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.

FAQ about Volunteering

Q: What is involved with volunteering work? Intense manual work might be a little difficult for me.

A: Volunteering comes in many different forms, such as: dog walking, cleaning kennels and interacting/playing with our dogs and cats. Please choose an activity that you feel will suit your physical condition and consult with our staff, who will assist you with activities. In most cases, our staff will let you know what is needed to be completed that day, but please feel free to let us know what you would like to do. In the case of bad weather, our staff will guide you on activities.

Q: How many volunteers do you currently have?

A: We have on average, between 60 to 90 volunteers a month come help us. ARK currently has about 20 staff members. Our wonderful volunteers are vital in keeping our shelter functioning. As weekends and holidays get booked up quickly, we suggest contacting us in advance to reserve your spot for volunteering.

Q. What are the volunteers’ hours?

A: Generally, volunteer work starts at 9:00 in the morning until 17:00 in the afternoon. We kindly ask to find a date which will allow you to volunteer for this time slot. If volunteering for a full day like this is difficult, please let us know at least several days in advance. Please note: If you come to ARK to volunteer with no prior reservation made, we will not be able to offer you volunteering activities.

Q: Do we need set days a week/a month to volunteer? Can we volunteer just once?

A: We are grateful to each person who chooses to volunteer with us! Although we prefer a regular schedule (such as a set day/days every week or every month) it is of course okay to come once a month. The first step is to come volunteer for a day and see if you would like to continue on a more regular basis.

Q: Is prior training necessary?

A: On your first day of volunteering, you will be guided by our staff around the facilities. You will also be shown a video lecture regarding volunteering and then you can proceed with your activities. Starting from your next visit, our staff will guide you with activities and may specify if there is anything that needs to be done. Our team are always there to help and answer any questions you may have.

Q: What type of clothes should I wear? Do I need to bring anything?

A: Please wear comfortable clothing and shoes that are suitable for outside work and that you don’t mind getting dirty. Skirts, shorts, sandals, and high-heeled shoes may pose risks and we may refuse you for volunteer work. Please bring a raincoat and boots (in case of rain). Please bring a packed lunch/snacks/drinks and a water bottle, as there are no shops/convenience stores nearby. We ask for your cooperation is reducing the amount of rubbish as well.

Q: How do I sign up to volunteer?

A: Please contact ARK directly to specify which date and time you would like to volunteer. As weekends and holidays generally fill up quite quickly, we kindly ask you to contact us in advance to reserve your place.

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

A: 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.