AVA is proud to be 100% volunteer run. But we need your help!

I want to help by:

Volunteer at an adoption centre

Our adoption centres are run by volunteers. AVA has locations in Oshawa, Toronto, Richmond Hill, Brampton, and Vaughan. We are always looking for energetic volunteers to feed and clean up after the cats, keep the adoption centers clean, play with and socialize our cats, and assist potential adopters to find the right cat. If you love animals, are over 18, and are able to commit to 3 hours a week for at least 3 months, apply to volunteer and set up a volunteer orientation session. We operate on a monthly schedule so we want volunteers who can commit to a regular time slot. Special need for weekday 9am-12pm shift volunteers!

Volunteer requirements

  • 18 years of age or older (We do not participate in the high school or other community service hour program)
  • Willing and able to make a minimum 3 hour per week commitment to the same shift for at least a period of 3 months.
  • Available shifts: 9 am – 12 pm, 12pm – 3pm, 3pm – 6pm, and 6pm – 9pm (depending on store hours)
  • Care for cats including:
    • Cleaning and scooping litter pans
    • Cleaning cages and washing cat dishes
    • Feeding wet and dry food
    • Brushing, playing with, and socializing the cats
    • Comfortable talking to people about the cats, our organization, the adoption process, and speak fluent English
    • Reliable! The cats depend on you to come in for your shift and it is difficult to find an alternate on short notice

Foster a Cat or a Mother and Kittens

In order to save more lives, AVA needs more foster homes!!

Our foster homes temporarily look after animals when they are recently rescued, too young for adoption, being socialized, or recovering from surgery or an illness. We take in stray cats, kittens, cats on “death row” at animal control facilities, and pregnant cats or moms and babies in urgent need of rescue. We are always looking for people to apply to provide foster homes.

Volunteer requirements

  • 18 years of age or older (We do not participate in the high school or other community service hour program)
  • Have permission from home owner to take in a cat or several cats
  • Have a separate room that is:
    • Completely secure (no gaps or holes in drywall or floors) with a door
    • Free from dangers such as electrical cords, blind cords, unanchored furniture, open toilets
    • Climate controlled (heated in winter, sufficiently cool in summer)
    • And has minimal hiding places (behind or under furniture, beds, storage)
  • Able to commit for:
    • One or more months for an adult cat
    • Two months for kittens
    • Three months for a pregnant mom and her impending kittens

AVA will cover medical costs including spay/neuter, vaccines, and any other necessary medical care. Tax receipts are available for food and litter.

For foster parents interested in fostering queen’s, pregnant mom or abandoned kittens, please review this Fostering Queens and Kittens Manual.

If you love animals but are not able to make a lifelong commitment, like to travel, or are considering adopting but are not ready to jump in, fostering may be right for you.

We cannot help these animals without volunteer foster homes like yours!

Foster Home Coordinator and Recruiter

Are you an experienced animal foster parent who would like to help train and support new and existing foster parents and foster homes and help recruit new fosters to AVA?

Volunteer requirements

  • 18 years of age or older (We do not participate in the high school or other community service hour program)
  • Minimum 3 years as a foster parent (preference given to cat foster parents)
  • Good knowledge of cat and kitten health and wellness, common health and behavioural problems
  • Ability to stay calm in stressful situations
  • Recruit new foster parents
  • Onboard new and returning foster parents
  • Explain AVA’s policies and expectations
  • Answer questions and provide advice about health, feeding, behaviour, etc.


Occasional drivers are needed to transport cats and kittens between foster homes, veterinary offices, and adoption centres. Cats usually need to be at the vet by 9am and picked up between 3pm and 7pm. One-way and round trip drivers needed depending on the situation.

Volunteer requirements

  • 18 years of age or older (We do not participate in the high school or other community service hour program)
  • Valid G2 or G license and a good driving record
  • Reliable access to a vehicle
  • Reliable vehicle with sufficient room for 2 cat carriers
  • Available on short to medium notice (4-48 hours)

Animal Rescue Clerk

Do you want to volunteer but are not able to work in a store adoption centre or to foster? Are you experienced with data entry and willing to spend 5-10 hours a week, 3-5 days a week updating our database?

Volunteer requirements

  • 18 years of age or older (We do not participate in the high school or other community service hour program)
  • Minimum 5 years of professional or volunteer administrative and data entry experience (mandatory)
  • Detail oriented with a sense of urgency
  • Ability to stay organized and add, update, and close off all new, updated, and adopted or released cats from the past 24 hours
  • Write cat adoption profiles (template provided) and add pictures
  • Complete insurance and microchip registration within 24 hours of cat adoption
  • Willing and able to commit to a minimum of 6 months
  • Able to work under pressure and accept constructive feedback

Several volunteers are required to ensure daily coverage and additional resources for quarterly adoptathons.

These types of volunteers need to have a sense of urgency and be available on short notice for a few hours of work. Ideal for night owls and shift work.

Social Media Coordinator

Do you want to volunteer but are not able to work in a store adoption centre or to foster? Are you an experienced social media influencer with the ability to create compelling posts that drive site traffic and generate results?

Volunteer requirements

  • Create a social media plan to feature available animals on a scheduled basis
  • Create a communications media plan to drive Facebook and website traffic and increase awareness of AVA and attract potential adopters and volunteers
  • Update our social media and websites to promote cats, events, foundation drives, and volunteer opportunities
  • Create compelling Facebook cover photos for scheduled events and and to increase traffic
  • Assist with our annual fundraising email campaign
  • Run and promote successful fundraising drives

Manage a Cat Colony

AVA maintains many cat colonies across the GTA and beyond, and helps TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) at numerous colonies throughout the GTA. Our volunteers, trap, drive to vets, monitor recovery, feed and maintain these colonies – sometimes for many years.

We operate a spay/neuter program for stray and feral cats which includes vaccines, microchipping and ear-tipping for feral cats, and a program aimed at strays and house pets.

Learn more about becoming a colony caretaker.

Barn Space for a Feral Cat (or two)

While Trap, Neuter and Return (TNR) is the best way to mange a cat colony, sometimes colony caretakers are not able to maintain their colony or we have to find new homes for the colony cats.

  • Areas being developed take over the natural habitat.
  • Land where colonies exist is bought and sold.
  • The purchasers of nearby or the immediate property may disapprove of the cat colony
  • The caretaker of the colony can no longer keep up with the task.

When you provide barn space you will:

  • Have time to monitor and care for the cats
  • Provide an enclosed area within the barn for a period time necessary for the cats to consider that location their home and for the resident wild life to consider the newcomers as members of their community
  • Provide natural daylight, food, water, shelter from cold and sanitation
  • Monitor the health of the animals.

To learn more, please email us.

Hold a Fundraiser

If you have experience in fundraising and want to organize a benefit in support of AVA, please email us. AVA relies on donations to ensure we have the funds necessary to take care of the many cats who need food and medical care.

Donate to AVA

Donate to AVA online with CanadaHelps.org. A tax receipt is issued immediately and they will send you a reminder before tax season.

Donate to AVA by mail by downloading our donation form and mailing it to AVA with your cheque or money order. Tax receipts are issued at the end of the year for all financial donations received.

P.O. Box 18233 RPO Steeple Hill
Pickering ON L1V 0B8 (CANADA)

Make a donation on behalf of someone, in lieu of a present or In Memory of a loved one and AVA will send a card to the individual or family.

Donate Your “End of Life” Vehicle

CharityCar, in conjunction with GreenVehicleDisposal accepts donations of old vehicles on behalf of registered charities and turns that old car into a tax deduction.