Thank you for your interest in joining the Santa Cruz SPCA’s volunteer team and helping the animals in our care! Volunteers are a valued and essential part of our organization, extending the capacity for our paid staff to rescue and care for hundreds of animals each year. Volunteers perform a wide variety of tasks and you can choose to dabble in all or specialize in one or two. Please review our volunteer positions below to familiarize yourself with the available options.


Volunteer Positions Available:

  • Canine TLC and excercise
  • Feline TLC and socialization
  • Dog Bathing/Grooming
  • Foster Care
  • Community Event Support
  • Development Support
  • General Animal Care
  • Clerical Assistant
  • Shelter Greeter
  • Maintenance/Landscape Support


*NOTE- We require all new volunteers to purchase a “Volunteer Bundle” for $20, which includes a volunteer apron and nametag. The bundle may be purchased at the orientation or upon “activation” (your first volunteer day).

To become a volunteer you must:

  • Be 16 years of age or older, and possess a driver’s license or state I.D. We are unable to accept volunteers under the age of 16, even when accompanied by an adult, due to firm insurance policy restrictions. All volunteer applicants under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian sign their volunteer application.
  • Attend a Volunteer Orientation. Orientations are held the FIRST Monday of each month at 4pm. Please arrive promptly with a photo ID and a completed Volunteer Application (see below). After the orientation, we ask that you purchase your $20 volunteer bundle and schedule your “activation” day (first volunteer day). During your “activation” day, you will be paired with a staff member or experienced volunteer to give you a tour of the shelter, introduce our Volunteer Handbook, teach you the shelter basics and answer any questions you may have.

Community Service

We are happy to provide you with a gratifying outlet to complete volunteer hours for community service purposes. However, for those of you needing court-ordered community service hours, please read the following:

  • We cannot accept community service hours for violations involving: theft, drugs, acts of violence, forgery, sexual offenses, or crimes involving weapons.
  • Community Service volunteer position options are limited to General Animal Care, Dog Bathing/Grooming, and Maintenance/Landscape Support.

Download Your Application Here

Volunteer at our Mall Adoption Center!

In order to become a volunteer at our Mall Adoption Center, you must first become a general shelter volunteer and complete training at the Santa Cruz SPCA's primary location.