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Become a Volunteer

- Opportunities -

Become a vital part of our rescue efforts!  Can't adopt?  How can you help?  
Check out some of the things we need help with below,  than filling out the questionaire.  There's no committment and one of our volunteer counselors will call you to chat about this wonderful, heartwarming experience with you. 

We do encourage young people to get involved with animal friendly experiences.  S.T.A.R.T. conducts school presentations and assemblies offering the opportunity for kids to meet our mascots and learn about what it's like to be a volunteer for rescue group.  Our junior volunteer program begins at age 13.  


S.T.A.R.T. is fully dependent on donations, proceeds from fund raisers, bequests, and foundation grants to maintain our operation, underwrite our numerous programs and services, and sustain our presence. Fund raising is crucial to the survival of S.T.A.R.T. It requires time and energy. S.T.A.R.T. pursues corporate and private donations as well various grant funding.  Every year thousands of dollars is necessary to continue our rescue efforts.  It is a massive undertaking requiring dedicated volunteers to raise these funds. Volunteers who are willing to help plan, organize and participate in these special events and fund raisers in the community are encouraged to join the committee.  S.T.A.R.T. can always use fresh ideas to create and implement additional fund raising events.



Many different grant opportunities are available to us each year.  Volunteers are needed to research and find those potential grants, complete the application and submit these grants proposals when they are due.  This can be very time consuming, tedious work.  



Adoption Days involve direct contact with the general public. There are three areas of volunteering to consider- adoption area, merchandise table, and canister collection. Tasks required might include selling S.T.A.R.T. tee shirts, bake sale items, helping public with general questions and covering the adoption center. 


Adoption Area

Since we do not have a shelter, our adoption days take place at local pet stores.  This is the single most exposed area to the public.  People are naturally drawn to animals.  This is the area of our adoption days that receive the most exposure. 


Merchandise Table

The merchandise table is used for a variety of goods including S.T.A.R.T. T-shirts, jewelry, magnets and on occasion baked goods. From time to time there are also arts and craft items, created by volunteers or donated by the public.  Donations canisters will be placed on this table, as well as information and publications on various S.T.A.R.T. related issues, animal welfare, and our newsletter.  This table will receive the public, and is usually their “first impression”, so it is imperative that this area be set up in an organized fashion, display our items neatly.   A volunteer must be able to encourage people to donate as they pass the table. 


Canister Collection

While we have the merchandise table set up, it is also imperative that a volunteer stands or sits by the entrance or exit door of the location to encourage additional donations.  Sometimes, if space and animal safety allows, a volunteer can stand with a prospective adoptable animal and ask for donations.


Adoption Center is located at Petco, Totowa. The center is where our cats can stay 24/7 to be seen for adoption.  The Center needs to be staffed in order to care for the cats, 3 times daily someone is needed to feed, scoop and make sure the animals are not in any distress as well as give them some loving!  Easy and fun!



In addition to adoption day collections we also visit and solicit in front of grocery stores, malls and street collections on a regular basis.  Proper permits and authorization is required for these collections, which will be handled by the fund raising committee. A volunteer must be able to encourage people to donate as they pass the area.  



Our Kitties need attention at the office, we need help feeding,  cleaning litter boxes and kitty love and attention.  General office cleaning



Volunteers that can offer their home as a temporary residency for some of our homeless animals are always needed. Since S.T.A.R.T. does not have a shelter, we must rely 100% on foster home care for the animals waiting for their forever homes.  The more foster homes we have, the more lives can be saved.  A temporary foster care home can make a tremendous difference in an animal’s life.  So often, we reach a “filled capacity” very early in the season, causing us to have to turn away animals that need our help. If you can open your home and heart for this purpose, it can make the single most important difference in a companion pet’s life. 


TRAPPING PROJECT-  Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)

S.T.A.R.T. encourages, teaches and supports Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR).  TNR is a full management plan in which stray and feral cats already living outdoors in cities, towns, and rural areas are humanely trapped, evaluated for temperament, vaccinated, and sterilized by veterinarians. Kittens and tame cats placed up for adoption. Healthy cats too wild to be adopted are returned to their familiar habitat under the lifelong care of colony caretakers.  Volunteers are needed to help trap,  recovery and return feral cats to there colonies.



Feral cats are domestic cats that, through birth or circumstance, have reverted to the wild, living outdoors in urban, suburban, and rural environments with little or no human contact. S.T.A.R.T. maintains several feral colonies that need to be feed and cared for on a daily basis.  Feeders are needed to help maintain these colonies.


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