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Woman Hugging Dog


Thank you for your interest in volunteering with us! Volunteers are truly the backbone of our organization and we greatly value the time and energy our volunteers put forth to help deserving dogs find loving homes.

There are a variety of ways in which you can help Underdog Ranch Pet Adoptions, ranging from updating our website to fostering a dog.  Underdog Ranch will provide any and all assistance in helping you to be the best volunteer possible including training, guidance, supplies, and more. Please see descriptions below and fill out one of our volunteer applications if you’re interested in helping with one (or several) of the positions below.

Foster Care
We believe that every dog deserves a great home with a loving family. Until we can find each dog this type of home, all dogs are kept in the loving care of their foster guardian. Foster guardians open their homes and hearts to the many dogs that need Underdog Ranch’s help. Foster homes handle a multitude of responsibilities including (but not limited to): feeding the dog a healthy diet, teaching basic obedience, providing a safe home, vet visit transportation, medication dispersal, and lots of love until they can be adopted into a permanent home. You may foster one or several dogs at a time and our dog coordinators will do their best to match you with a foster dog that suits your lifestyle. Please click here for more detailed information on fostering.

Adoption Event Staffing
Underdog Ranch adoption events are held on various Saturdays during the year at assorted locations throughout the Triangle area of North Carolina (Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Chapel Hill and surrounding towns/cities). These events provide those interested in adopting an opportunity to meet our wonderful dogs in person. The events also provide Underdog Ranch volunteers with an opportunity to meet prospective adoptive owners and answer their questions and/or provide them with information about our organization. Events also give us a chance to carefully screen prospective owners to determine if they can provide a permanent and loving home for an Underdog Ranch dog. As an adoption event volunteer, your job may include holding dogs and introducing them to prospective owners, assisting with the application process, and helping answer questions about our dogs and our organization. You may also “specialize” and help with one specific task such as reviewing applications or walking dogs if you prefer.

Website/Newsletter Maintenance
For those of you who’d like to volunteer but need to be at home, we have the job for you! Our website and newsletter are essential in helping to spread the word about our organization and require continual maintenance to make sure they’re up-to-date and accurate. If you are “tech-savvy” (or even if you’re not – we’ll teach you!) we would greatly appreciate your help in making our communications the best they can be.

Have a little spare time on your hands but can’t really foster a dog? We often need help transporting dogs from one location to another (shelters, foster homes, vets, etc.). We have a need for both local and the occasional “distance traveling” (to pick up or deliver a dog in another state). If you enjoy traveling companions and helping deserving dogs get to their destination, we’ve got the job for you!

Have a special talent that you’d like to share with us? Think you can help in a way that’s not listed above? We would love to hear your suggestions! We are always in need of volunteers who can help our dogs find loving homes. If you’re interested in photographing our dogs for the website, working on obedience training with our dogs, or creating a new brochure – we’re open to any and all suggestions and welcome your unique skills.

Volunteer: About
Boy Cuddling with his Dog


Give a dog a helping hand up to become a great family pet by ensuring the following:

  • Opening your heart and your home to make your pup/dog as comfortable and happy as possible until a permanent home is found.

  • If your foster is a puppy, you MUST crate train them.  The only safe place for an inquisitive puppy is in a crate where they can’t get hurt!  This will help your puppy to transition easier into his/her permanent home.  Our job as a foster parent is to make things better/easier for the pup.

  • If you do not agree with crate training a pup, you will make it more difficult for that pup to transition into their new home.  We ask that you please consider fostering an adult dog instead.

Tips for Training Foster Dogs/Pups

  • If your foster dog/pup is not already housetrained, you can teach him with diligence and patience.  Take him out several times per day with treats in your pocket.  Each time they go potty, praise them greatly and give them a treat.  Positive reinforcement will have them going potty outside in no time!

  • Teach your foster dog basic obedience.  Start with the “Sit” command – again using treats and/or praise.

  • Teach them to “Wait”.  Have them wait to eat, wait to walk in/out the door, for treats, etc…  This will ensure that they just don’t bull their way into their food bowl, out into the yard, etc… and teaches them that YOU are the alpha.

  • If a dog seems to know household living (gets up on the couch, sleeps in the bed, etc…), please include this in their bio   It’s important for any potential adopter to know these things – the last thing we want to find out is that a dog who is used to sleeping in the bed has interest from someone who is adamant about NOT having a dog sleep in the bed with them!  First and foremost, we want what’s best for the dog and are trying to find the perfect match for him/her.

Tips for Meet and Greets with a foster pup/dog and a potential adopter’s dog:

  • If there is any growling by the dogs towards each other, suggest a second meeting for them to see how they get along a second time.

  • If at the second meeting the dogs are still not getting along, it is clearly not a good fit and it’s perfectly fine and even encouraged for a foster to say that!

  • If a meet and greet does not go well for any reason, do not leave the UDR dog with the potential adopter, no matter how much they try to convince you – especially if the issue is between two dogs.  A large percentage of people are not very knowledgeable when it comes to dog behavior, Odds are that if something were to happen between the two dogs, the adopter(s) would not know how to handle it.  Our first responsibility is always to our dogs – their happiness, safety, confidence, etc…

General Items

  • Underdog Ranch will find the appropriate home for each foster dog/pup.  Every person interested in adopting MUST complete an application – unless they’ve previously adopted from us.  A foster’s best friend, relatives, bosses, co-workers – all are encouraged to apply for adoption and under no circumstances will an Underdog Ranch dog go to a new home without an approved application.  Feel free to post your foster dog on social media but the post MUST reference that the dog/pup is in the UDR program as opposed to looking as if an individual is looking for a home for the dog independently.  Feel free to share your foster dog’s post from the general UDR Facebook page if he/she has been posted.

  • We are here to help you in any way that we can – you are not doing this alone!  Ask us for advice whenever you need it!

We appreciate what each foster gives and does to help the dogs/pups find their new homes.  Underdog Ranch was founded over 15 years ago (under a different name at the time) with the above items being the foundation of fostering.  It appears we’ve gotten away from ensuring that some of these basics are followed and we are determined to get back to these standards.

Volunteer: About
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