San Diego Humane Society and SPCA

animal rescue reserve training

Humane Law Volunteer Programs

San Diego Humane Law Enforcement department has two volunteer opportunities: Animal Rescue Reserve and Community Service Officer. If you are interested in volunteering with the team of highly skilled volunteers, please read about each program below and apply for the one that meets your volunteer goals and matches your skills and experience.


Community Service Officer Program

San Diego Humane Society Community Service officer program is a team of dedicated volunteers able to assist the Humane Law Enforcement Officers at San Diego, Oceanside, and Escondido Campuses.

Community Service Officer Volunteers assist Humane Law Officers in the following areas:

  • Investigations of animal abuse, cruelty, and neglect.
  • Pet shop, Stable, Rodeo, Circus, and Foster home inspections.
  • Radio communications, report writing, and photo documentation.
  • Community education outreach programs, information booths, and/or clerical work.
  • Handle, capture, restrain, confine, and transport domestic animals using proper humane equipment, methods, and techniques.
  • Receive emergency and non-emergency radio transmissions (from officers) and phone calls (from public) and dispatch Humane Officers, Field Service Officers, Police, Fire, Ambulance, or other appropriate assistance in accordance with established procedures.


Animal Rescue Reserve Program

San Diego Humane Society's Animal Rescue Reserve (ARR) is a team of trained volunteers dedicated to assisting people during disasters by safely evacuating horses, livestock, and pets. ARR also works throughout San Diego County to rescue pets and livestock that are trapped and cannot free themselves. Volunteers are provided with monthly training designed to create awareness of safety procedures and the proper use of equipment. Rescues have included:

  • Removing animals from fires or flooded areas.
  • Rescuing large animals that have fallen into wells, mud bogs, swimming pools, ravines, etc.
  • Rounding-up and caring for cattle involved in trailer transport accidents.
  • Assisting our Humane Officers with criminal cases during impounds of large groups of abused or neglected animals.

Download a Disaster Planning Pet Form >


Requirements to Volunteer with Humane Law Enforcement Team:

  • During the application process, a complete records and thorough background check will be completed for both ARR and CSO candidate. CSO candidates are also required to complete a drug screen, medical examination, Live Scan and Psychological Exam.
  • Candidates must be at least 21 years of age with a valid CA drivers license.
  • Must be computer literate with excellent written and verbal skills.
  • Strong interpersonal and conflict resolution skills with the ability to use tact, judgment, and strategy in dealing with a wide variety of people both friendly and hostile.
  • Preferred Qualifications: Completion of Basic Animal Law Academy
  • Physical Demands: Individuals must be in excellent condition as Community Service Officers and will be required to move, and/or restrain animals that weigh fifty (50) pounds or more with the risk of animals being unruly, vicious, or otherwise dangerous. Individuals also will regularly be in situations of risk during field duty, which comprises majority of volunteer time.


How to Become a Volunteer:

  • Complete our online application and indicate if you are interested in the ARR or CSO program.
  • The Volunteer Engagement team will review all applications and will select those whose skills, experience and availability meet the needs of the Humane Law Team for a group interview.
  • Qualified ARR applicants that pass the interview will be added to the program and start training with the ARR team. Qualified CSO applicants that pass the interview will be invited to participate in Ride Along with a Humane Officer.

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