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The Monroe County Animal Shelter (MCAS) is operated with a staff of one full time shelter director, one full-time & one part-time employee and a few county Trustees (low-risk inmates from the Monroe County Jail).

Many MCFA volunteers are needed to help at the shelter with hands on animal care, (such as bathing, exercising or socialization of the animals), assisting with laundry, long and short term fostering, transport of animals to area veterinarian offices, transport to rescue groups and on-site or off-site clerical assistance.

Extraordinary measures are taken to rehome surrendered animals, but as a County run shelter they must accept all animals, regardless of the health, age or disposition of the animal. For that reason, it is not a no-kill shelter. However, through fostering, adoption and rescue practices, hard work by our shelter staff and volunteers, the euthanasia rates have decreased each year - a feat that all volunteers take pride in knowing that they are part of this success.

MCFA also operates a Thrift Store in Madisonville which is run entirely by volunteers. Store volunteers work with the public in a retail atmosphere to help raise funds to support the needs of the animals surrendered to the shelter.

There are many other volunteer opportunities to assist with MCFA sponsored events such as Petsmart Adoptathons, Road-blocks, yearly fund-raiser, public affairs, communications, parades, etc. Please refer to the "Opportunities" tab and the "Programs" tab on this site. Let us enrich your life by joining us to help save our four-legged friends!!!

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  • Volunteers must be 18 years or older
  • We do not discriminate as to race, gender, disability, or sexual orientation
  • Volunteers need to be physically suited to the roles they participant in. We will do our best to match your physical abilities to tasks. Please let us know if you have any physical limitations

MCFA accepts the service of volunteers with the understanding that such service is at the sole discretion of MCFA. The Shelter Director or MCFA President may dismiss a volunteer with or without cause. Please retain your copy of the Waiver Agreement.


  • We will be respectful and responsive to staff, fellow volunteers, customers, and Trustees
  • We value and protect our sheltered animals and work to ensure a safe and healthy environment for them. All animals receive dignity in living and in dying
  • We honor our customers with dignity by withholding judgments on their need to surrender animals


This information is designed to introduce you to volunteer opportunities and expectations at the Animal Shelter and the MCFA Thrift Store.We ask that you follow these guidelines to create a safe and meaningful volunteer experience. To maintain these successful programs, our volunteers are asked to commit to a reliable number of hours of support.

As MCFA grows and changes, there will be a need to modify policies, practices and other information. You will be advised of any changes. Also, we ask that you periodically check our Volunteer page on the MCFA website for updated information. Please join the MCFA General Yahoo email list to stay informed of the variety of activities and events.

Communication is essential to addressing concerns or issues in order to maintain a positive experience for all of our MCFA volunteers. If any concerns or problems arise during your volunteer experience, please contact your Volunteer Coordinator, Shelter Director or MCFA Board Member.

These Volunteer Guidelines and Handbooks will not be able to answer all the questions you might have about our programs. During your training and/or orientation process, please do not hesitate to ask questions. MCFA depends on its volunteers; your success is our success.


Each potential volunteer position is unique and has special needs and considerations. For that reason, we request that each new volunteer spend time learning about the area and the area requirements before volunteering. Contact information for each Volunteer Coordinator is listed under the "Contacts" tab on this website.

As a volunteer, you have the right:

  • To work in a healthy and safe environment
  • To be given accurate and truthful information about the organization for which you are volunteering
  • To be given a copy of the organizations volunteer policy that affects your role
  • To be provided with orientation to the organization and the role
  • To be provided with appropriate training and support to carry out your roles

As a volunteer you have the responsibility to:

  • Be reliable and follow all policies and procedures of the Shelter or Thrift Store
  • Be accountable for your actions
  • Ask for support when you need it
  • Be courteous to volunteers, customers, staff, and Trustees
  • Be realistic and candid in accepting your assignment, taking into consideration your skills, interests, and availability, as well as the needs of MCFA
  • Notify management if you feel unsafe in any situation

We want your volunteer experience to be as enjoyable as possible. Working with like-minded individuals creates a positive atmosphere, along with encouraging all to participate in the daily necessities. The time you spend is precious and greatly appreciated, however, we ask that while you are volunteering, make your time count. It's easy to get caught up in discussing the latest news, but we ask that you spend your time wisely. There is always more work than available volunteer time!


  • Animal Shelter: Each volunteer working at the shelter must attend an orientation session with the Volunteer Coordinator before actively performing any duty. This requirement is for the safety of the volunteer and not hindering the daily activities at the shelter. If you are considering volunteering at the shelter, but would like a tour before deciding to volunteer at the shelter, contact the Shelter Volunteer Coordinator
  • While visiting the shelter, please be aware that on a daily basis, Trustees are assigned to the Shelter to assist staff. Their duties include the cleaning, feeding and general care of animals. Please be respectful to the Trustees, but do not treat them as volunteers. They are there solely at the discretion of the Monroe County Sheriff's Department. Should you need their assistance, ask the Shelter Director permission, as each Trustee is assigned duties and at times they maybe unable to help you.

  • Thrift Store: We would like prospective Thrift Store volunteers to "shadow" someone for one or two shifts before deciding to volunteer at this location
  • Recording of volunteer hours: Because MCFA is actively seeking grants for animal programs, the number of hours a volunteer donates is critical information to obtaining financial support. In addition, many companies will donate funds in honor of their employees who participate in community non-profit operations. For that reason, we ask that each volunteer record ALL of the hours you work when performing ANY task(s) for MCFA. Ask your Volunteer Coordinator where you should record your hours


Often, the media is interested in the stories and events that occur about the shelter animals. Your experience as a MCFA volunteer may put you in the position of having a photograph taken as part of media coverage. Should you determine that you do not want to participate, please alert your Volunteer Coordinator. MCFA has a designated publicity/media person that answers questions from the press and media. To prevent any misinformation and to allow for consistent information given to the community, do not speak with media until MCFA Publicity member consents to your involvement.


For new volunteers involved with the MCAS and the MCFA Thrift Store, MCFA will supply one purple t-shirt after 20 hours of service. We encourage you to wear a MCFA t-shirt while performing your volunteer service, especially when working with the public or special MCFA events. Additional MCFA t-shirts may be purchased through the MCFA Thrift Store. Contact the Volunteer Coordinator for more information.


Accident prevention is everyone's responsibility!

If any injury occurs, please inform your Volunteer Coordinator and/or Shelter Director immediately.

Each volunteer must sign the appropriate Waiver Agreement before actively volunteering. Please retain your copy of the Waiver Agreement signed during your orientation.

For safety reasons, it is not appropriate to bring children or pets to the shelter or the Thrift Store while volunteering. For other off-site events, contact the leading Volunteer Coordinator for guidance.


Our guidelines should not be considered a substitute for informed decisions and common sense when an emergency occurs. Emergencies take many forms and may require different actions. No one can foresee the type or extent of the emergency, so it is impossible to provide definitive, all encompassing advice.

Please review the Emergency Procedures posted at the Shelter and at the Thrift Store.


Monroe County Friends of Animals | P.O. Box 106 | Vonore, TN 37885
(423) 442-1015

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