San Diego Volunteer Opportunities

volpic2Thank you for your interest in volunteering!

San Diego Humane Society cares for almost 2,000 homeless animals daily, and provides services to enhance the human-animal bond for members of the San Diego community. Volunteers help serve our animals and guests to ensure their experience at the shelter is phenomenal. We are grateful for the enthusiasm, dedication, and love they share with us every day.

New volunteers are typically recruited every other month, on an as needed basis.  If interested in volunteering, please review the information below and sign up for a Volunteer Info Session.

Community Members Interested in Volunteering:

New Volunteers Assist in the following ENTRY LEVEL FOUNDATION ROLES at our San Diego Campus

New volunteers will begin in the foundation level role where they assist with feeding, cleaning, making enrichment items and assisting guests. After a minimum of 15 hours of service, volunteers may apply to step up into our core level roles such as dog walking, cat socializing, assisting in our kitten nursery etc. These roles require additional training, responsibility and a weekly shift commitment.

  • Animal Care – Assist with feeding, cleaning and in-kennel enrichment at the shelter. Shifts available daily between 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Minimum commitment is one shift every other week. Shifts typically run 2 hours in length.
  • Guest Services – Greet guests and tour them around our shelter, answer frequently asked questions and help with clerical tasks. Shifts available daily between 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Minimum commitment is one shift every other week. Shifts typically run 2 hours in length.
  • Neighborhood Adoption Centers – Shifts available at our Neighborhood Adoption Centers (inside local Petcos, PetSmarts, etc) to provide feeding, cleaning and socialization for adoptable cats, kittens and occasionally rabbits. Shifts available daily between 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Minimum commitment is one shift every other week. Shifts typically run 1 to 2 hours in length.


Requirements to Volunteer at the San Diego Campus:

  • At our San Diego Campus, volunteers ages 14 or 15 can volunteer if accompanied by a parent or guardian, who is also an approved volunteer, at all times while volunteering. Volunteers aged 16 or 17 may volunteer unaccompanied.
  • Due to time invested in training volunteers must commit to a minimum of 1 year of service.
  • At this time, we are unable to verify hours to meet community service requirements mandated by the court. Hours for school, military, etc will be verified after 6 months of service.


How to Become a Volunteer:

  • Sign up for a Volunteer Info Session! Info Sessions are typically hosted every other month, on an as needed basis, starting in January. At this session you will learn more about our organization, the volunteer program and our current opportunities. Sessions are posted to this webpage at the start of each recruitment month, when new volunteers are needed.
  • If after attending our info sessions you decide we are the right organization for you, you can then complete a volunteer application and sign up for a Volunteer Service Interview. This small group session includes a walking tour of the facility and a group interview which includes both question and answer as well as practicing duties in the role to determine if it is the right fit for you.
  • Following the interview, the Volunteer Engagement team will review your paperwork and place you in a specific volunteer program if there is an appropriate assignment that matches your skills, interests and availability.
  • Once you have received your volunteer assignment, we will schedule any additional necessary hands on training. This may include a training class and/or mentor training with a staff member.

Volunteer Info Sessions – May 2018

If you would like to learn more about volunteering with San Diego Humane Society, please RSVP to an Info Session at our San Diego Campus located on Gaines Street. Official San Diego Humane Society volunteer applications will be sent to all Info Session Attendees after the session.

Space is limited.

Wednesday, May 16 6-8 p.m. – 100 seats max – SESSION FULL

Friday, May 25 6-8 p.m. – 100 seats max – SESSION FULL

Sunday, June 3 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. – 100 seats max – SESSION FULL


If you are a current DAS-Central volunteer and are interested in transitioning to a volunteer role at our San Diego Campus, please click this link to access our DAS Volunteer Orientation Map and review the transition steps. 

After reviewing the map if you’d like to start the transition process please email Liz Johnson, Director of Volunteer Experience, at [email protected] with the following information:

  • Your first and last name
  • Which one of the above Info Sessions you’d like to attend (5/16, 5/25, or 6/3)
  • Your email address
  • Your phone number
  • Your current volunteer role at DAS’s Central Shelter (ie: dog walker, cat companion, etc)
  • How long you’ve been a volunteer at DAS (ie: 6 months, 5 years, etc)

Thank you!