How to Help

Gaston County Animal Care and Enforcement Division has several programs you can be part of to help our furry guests, public and the staff of Animal Control. Such a wide variety of services to the public requires community involvement and that is where you come in. Just a small contribution of time, supplies, or even a home can help these unfortunate animals live a happier, healthier, and better life. Your skills, whether it be clerical, mechanical, or most of all love, can be utilized to make a world of difference to our department, our community, and to our four-legged friends. We thank you for your interest and look forward to your help.

Volunteer PicturesVolunteers

Volunteers play a vital role at our facility throughout the year. With thousands of unwanted animals being surrendered or abandoned, volunteers can make a huge difference by helping to elevate the level of care and attention these animals receive. Opportunities for volunteers exist in many facets of Animal Control operations. From just walking dogs, to temperament testing, photographing animals, pet interaction and socialization, helping at adoption events and even assisting office staff can help make a difference in each animal’s life. All volunteers must be at least 18 years of age and able to contribute a minimum of 4 hours a month. Please click below to view our online brochure for additional volunteer information. Our volunteer application is also available and can be submitted online or in person.

Please contact the Volunteer Coordinator at 704-922-2174 should you have any questions.


Samaritan Walkers

We also offer a Samaritan Walker’s Program. This is open to the general public and contributes a great deal to the animals at our facility. Samaritan Walkers must be at least 18 years old and have a valid id. This can include an accompanying parent if the Samaritan is too young or small to participate on their own. This program enables the public to come on a regular basis to walk and interact with the animals at our shelter. It helps provide exercise, attention, and socialization that all of the pets need. It also help provide great information to help increase the animal’s adoptability, such as it walks (or doesn’t walk) well on a leash, if it seems to be housebroken, or it may already know basic commands like sit or stay. You can help us learn this information to share with people interested in adoption. Samaritan hours are also logged if needed for a community or group project.


We at Gaston County Animal Control understand that many of you have very full and busy schedules. Although your time is a wonderful way to assist us, there are other ways you can still help. If you are unable to donate your time, perhaps you can donate a much-needed item from our wish list.

While county funding helps to cover administration and maintenance costs, the ever-changing and increasing number of animals brought to our facility creates a demand that can be difficult to keep up with. Your supplies donation can help provide comfort and health to our animal friends.

Donations are very important to our guests, shelter, and community. Animal Control is fortunate to have many citizens donate much needed items to our shelter such as cat litter, puppy/kitten food, and blankets. Please view our online Wish List. Citizens have also helped establish Animal Control wish lists on sites such as Amazon and Wal-Mart. Several people and groups have set up donation drives such as Operation Christmas Pet and Mutts in Rutts to raise awareness and contributions for our four-legged guests.

Please view our online Amazon Wish List.


Walk for a Dog (PDF) is a smartphone application that supports your local animal organization every time you "walk you dog." You can choose "Gaston County Animal Shelter" to help your local shelter pets. After you download the app onto your smartphone, take the phone with you when you walk your dog(s). Press the Start Walking button and the app will keep track of your walk.  When your walk is stopped it is credited to your selected shelter.