Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What does the organization do?
Tiny Paws places rescue animals in Petco stores. They are available for adoption from the rescue, not for sale from the store. Tiny Paws works with animal shelters, veterinarians, other rescue groups, pet stores and the public.

Q: What does this accomplish?
This means that Petco and Tiny Paws are partnering to help control the overpopulation of companion animals. Many of these animals may end up in the shelters where they are placed if possible. There is only so much space available.

Q: Your flyer mentions Foster To Adopt. What is this?
This is program that helps place animals in good homes. Someone unsure if a pocket pet is right for them and their children, may participate. They become a foster home for a month. They go through the normal foster home interview process. They may put a deposit on housing and equipment they need for the pet and borrow it from the rescue (as long as equipment is available) and foster the animal in their home. The foster has a month to see how their pet fits into their family and lifestyle. They then finalize the adoption, return the equipment and purchase their own from which their adoption fee is deducted or return everything and their full equipment deposit is returned.

Q: What would I be expected to do as a volunteer?
First, we will train you. Then you could do any of the following things:

  • Visit Petco to check the animals and feed them and refill water bottles. This can take as little as 15 minutes if all is well, longer if you notice something that needs attention, such as a hamster just looks like it needs a little cuddling J or hand fed treats.
  • The housing requires cleaning on an as needed basis. Litter is dumped, cage wiped down and litter is replaced. Water bottles and food bowls need washing and refilling. Timing for this is dependent on the type and number of animals.
  • Adoption counselors will be needed to either staff the store during adoption hours or meet potential adopters at the store to complete the process.
  • Foster homes are needed to quarantine new animals for a week for males to make sure they are healthy before being placed in the store for adoption.
  • Foster homes for adult females are needed that can keep the animal for the length of the normal gestation period and weaning if a litter is born. This will vary by species. Dwarf hamsters have a gestation period of 18 to 21 days, so they would be kept for 24 days to make sure no pregnant animals are placed. You should be willing to continue to foster the mother and babies for 3 weeks after delivery when they are weaned and old enough to leave mom.
  • Special events and adoption days will need volunteers willing to process adoptions and work with the public to help them select an appropriate pet. We will also have other special community outreach events that might be pet shows for children, look-a-like and talent contest, etc.
  • Special skills are needed. Anyone with web experience, clerical, bookkeeping, computers skills and more can help with special programs, giving a much or as little time as you want.
  • You can visit the sanctuary to help clean all the cages. This takes an hour or so with a couple extra hands to help. This is the best opportunity to get to play with a large assortment of animals and see any babies.

Q: What do I get out of this besides the satisfaction of doing good works?
Any volunteer performing 20 hours of volunteer work will get the benefits of the VIP program from VCA Animal Hospitals, good for a 15% discount on veterinary services nationwide, Volunteer V.I.P. considerations and much more.

Volunteers are a critical part of what we do. You have the opportunity to help make a real change in the lives of the animals in our care. We will strive to make your experience a memorable one, benefiting both you and the animals.

Please fill out the Volunteer Application and please see the Youth Volunteer Program.


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