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** As of October, we have resumed virtual volunteer orientations which we host 1-2 times per month. Register via Eventbrite! **

Thanks for your interest in volunteering with One Tail at a Time! We depend greatly on animal lovers like you to care for and help spread the word about our adoptable dogs!

Some things to know about being a new volunteer with OTAT:

  • We ask that you complete your first volunteer shift within 1-2 weeks of attending orientation
  • We ask that you be available to volunteer at least once every 2 weeks.
  • All volunteers must be 18 years of age or older, be able to lift 30 lbs (approx bag of dog food!), and attend an orientation.

All volunteers must be 18 years of age or older.

Please note: Our Adoption Center is not currently handicapped accessible, but we would be happy to let you know how you can volunteer your time from home. Contact [email protected] to learn more about our donor engagement team!

Looking for opportunities for kids and teens?

To see how youth can best support our pups, visit this page!

You may also be interested in our monthly story time.

Looking to volunteer as a group?

Head here to see how your group can get involved.

Next Virtual Volunteer Orientation

To register, select the date/time that works for your schedule and click ‘Register Now!’ in the Eventbrite box. Space at each orientation is limited to 25 people and must be reserved in advance. If you claim a ticket/spot, but later cannot use it – please “refund” your ticket on Eventbrite so someone else can take your spot.

Orientation full?

Get our updates to be the first to know when our next orientation is scheduled!

Volunteers can help by


One Tail’s Adoption Center, in the heart of Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood, is a temporary home for up to 10 dogs at a time. Because our staff is small, volunteers play an important part in socializing the dogs, exercising them in our yard and outdoor runs, and of course, clean kennels (among other duties). After volunteering for several shifts, volunteers are also invited to give our dogs a break from the shelter life by taking them on field trips or sleepovers.


Looking to volunteer your time through pro bono professional services? One Tail is often in need of professional services in graphic design, marketing, PR and printing, as well as dog-related services such as boarding, daycare, walking and grooming. Have another skill set you would like to donate? Send an email to [email protected].



We are greatly in need of volunteers that are able to transport to / from adoption events.  Volunteer transporters are eligible for reimbursement at $0.14/mile for gas and play a huge part in helping to run our rescue smoothly.


Spending as little as a few hours on a weekend afternoon can make a difference in finding a dog his or her new home. Volunteers provide the invaluable service of handling and introducing dogs to interested families. Events are often held every weekend. View our calendar of events.


We are open to YOUR ideas to help our dogs! Email [email protected] with questions or ideas.

Looking for other ways to help?


It’s simple—without our growing team of Members, OTAT wouldn’t have the resources to save lives when we’re most needed. Become a Member for just $10 each month, and we’ll send you new swag each year to celebrate!


Once they’re rescued, every OTAT dog starts their new life in a foster home. We’ll provide all the supplies and support you need to care for your new roommate; all we ask is that you give them lots of love and patience while they adjust to the good life! Learn more about fostering.

OTAT Committed Club

Congratulations to our Committed Club volunteers who have each dedicated more than 120 hours to our pups!


Alex Larkin, Alyssa Frewen, Anne Lombaer, Bill Mayeroff, Dana Mueller, Genviéve Snyder, Holly Anderson, Kelsey, Leyva, Lisa Tuszl, Liz Czarnecki, Misako Aoki, Rochelle Miller


Anne Lombaer, Crystal Rosales, Dani Poplin,  Geneviève Snyder, Jessie Kremer, Jim Seiler, Holly Anderson, Kaitlin Obermeyer, Katie Seddon, Lindsay Bentley, Lindsay Biagi, Tiffany Tran (with Jupiter, the dog)

Not pictured:
Brenda Ramirez, Danielle Holtz, Erin Pierzynski, Katrina Mata, Misako Yancey

Andy McDermott, Emily Speelman, Jon Davis, Kaitlyn Selser, Laura Johnston, Misako Yancey, Monica Niemczewski, Natalie Deschaine, Perla Sanchez, Rochelle Miller, Shannon Friziellie (with Mikey, the dog)

Not pictured:
Bob Fisch, Brandi King, Katie Hartmann, Meradey Berger, Monica Michalski, Stephanie Genta

Alex Claiborne, Alli Dumphy, Alli MacGregor, Christy Corbin, Hilary Nieman, Jillian Braun, Lisa Tuszl, Maggie Hudson, Melissa D’Lando, Melissa Kula, Olga Bernad, Rebecca Overman (with Champ, the dog)

Not pictured:
Iris Santiago, Jahn Marie Parise, Jane Higgins, Julie Schultz, Lauren Rice, Megan Gilbert, Michelle Nacheman, Shelby Bertness