San Diego Volunteer Opportunities

volpic2Thank you for your interest in volunteering!

San Diego Humane Society cares for almost 2,000 homeless animals daily, and provides services to enhance the human-animal bond for members of the San Diego community. Volunteers help serve our animals and guests to ensure their experience at the shelter is phenomenal. We are grateful for the enthusiasm, dedication, and love they share with us every day.

New volunteers are typically recruited every other month, on an as needed basis.  All volunteer positions are currently full for the San Diego Campus and we are currently training our last round of recruits.  If interested in volunteering, please review the information below and check back on May 1 to see if we have additional openings at that time.


New Volunteers Assist in the following ENTRY LEVEL ROLES at our San Diego Campus

  • Animal Care – Assist with feeding, cleaning, and in-kennel enrichment at the shelter. Shifts available daily between 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Minimum commitment is one shift every other week. Shifts typically run 2 hours in length. Every few months volunteers in this role will have the option to apply for “Step Up” openings in more direct animal handling roles (additional training required).
  • Guest Services – Greet guests and tour them around our shelter, answer frequently asked questions and help with clerical tasks. Shifts available daily between 10am-6pm. Minimum commitment is one shift every other week. Shifts typically run 2 hours in length.
  • Neighborhood Adoption Centers – Shifts available at our Neighborhood Adoption Centers (inside local Petcos, PetSmarts, etc) to provide feeding, cleaning, and socialization for adoptable cats, kittens, and occasionally rabbits. Minimum commitment is one shift every other week. Shifts typically run 1 to 2 hours in length.


Requirements to Volunteer at the San Diego Campus:

  • At our San Diego Campus, volunteers ages 14 or 15 can volunteer if accompanied by a parent or guardian, who is also an approved volunteer, at all times while volunteering. Volunteers aged 16 or 17 may volunteer unaccompanied.
  • Due to time invested in training volunteers must commit to a minimum of 1 year of service.
  • Volunteers may start in a Foundation volunteer role, assisting our Animal Care, Guest Service or Neighborhood Adoption teams. After a minimum of 15 hours/3 months of service, these volunteers can then Step Up to assist in additional volunteer roles with additional responsibilities.

How to Become a Volunteer:

  • Sign up for a Volunteer Info Session! Info Sessions are typically hosted every other month, on an as needed basis, starting in January. At this session you will learn more about our organization, the volunteer program and current opportunities. Sessions are posted to this webpage at the start of each recruitment month, when new volunteers are needed.
  • If after attending our info sessions you decide we are the right organization for you, you can then complete a volunteer application and sign up for a Volunteer Service Interview. This small group session includes a walking tour of the facility and a group interview which includes both question and answer as well as practicing duties in the role to determine if it is the right fit for you.
  • Following the interview, the Volunteer Engagement team will review your paperwork and place you in a specific volunteer program if there is an appropriate assignment that matches your skills, interests, and availability.
  • Once you have received your volunteer assignment, we will schedule any additional necessary hands on training. This may include a training class and/or mentor training with a staff member.

In the meantime, below is information on other ways to help our animals. Thank you so much for your support!