Lend a Paw to Furry Friends

Volunteer at South County's animal shelters – because pets need some extra help, too


Dedicated to the protection and care of stray, abandoned and abused animals, Animal Rescue Rhode Island provides education, community outreach and a pet food pantry. They also provide Bark and Ride transportation service to no-kill shelters from high-kill facilities. Volunteers can be as young as 14, and they’re always looking for foster families. 506B Curtis Corner Road, Peace Dale. 783-7606.

Friends of Charlestown Animal Shelter promotes animal welfare. Animal shelter, food, toys and care is available for dogs, cats, rabbits and sometimes guinea pigs, as well as dog walkers and cleaners. Volunteers to walk dogs, as well as toy and food donations, are welcome. Sand Hill Road, Charlestown. 364-1211.

Staffed by volunteers only, and funded entirely by community donations, small grants and fundraising, Newport’s Paws Watch provides spay/neuter services and vaccinations for feral cats. More than 90% of funds raised go to providing veterinary care and support, including spay/neuter services, for homeless cats and kittens. 

Operated by the North Kingstown-Exeter Animal Protection League, Pet Refuge, a no-kill pet rescue, provides veterinary care for abused/neglected animals and a place for animals in need of a home. They need volunteers not just for pet care, but with building maintenance, errands, fundraising, graphic design and marketing. 500 Stony Lane, North Kingstown. 294-1115.

Smith and Agli’s Potbelly Manor provides aid and shelter to special-needs pigs, and offers a pet-assisted therapy program. Ariel, its Juliana potbelly pig, visits the elderly and school children. SAPB has rescued goats, pigeons, lamas, steer and turkeys. Volunteers help to feed, water and care for the animals. 401 Ten Rod Road, North Kingstown. 295-4241.

You can adopt a pet, donate or volunteer at the South Kingstown Animal Shelter. The shelter takes in neglected, stray or abandoned domestic animals. 132 Asa Pond Road, Wakefield. 789-5515.

Save One Soul Animal Rescue League in Wakefield is committed to finding loving homes for dogs who have been abandoned or ended up in high-kill shelters. Each of their dogs gets the medical care they need, and Save One Soul provides counseling and post-adoption support to new owners. Before these pups find their fur-ever homes, volunteers can help by taking them out on walks, driving them to and from adoption events or providing foster care. 

Meet the Volunteer 
Christian Woods, Smith and Agli’s Potbelly Manor Tollgate High School senior Christian Woods has been volunteering at Smith and Agli’s Potbelly Manor for six years – cleaning cages and pens, feeding and comforting an array of animals, herding them for vaccinations, moving grain and performing other necessary tasks. But before helping out as a young teen he had to overcome some obstacles, such as lack of transportation and fear of big animals. His mother drove the Warwick native to the Wickford farm until he obtained his license and borrowed cars to get there. Eventually, Christian warmed to the more sizeable animals, becoming a more confidant volunteer. He says about the value of his experience, “It gives me a head start in college because I want to become a zoologist or a biologist.”Meet the Volunteer Christian Woods, Smith and Agli’s Potbelly Manor