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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 2 – 3 weeks of attending orientation
  • We ask that you be available to volunteer with us for at least one time per month. This can be fulfilled in a variety of capacities such as transport, adoption events, pack walks or at our Adoption Center or ISO House.
  • We ask that you purchase and wear OTAT gear when volunteering at our Adoption Center during open hours and at all offsite adoption events and pack walks.

All volunteers must be 18 years of age or older, be able to lift 30 lbs (approx weight of a bag of dog food!) and attend a volunteer orientation.

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 Cara@onetail.org 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 Volunteer Orientation

Volunteer orientations take place about 2-3 times every month at our Adoption Center in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood (2144 N. Wood Street). 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. The front door will open 10 minutes prior to the orientation start time. New orientation dates will be posted during the first week of every month. We look forward to seeing you at an upcoming orientation!

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 heather@onetail.org.



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 Heather@OneTail.org 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.