Thank you for your interest in the Houston SPCA Volunteer Program. The Houston SPCA has hundreds of volunteers who dedicate their time to make a difference in the lives of our shelter animals and our community. Without these caring individuals we could not continue our mission to promote the commitment to and respect for all animals and free them from suffering, abuse and exploitation.

Requirements to become a volunteer:

·       All potential volunteers must be at least 16 years old at time of application

·       Must be able to commit to 8 hours per month for at least 6 months

·       Pay a non-refundable application fee of $40 for adults or $25 for youth (16-17 years old)

·       All applicants 18 and up must complete a background screening

·       Must have consistent access to internet and email

·       Must have the willingness to complete all necessary tasks within a specified volunteer area

·       Must be able to work well with others as all volunteer positions work directly with staff, volunteers and the public


Volunteer Opportunities:

All new volunteers will be considered a trainee and complete their first 20 hours in one of our four direct animal care areas:


·       Large dogs

·       Small dogs

·       Cattery

·       Small mammals


After 20 hours are accrued, volunteers will be eligible to apply for additional volunteer opportunities.


Further details outlining these opportunities will be provided at orientation.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Is there an opportunity for one-time volunteering? Unfortunately, because of the amount of training required to work with our animals, we do not offer one-time opportunities for individuals. We do however offer corporate group opportunities twice per month on Fridays. If you are interested in having your corporate group volunteer at the Houston SPCA in 2017, please contact us at volunteer@houstonspca.org for more details and pricing.

Is it possible to volunteer for only a couple of months/just during the summer? We require a volunteer commitment of at least six months. It takes a lot of time and energy to properly orient and train our volunteers. Since our volunteers play such an important role in our shelter, we will only accept applicants who are willing to make a long-term commitment.


Do you offer court-appointed community service opportunities? At this time, the Houston SPCA does not fulfill court-appointed community service hours.

If my child is under 16, can they volunteer at the Houston SPCA if I accompany him/her? Because of the type of work our volunteers do for us, we do require each volunteer to be at least 16 years of age at the time of application. We do however offer a spring, winter and summer camp for young people ages 8-14 years old, and a Critter Camp Crew counselor program for kids age 15 and older. We also have service projects available for individuals or scout groups. Visit our Programs For Kids page.


Can I be a volunteer if I have a criminal record? Everyone is encouraged to apply. Your candidacy may be declined depending on the offense. These are discussed on a case by case basis once the results of your application and background screening have been received.


I prefer to fill out a paper application. Can I come down to the shelter to do so? No, we do not offer paper applications. All of our applications are to be completed online.


If I do not currently have a credit/debit card, can I pay the application fee in person with another payment method? All application fees must be completed online using a credit/debit card.


How to get started volunteering at the Houston SPCA.


1.     Submit Payment: $40 for 18 years old  & up, $25 for 16-17 years old

2.     Complete Application: Upon payment, you will receive an automated email containing the link to the application. Be sure to check your junk/spam file!

3.     Complete Background Screening (18 & up only): Upon completion of your application, your will receive instructions to initiate a background screening.

4.     Attend orientation: Once your application and background screening (if applicable) have been reviewed, you will be contacted to register for volunteer orientation. Orientations are held on specified Saturdays each month and consist of an overview of our shelter services, an introduction to the volunteer program and a tour of the facility.

5.     Attend Training: After successfully completing orientation, you will be given instructions to register for specific training where you will learn about our policies and procedures in the direct animal care area of your choice.

6.     Start volunteering: After successfully completing the necessary training session(s) required for the area of your choice, you may begin using the online volunteer portal to schedule your shifts.


Start Step 1 of the application now!


Current volunteers can access the volunteer portal

Support the Houston SPCA

Intervening on behalf of nearly 50,000 animals in need each year is an expensive endeavor, and your generous donation today will help further our mission. Donating to the Houston SPCA is an investment in your community because your entire donation is used locally to benefit the animals of our area.

Donate Today

Thank you to our sponsors and donors.

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