Emergency Response Volunteer Program


San Diego Humane Society Animal Rescue Reserve


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! RSVP below!
  • 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 on August 25.
  • Those selected for the program will then complete a background check and attend the two day ARR Academy on September 15 and 16 prior to officially joining the team.


Animal Rescue Reserve Volunteer Open House

Please check back in Spring 2019 for the next recruitment session

If you would like to be added to our interest list, and emailed once a date is set, please email [email protected].