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 exercise
  • 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 name tag. The bundle may be purchased at “activation” (your first volunteer day).

To become a volunteer you must:

    • Be 16 years of age or older. 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.
    • Fill out the on-line volunteer application.
    • Attend a Volunteer Orientation. Orientations are usually held the FIRST Monday of each month and the FIRST Saturday of each month. But check our registration page for certain dates.  Please arrive promptly having completed an on-line Volunteer Application (see below).Orientations will happen at our Mall adoption shop next to the Target entrance inside the mall. After the orientation, we ask that you 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. You can also purchase your $20 volunteer bundle at that time.

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.


Fill Out Your Application Here

Sign up For a Volunteer Orientation 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.