Your Dog, the Canine Ambassador Volunteer

Interested in volunteering with your own dog?

dog webpageSan Diego Humane Society has a canine volunteer program that helps educate children at our shelter and in the classroom, visits community members at outreach events and brings joy to those who are no longer able to own a pet through Pet-Assisted Therapy and Welcome Waggin’ visits.

The dogs who participate in our P-AT program have passed a temperament assessment, including exposure to small pets. These Canine Ambassadors and their people (a P-AT volunteer) provide an extra dimension of happiness to clients.

We are currently recruiting new dogs for our volunteer program. If interested, please read the information below and complete our volunteer application.

Volunteer Duties

Our Canine Ambassador volunteers work with our Education team at summer camps, birthday parties and various Society events at the shelter and in the community.  While volunteering, they educate the community about our services, programs and animals all while providing a fur-fix.

Pet-Assisted Therapy (P-AT) visits are also are part of this program, for our Canine Ambassadors who are a bit calmer and get along well with our small pets of the program. These visits are designed to share animals with people of all ages in care facilities such as convalescent homes, hospitals, mental health centers, abused children’s homes and juvenile detention centers who aren’t able to experience the joys of pet ownership.

As part of the P-AT program, volunteers may go on Welcome Waggin’ visits, designed to provide the love and companionship of a dog to people in their own homes. There is no charge for this program and we are able to visit a variety of homes throughout San Diego County.

Requirements to Volunteer

If interested in volunteering, here are the steps to take:

  1. Be sure your dog meets all the basic requirements:
  • Outgoing and friendly with all people
  • Friendly with other dogs
  • Ignores all small animals (rabbits, guinea pigs, rats)
  • Not shy or scared of new situations
  • Be spayed or neutered
  • Be at least one year old
  • Not be on a raw food diet
  1. Dogs must then pass a temperament evaluation with our P-AT specialist, which includes introduction to our small animals (rabbits, guinea pigs, rats), other dogs and volunteers.
  2. If accepted in the program, owners will then complete the Online Volunteer Orientation and in person training.
  3. All dogs must complete an annual health check through their vetinarian and wear a Canine Ambassador bandanna while volunteering.

How to Become a Volunteer:

  • If you think your dog would be a good fit, please complete the application form below.
  • After reviewing your information, the Volunteer Engagement team will contact you by phone or email to discuss the program. If there is an opening in the program, we will schedule an in-person assessment with you, your dog, and a member of the San Diego Humane Society Team. If the program is full, we will add you to the wait list and contact you as soon as we have an opening.
  • Dogs that pass the assessment will be established in the program and owners will be required to complete Volunteer Orientation and Training.

Apply for your dog to be a Canine Ambassador Volunteer