Volunteer

volunteer

Our cats and kittens need your time and helping hand!

Are you interested in volunteering to help cats and kittens? There is a critical need for more dedicated and compassionate people who want to help the cats in our community.

Island Cat Resources and Adoption is a feline welfare organization formed by a group of concerned people who were moved to diminish the suffering of the abandoned cat population through rescue, rehabilitation, and adoption, and to reduce the free-roaming cat population through comprehensive trap-neuter-return programs in the East Bay, and Alameda and Oakland, in particular.

Ways you can volunteer

Click on each of the headings below to learn more about the responsibilities involved in each of our volunteer roles. We will provide appropriate training, and in return, ask that you commit to volunteering at least 4 hours per month.

See our volunteer FAQ for more information.

When you’ve decided which area interests you most, fill out our volunteer application and return it to us.

Adoptions

Adoption volunteers work primarily at ICRA’s week-end adoption site, at the Petco Store in the South Shore Center in Alameda. Volunteers work as a team, setting up the site, screening adoptive families, interacting with people who have questions about adoption and or about cats and their behavior, and breaking down and cleaning up the site at the end of the day. Adoption volunteers may also transport cats between their foster home and the adoption site.

Adoption volunteers are a key part of our organization: they interact with the public and potential adoptive families on ICRA’s behalf, and ensure that the cats and kittens in our care find good homes.

Fostering

Many of the cats ICRA assists were formerly owned but became lost or were abandoned, or were born to free-roaming cats and came to us as kittens. ICRA does not house its cats and kittens in a shelter but with foster families. These foster homes are the backbone of our adoption program, providing food, love, socialization, play, and shelter until we can find a permanent home.

If you have room in your heart and home, please consider providing a temporary indoor-only foster home to one of the cats or kittens we have rescued. We will provide instructions and support, and connect you with other foster families who can answer questions. It is a very rewarding experience to help cats and kittens through their transition to a permanent home.

Trap-Neuter-Return

Do you hear the call of the outdoors? Do fresh air and cool breezes call your name? If so, we have the perfect job for you! Help us humanely trap and neuter free-roaming cats before they are returned to their original location.

Trap-neuter-return programs like ours reduce the numbers of unwanted kittens born every year, take friendly cats off the street and into foster or adoptive homes, and ultimately lower the number of free-roaming cats by creating stable colonies that grow smaller over time as the cats age.

We can provide humane traps and train you how to use them, arrange for appointments to spay or neuter any cats you trap, assist with transportation to those appointments if necessary, provide information and support on post-surgery recovery and release, and help in socializing any kittens you decide to foster. Be adventurous, be a trapper — it’s a vital, hands-on part of our work!

Fundraising

Fundraising volunteers are very, very important to ICRA. Nearly all of the money we raise is used in direct support of our trap-neuter-return and adoption programs, largely to defray the cost of spay-neuter surgeries and other medical care for the cats.

Our fundraising includes events and grant-writing, and we need help with both. We have three events a year — a holiday boutique, a summer jewelry sale, and a spring silent auction which is our major fundraising event. Volunteers help plan and work at these events, soliciting donations, decorating, cooking, serving food, and acting as cashiers, among other things.

We also need volunteers to help us identify and apply for grants that support the sort of work ICRA does — grants make up more than 25% of our annual budget. If you love cats, and have expertise and experience in grant-writing, we want to talk to you!

Administration

There are lots of opportunities to volunteer in support of the administrative side of ICRA’s work. We have volunteers working at home on data entry, banking and bookkeeping, mailings, website updates, and articles for the ICRA newsletter, among other things. This is a great way to help if you have limited availability, or prefer not to have direct contact with the cats and kittens in our care.

Communications

Communications volunteers can help ICRA connect with the community and potential adopters in several ways, through social media, public relations, or community outreach and education. Tasks include posting photos and stories on social media, sharing special rescue stories with traditional media, or answering questions and providing resources to the community through email.

Writing

Skilled writers can contribute to ICRA’s grant applications, newsletter articles, and correspondence. Our newsletter is particularly important in keeping our adopters and other supporters aware of our good work and motivated to support it. Handy with words? Got a great cat story you’d like to write up? Get in touch!

Creative

There are many ways to use your creativity to support ICRA! Good photographs of our cats go a long way toward finding them homes, and event photos provide an important record of our support. We need graphic design help so our publications remain engaging and professional. If you are an artist or a craftsperson, we greatly appreciate donations of art work and handmade items for our holiday boutique and annual silent auction fundraiser.

Transportation

Driving cats to spay/neuter clinics may not sound like a glorious task, but it is crucial for completing our mission. We have standing weekly spay/neuter appointments at several local clinics, and can always use volunteers to transport cats to and from them. This job is one that lends itself to a limited but consistent time commitment.

Alameda Students

Do you like cats? Do you need community service hours? Do you want to enhance your skills in dealing with the public? Do you have 3-4 flexible hours per week? If you answered yes to these questions, Island Cat Resources & Adoption needs your help with:

  • Seeking donations from our wish list
  • Posting our flyers in local businesses
  • Collecting cans and plastic bottles for recycling
  • Spreading our message through public speaking or distributing our newsletter