © 2024 Berea Animal Rescue. All rights reserved.

Berea ARF is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. We rely solely on private contributions, grants and grass roots fundraising to continue our mission.

Website donated by The Dev Q