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! We host virtual volunteer orientations about twice monthly.

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

  • We require volunteers show proof of vaccine via their vaccine card or a photo of their vaccine card and we require masks to be worn over both nose and mouth inside at any of our facilities
  • We ask that you complete your first volunteer shift within 3 weeks of attending orientation
  • We ask that you be available to volunteer at least once every month.
  • 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!

Looking to volunteer as a group?

We have very limited number of group volunteer opportunities during the year, and reserve those for businesses and companies that sponsor our rescue work! Head here for those opportunities and more ways to get involved.

Next Virtual Volunteer Orientation

To register, click the link to our Eventbrite page below. Space at each orientation is limited to 50 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!

***If the next orientations are full or new dates aren’t yet posted,  please enter your email in the spot on this page below to be notified when future dates are posted!

Get Notified of Future Orientations!

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, foster, our Ellis Clinic, etc.! In the event of urgent transportation needs OTAT may elect to reimburse for gas mileage. If you are requesting reimbursement please seek approval from OTAT staff prior to doing the transport.


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, Amy Gawura, Candice Burgess, Carol Brod, Courtney Blackwell, Isabel Kadar, Julie Triphahn, Lali Alcaide, Morgan Pirtle, Yash Varma

Anne Lombaer, Dana Mueller, Erica Zitron, Jane Higgins, Julia Adams, Katya Shcherbakova, Liz Czarnecki, Lizzy Scheinkopf, Megan Brattain, Misako Yancey, Moriel Daniel, Rochelle Miller, Yin Lu

Pictured – Christine Hoffman, Elissa Jacbobsen, Jessica Meincke, Lauren K. Carranza, Melissa Kula, Mike Szczepanski

Not Pictured – Adrienne Pankey, Carla Schwendner, Carolyn Connor, Gina Scaletta, Heena Bhatt, Jennifer Lanser, Jon Davis, Kate Baron, Kate Burke, Lauren Chipchak, Rebecca Zak, Sonia Alexandrescu, Tyler Golemb


Alex Larkin, Alyssa Frewen, Anne Lombaer, Bill Mayeroff, Dana Mueller, Genviéve Snyder, Holly Anderson, Kelsey, Leyva, Lisa Tuszl, Liz Czarnecki, Misako Aoki, Rochelle Miller, Katie Seddon, Lindsay Biagi, Rebecca Zak, Candice Burgess, Jane Higgins, Andrea Wendlandt, Brandi King, Carla Schwendner, Kaitlyn Selser


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