Help Us Make a Difference

Volunteers are at the core of every program within Gateway Pet Guardians. From walking dogs at the shelter, to transporting animals, our volunteers are the lifeblood of Gateway Pet Guardians. Without our volunteers, we would not be able to continue our mission of ending homelessness for animals in the Metro East through rescue, rehabilitation, adoption, community outreach, and education. Our community of over 300 volunteers work together with staff in a variety of positions, both at the shelter and out in the field.

We are proud to be a Service Enterprise certified organization with a 100/100 rating on Charity Navigator and platinum status on GuideStar.

  • No previous training or experience is required. We will provide all training that is needed.
  • No diploma required.
  • We strongly encourage volunteers who are people of color, indigenous, immigrants and refugees, LGBTQ+, and people with disabilities.

Please call (618) 687-8007 ext. 5, email volunteer@gatewaypets.org or stop by our facility with questions.

How to Get Started

To get started as a Gateway Pet Guardians volunteer, please sign up for an orientation and general volunteer training session. The orientation and training is held at our facility at 725 N 15th Street, East St. Louis, IL, 62205. During orientation, you’ll learn about the organization, fill out the volunteer application, get a tour of our facility, and learn basic dog handling skills. All volunteers must be 18 or older at this time.

Volunteer Opportunities

During orientation, you’ll learn about the different programs that make up GPG. Whether you’re interested in walking dogs, helping at the pet food pantry, or running a fundraising event, we have a spot for you! Our volunteers serve in over 75 different leadership roles, and we’re constantly adding more! If there’s a volunteer position you think would benefit GPG but aren’t sure if it exists, let us know! We’re always looking for ways to expand our volunteer opportunities and welcome ideas.

Community Service Volunteers

We are happy to work with members of the community who need to complete court ordered community service. In order to get started, email our Community Service Volunteer Coordinator at communityservice@gatewaypets.org. Please include your full name, what your charge is, how many hours you need to complete, and the date you need to complete your hours by. You must email and receive approval before coming to orientation. If you do not have prior approval, any hours you complete beforehand will not count towards your community service hours.

We are not able to accommodate individuals who have a felony charge, or charges related to sexual misconduct, assault, theft, or animal related offenses. We only accept Court Ordered Community Service for individuals 18 years old or older.

Volunteer Groups

We welcome volunteer groups from various organizations with a maximum of 20 volunteers per group! All skill levels are welcome, including those who have never handled animals. We strongly encourage people of color and individuals of the LGBTQ+ community to reach out to us about group volunteer opportunities! Learn more about group volunteering.