Emergency Response Volunteer Program


San Diego Humane Society Animal Rescue Reserve

If interested in volunteering with ARR, please review the information on this page and check back on June 1 for information about the Fall ARR 2018 recruitment period.


San Diego Humane Society’s Animal Rescue Reserve (ARR) is a team of trained volunteers dedicated to assisting during disasters by safely rescuing and evacuating horses, livestock, and pets. Positions range from roles within an office setting to behind fire lines and volunteers are provided with monthly training designed to create awareness of safety procedures and the proper use of equipment.

Volunteers can assist in the following areas:

  • Educating the community at events as part of the Community Engagement team
  • Assisting with coordination of disaster response as part of the Administrative Support team
  • Coordinating and assisting animal care during evacuations
  • Removing animals from fires or flooded areas
  • Rescuing large animals that have fallen into wells, mud bogs, swimming pools, ravines, etc.
  • Assisting our Humane Officers with criminal cases during impounds of large groups of abused or neglected animals

Volunteer Commitment:

  • One monthly training, typically on a weekend
  • On call during disasters


  • A complete records and thorough background check will be completed for ARR 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.
  • Physical demands: individuals in animal handling roles must be in excellent condition 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 may also be in situations of risk during field duty, which comprises majority of volunteer time.


  • Attend the next Open House! Please check back in Fall 2018 to RSVP to the next recruitment session.
  • If after attending the Open House you decide this is the right role for you, you can then complete a volunteer application for the ARR Team.
  • The Volunteer Engagement team will review all applications and will invite those whose skills, experience and availability meet the needs of the program to a volunteer interview with the ARR leadership team.
  • Those selected for the program will then complete a background check and attend the two day ARR Academy prior to officially joining the team.


Animal Rescue Reserve Volunteer Open House

Please check back on June 1 for information about the Fall ARR 2018 recruitment period.