Volunteer Project Ideas

Are you interested in helping the animals at Loudoun County Animal Shelter but you need service hours quickly or can’t make regular commitments required to be a volunteer? There are still many ways you can help! 

The projects below can be done at home by individuals or groups and then brought into the shelter when finished. Projects can be brought to the shelter anytime we are open for Adoptions and Viewing. If you have a sheet to track your service hours that you need to have signed, any of our Customer Service staff can sign this sheet for you when you drop off your project. 

Project Ideas


  • Collect food puzzle toys (like Kongs) to donate. These durable dog toys are used to help reduce dogs’ stress and keep them engaged and happy while waiting for adoption! You can also collect delicious treats to go in the puzzle toys like peanut butter, soft smelly treats, etc.
  • Make Ping Pong Ball Cat toys.Our cats and kittens love ping pong balls to play with, and they are so easy for us to disinfect!
    • Collect ping pong balls.
    • Decorate! Cats don’t mind if you go to extremes and decorate every inch with pictures, patterns, words, or whatever, or if you simply sign your name on each one. Please use permanent, non-toxic markers (Sharpie markers are non-toxic and come in many colors).
  • Collect empty toilet paper or paper towel rolls and turn them into toys for rabbits. View instructions!
  • Make Tennis ball dog toys using socks
    • Collect multiple tube / crew socks.
    • Collect multiple tennis balls.
    • Stuff a ball into a sock, tie a knot as close as to the ball as possible. Stuff another ball into same sock, and tie another knot.
    • Decorate socks as desired using permanent non-toxic markers.
  • Use socks to make toys for cats
    • Use new white tube / crew socks
    • Use non-toxic, permanent markers to decorate the socks.
    • Fill decorated socks with 2 to 3 teaspoons of catnip.
    • Tie the sock in a knot to close.
      *Please do not attach ribbon, string, jingle bells, or other items the cats could ingest.
  • Make tug toys for dogs, cats, or rabbits
    • Collect polar fleece. You can buy yards at any fabric store or use old polar fleece blankets.
    • For larger dogs, cut three 1-2 inches by 36 inches strips.
    • For small dogs, cut 1 inch by 12 inches strips.
    • For cats or bunnies, cut three ½ inch by 8 inches strips.
    • Knot top end, braid, then knot bottom end. Keep tightening the braid as you go!
    • You can make them specifically for cats by "charging" them with catnip. Once braided, tuck them into any bag or container with catnip. You can also push strips of newspaper into the braid for our cats and rabbits to play with.
    • You can make various sizes for dogs. The dimensions above are general, but you can make "minis" or "jumbos" or "extra thin" or "super thick."

Other ideas

  • Create your own donation drive for pet supplies and donate them to an animal shelter, humane society, or the Loudoun Pet Pantry.
  • Have a birthday party where kids bring gifts and / or money for an animal welfare organization.
  • Make cat beds

If you need service hours for a club, school, or other organization, be sure to track the hours that you work on your project on the Tracking Sheet (PDF) or the sheet provided by your school or organization. Any of our Customer Service staff can sign this sheet for you when you bring your completed project in to the shelter.

Additional Information

Please mail or scan and email your completed Tracking Sheet to the Volunteer Coordinator when your project is finished. For more information about these opportunities or other project ideas, please contact LCAS by email or by calling 703-771-5922.