Opportunities in each location.

At ARK, we are always looking for volunteers to help us at our three locations in Tokyo, Osaka and Hyogo. We offer many types of volunteering opportunities, so please have a look through and see if there is any that may interest you.

Socializing with Animals

Socializing with our animals is one of the most important and rewarding volunteer activities we offer. Many of our animals are older, may be fearful towards people, or never had much opportunity to socialize with people. Therefore, its vital we help these animals develop their social skills to increase their chances of being adopted. Examples of socializing would be playing, petting, brushing, or even just sitting nearby to help them get used to the presence of people. Nothing is more rewarding than seeing our animals open-up and learn to trust people.

Cleaning and Maintenance of the Kennels and Cat Rooms

To keep our animals healthy and free from the presence of bacteria or germs, we clean the kennels and cat rooms on a daily basis. We regularly disinfect their living/playing quarters and maintain a comfortable, safe and mentally stimulating environment for our animals.

Dog Walking

Dog walking is one of our most popular volunteering activities and for good reason. Our dogs need daily mental and physical stimulation, and nothing beats taking our furry friends for a long and relaxing walk in a tranquil and calm surroundings.

Animal Care Supporter

Puppies and kittens who arrive to ARK need lots of socialization and care. This is where our animal care supporters come in handy. We ask that our volunteers spend the time cuddling, playing, and interacting with our little ones who come into the shelter. This helps build a positive association with people and also build confidence.

Grooming Assistant

Perhaps you have a background and experience in grooming and bathing animals? Then this may be the activity for you. Grooming is not only for aesthetic purposes but also to keep our animals healthy and clean.

Event Volunteers

ARK holds regular charity and adoption events in both the Kanto and Kansai areas. Volunteers at these events help by setting up/cleaning, assisting visitors, and selling ARK merchandise.

Volunteer Sign Up

Please contact ARK directly by email between the 10th – 20th of each month, with the time and date you would like to volunteer. Please note, that due to safety and capacity reasons, ARK limits the number of volunteers each month to our shelters. We thank you for your understanding.

Contact Information for Sign Up


10:00 am to 16:00 pm (office is closed on Mondays and Wednesdays)





Fostering Opportunities (Tokyo)

As Tokyo ARK does not have a shelter to house our animals, we rely on the generosity of our foster families who care who take in our animals and care for them until they are rehomed. If you are interested in opening your hearts and homes to one of our animals on a temporary basis, please get in touch with ARK.

As a foster parent we ask:

  • Any dogs or cats in the home have been spayed/neutered.
  • You will not keep animals outside.
  • You will be able to transport our animals to various adoption events on the weekends.

Other points:

  • We try our best to match families with an animal to the best of our ability. We take into consideration the family’s lifestyle, as well as the animal’s personality.
  • ARK will cover the cost of food, pet sheets, kitty litter, medication and other necessary supplies.

To find out more and apply to foster, please click on this link.

Foster Form

Management Volunteer (Tokyo)

Adoption Events/Charity Events

Volunteers generally assist at our adoption events in the Tokyo area, two to three times a month. Tasks include greeting customers, selling ARK merchandise, handing out fliers, keeping the area tidy, and helping the event run smoothly.

These ARK events are the best way for our animals to be introduced to the public and boost their chances of being adopted, as we often have many visitors. It is also a wonderful way to raise awareness about animal rescue and responsible pet ownership.

We also hold various charity events throughout the year, to promote ARK’s activities and raise awareness. These events may or may not involved animals, however, tasks involved are similar to that of adoption events.

We are always on the lookout for kind, enthusiastic and helpful volunteers who have great people skills and of course are animal lovers.

If you are interested in volunteering at one of our events or for more information, please contact ARK by telephone on 050-1557-2763 (10:00 am ~ 19:00 pm daily) or by email: tokyoark@arkbark.net.

Volunteer Q&A

Q. What will the work involve? If it’s too hard, maybe it’s a little beyond me...

Helping out as much as you are able is plenty. Roughly speaking, 60% of the work involves dog walking, 20% playing with dogs and cats, and 20% cleaning, but we are able to tailor that to a certain extent to suit individual needs. We have volunteers who come every week to mostly play with cats, for example.

And as far as dog walking is concerned, there is no problem if you do so at your own pace, taking breaks as you need to. You may also cancel your visit on the day you were due to come should there be rain or snow.

Q. Around how many volunteers are there, all together?

There are around 50 volunteers who come to help us out on a regular basis. Of those, around ten come along every week on set days. Apart from volunteers, there are 30 or so staff, of whom every day 15 to 18 are at work and responsible for looking after the animals.

Q. What are the volunteers’ hours?

Most volunteers help us out for a time frame that suits them between 9am and 5pm. Many attend from 10am until 4pm. As we are notified of attendance hours by phone or email, we plan in advance how to divide the work up between volunteers. A lunch break of 30 minutes to an hour is always included.

Each time you come to volunteer, we ask that you notify us beforehand, preferably a few days in advance. If you just turn up on the day, it is difficult for us to divide up the work to suit everyone’s needs.

Q. How many times do I have to come? Can I come once and see how it goes?

Some people are extremely keen and come to help once a week on set days, but the vast majority of volunteers come once or twice a month whenever they can. Of course, we are grateful if you are able to come more often, but once a month is fine. You are more than welcome to try us out once for starters. If you had fun and would like to continue, please do come again.

Q. Do I get any training beforehand?

The first time you come, we will give you some simple guidance. After a 15 minute video and 20 minute guided tour, you will be ready to start walking dogs and helping us with other work. From your second visit, after leaving your bags in the office and getting your volunteer card stamped, you will be informed of which section you have been assigned to that day. You may head over there and start helping out right away.

Q. What kind of clothes should I wear? Do I need to bring anything with me?

Please wear clothes and shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty and are comfortable, and suitable for working outdoors. Clothes with dangly decorations, skirts, shorts, sandals and high heels are dangerous, and should not be worn. Do bring a raincoat in case it rains. Also, please make sure you bring a packed lunch. There are no shops within walking distance of ARK. Even by car, the nearest shop is considerably far.

Q. How do I apply to volunteer again?

Once you have chosen the date and time you wish to return, please contact the office. Please telephone or email us a few days in advance. In particular, if you wish to come on a weekend or public holiday, we recommend you let us know at least a week beforehand. If too many people apply to volunteer on the same day, we may have no option but turn some away.

Q. I live in Tokyo. Can I still help out?

There is no shelter in Tokyo, so all our animals are in foster care in the Kanto region. We sometimes need the help of kitten socializers, but are always in need of foster families for dogs, cats and rabbits, and often need help setting up, running and clearing away after adoption fairs, which we run twice per month.