Humane Law Volunteer Programs

San Diego Humane Society Humane Law Enforcement Volunteer Opportunities:

Reserve Officer and Animal Rescue Reserve

If you are interested in volunteering with this team of highly skilled volunteers, please read about each program below. We review all applications received and will invite those most qualified for the programs to the next Volunteer Open House.



Next Open House: 2018

Our Reserve Officer program is a team of dedicated volunteers able to assist the Humane Law Enforcement Officers at San Diego, Oceanside, and Escondido Campuses. Reserve Officer Volunteers assist Humane Law Officers in the following areas:

  • Investigations of animal abuse, cruelty, and neglect.
  • Pet shop, stable, rodeo, and circus inspections.
  • Radio communications, report writing, and photo documentation.
  • Community education outreach programs, information booths, and/or clerical work.
  • Handle, capture, restrain, confine, and transport domestic animals using proper humane equipment, methods, and techniques.
  • Receive emergency and non-emergency radio transmissions (from officers) and phone calls (from public) and dispatch Humane Officers, Field Service Officers, Police, Fire, Ambulance, or other appropriate assistance in accordance with established procedures.

Commitment:  32 hours of service per month.


NEXT OPEN HOUSE: September 20, 2017

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. Reserve Officer Volunteers can assist Humane Law Officers 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.

Commitment: One monthly training, typically on a weekend, and on call during disasters.

Download a Disaster Planning Pet Form


  • A complete records and thorough background check will be completed for ARR and RO candidates. RO candidates are also required to complete a drug screen, medical examination, Live Scan, and Psychological Exam.
  • 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.
  • Preferred qualifications for RO: completion of Basic Animal Law Academy.
  • 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.


  • Complete our online application below.
  • The Volunteer Engagement team will review all applications and will invite those whose skills, experience and availability meet the needs of the Humane Law Team to a Volunteer Open House for that particular program.
  • After the Open House, those who are interested in the role will schedule an interview with the RO/ARR team.
  • Each program requires new volunteers to complete a probationary period prior to taking on volunteer duties.


Apply Now