Volunteer Frequently Asked Questions
Are there costs associated with volunteering for SDHS?
Volunteers are required to purchase a t-shirt or apron, which are available for less than $15 at any of our locations.
All volunteers working with dogs (Dog Buddies and Canine Companions) at our San Diego campus will wear a volunteer vest, available for $17.
Pet-Assisted Therapy volunteers with Canine Good Citizen certified therapy dogs must purchase a therapy dog vest for $40.
Can I get community service hours for school?
After completion of your six month commitment as a volunteer, we are happy to verify hours for school programs.
Can I satisfy court-ordered community service requirements?
At this time, we are unable to verify hours to meet community service requirements mandated by the
Can I volunteer at any Humane Society if I complete your application?
No. All humane societies are independent organizations. If you are interested in working with another animal welfare organization, you must complete their volunteer application process.
SDHS volunteers choose which of our campuses they want to assist at.
How can my group get involved in volunteering?
See our Group Volunteering page and our D.I.Y. Volunteering page.
How do I become a volunteer?
- Apply for the location or program you're interested in. You will receive confirmation of your application submission from one of our Volunteer Coordinators. Qualified applicants will be invited to attend a group orientation session where you will learn more information about the San Diego Humane Society and the volunteer opportunities available, as well as a behind-the-scenes tour.
- Following the interview, the Volunteer Engagement department will review your
application and notify you if there is an appropriate volunteer assignment
that matches your skills, interests, and schedule.
- Once you have received your assignment, we will schedule necessary training. This will include a training class and/or shadow training with a staff member.
How old do you have to be to volunteer?
At our Oceanside campus, youth ages 16 and 17 can volunteer for positions with dogs, cats, rabbits, and office roles.
At our San Diego campus, volunteers ages 14 or 15 can apply for our Cat Companion or Small Animals Programs. These volunteers must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, who is also an approved volunteer, at all times while volunteering.Volunteers aged 16 or 17 can apply for our Cat, Small Animals, Dog Buddy and Canine Companion programs and may volunteer unaccompanied.
At our Escondido campus, all volunteers must be 18 or older.
How often do you accept volunteer applications?
We accept applications for our General Volunteer position on an every-other-month basis, during January, March, May, July, September, and November. Completed applications must be received by the last day of the month to be considered for that cycle.
Other ongoing volunteer opportunities are also available. See them here >
I'm not old enough to volunteer, but I want to help. What can I do?
• Host a third party fundraiser. Info and guidelines can be found here >
• Host a donation drive at your school or in your community to collect new or used items from our Wish List, including towels, blankets and pet supplies, which you can then donate to us.
• Print Furry Fliers off our website and distribute them around your neighborhood to help get our animals adopted.
• Learn more about Youth Service options >
• Explore our D.I.Y. Volunteering page
What is the minimum time requirement for volunteering with SDHS?
We ask that our new volunteers make an initial commitment of one year. Monthly hour minimums vary by program, but please plan to spend at least six hours a month volunteering.
Where can I volunteer with SDHS?
It depends on the opportunity you want to participate in. Start on our main volunteer page and select your preferred location or interest.