San Diego Volunteer Opportunities

volpic2San Diego Humane Society’s San Diego Campus cares for stray and homeless animals of San Diego, Imperial Beach and Santee.

Volunteers help our staff, animals and community to ensure a remarkable experience at the shelter. We are grateful for the enthusiasm, dedication and love they share with us every day.



Want to get involved?

New volunteers are typically recruited every other month, on an as needed basis. Interested community members first attend a volunteer info session to learn more about our organization, the volunteer program, current opportunities and how to apply for a position on the team! Attendees are invited to complete our online volunteer application, accessible after the session.

Please review the information below and if interested in getting involved, RSVP to our next Volunteer Info Session by clicking the registration link at the bottom of this page. Links are added to this page on the first day of each recruitment month.

Opportunities for New Volunteers at our San Diego Campus:

Companion Animal Team

New volunteers can begin in our foundation level role of our Companion Animal team where they learn the foundation of animal sheltering and 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 core roles require additional training, responsibility and a weekly shift commitment.

Foundation Level Duties:

  • 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, 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 – Assist with feeding, cleaning and in-kennel enrichment for cats, kittens and rabbits at our Neighborhood Adoption Centers (inside local Petcos, PetSmarts, etc). 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.

Community Engagement Team

Join our Education, Pet-Assisted Therapy or Canine Ambassador (with your own dog) volunteer team to connect our community with our organization and the animal welfare movement.  Shifts available throughout the week. Minimum commitment is one shift every other week. Shifts typically run 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 older may volunteer unaccompanied.
  • All volunteers must complete a Volunteer Info Session, small group Service Planning Session and an individual mentored shift prior to volunteering solo. This training series typically takes 1-3 weeks after the Info Session and is designed to set our volunteers up for success!
  • All volunteers must have access to email since most volunteer communication is done via email.
  • 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 web page at the start of each recruitment month, when new volunteers are needed.
  • Complete the Volunteer Application! If after attending our info sessions you decide we are the right organization for you, you can then complete our online volunteer application and sign up for a Volunteer Service Planning Session. This small group session includes a walking tour of the facility, initial training in the foundation role and an opportunity to practice the duties to determine if our opportunities are the right fit for you.
  • Mentored Training Shift! Following the planning session, the Volunteer Engagement team will review your paperwork and place you in the volunteer program if our assignment matches your skills, interests and availability. Once you have received your volunteer offer, you will schedule your hands on mentored training with a staff member or mentor volunteer.



Next Recruitment Period: April 2019

Our volunteer recruitment period is currently closed. Please check back on the 1st of April for information on our next round of Info Sessions!

In the mean time, you can get involved in other ways to help our animals. Thank you so much for your support!

Walk for Animals Volunteers Needed!

Consider becoming a Foster home.

Create animal enrichment items from our Do-It-Yourself Packet.

Host a donation drive to collect items on our Wish List.

Post Furry Flyers to help our shelter animals get adopted.

Host a third party fundraiser.

“Like” us on Facebook and share our posts!

Thank you so much for your support!