Our mission is to promote commitment to and respect for all animals and free them from suffering, abuse and exploitation.

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The Houston SPCA Volunteer Program
Making a Difference

Thank you for your interest in the Houston SPCA Volunteer Program! The Houston SPCA has hundreds of dedicated volunteers helping us help the animals. Without these compassionate, caring people, we could not continue our efforts on behalf of the animals.

We are always looking for volunteers to help further this mission, however we ask that all volunteers be able to commit to a recurring two-hour shift each week, and be at least 16 years of age.


Do you offer court appointed community service?


Do volunteers get to work in Cruelty Investigations?

Please note that volunteers do not get to accompany our cruelty investigators on ride-alongs nor do volunteers get the opportunity to work with the investigators or volunteer with any animals involved in active cruelty cases.

Is there availability for one-time volunteering?

Unfortunately, because of the amount of training required to work with our animals we do not offer one-time training opportunities for individuals. We do offer minimal group opportunities once a month for corporations. If you are interested in this, please contact me as soon as possible because these fill up very quickly.

Can my child under 16 years old volunteer at the SPCA if they are volunteering with me?

We do not offer any opportunities for youth to volunteer under the age of 16. We do however offer a Spring, Winter, and Summer Critter Camps for young people 8-14 years old. If you are interested in learn more about our Critter Camp, please click Critter Camp Information.

Is it possible to volunteer for a short amount of time?

We require our volunteers to commit to volunteering for at least 6 months or more. The time that it takes to train our volunteers and get them acclimated to their areas requires that amount of time for it to be of the best interest of not only the shelter, but of the volunteer. We also cannot have people volunteer for a set number of hours and then end their volunteer experience.  We work very hard to retain all our volunteers and we don’t want to enter into a relationship with somebody knowing they will be leaving.



To begin the volunteer process, please contact our Volunteer Services Manager, at rgearhart@houstonspca.org to request an online volunteer application.  Upon receipt of your request, we will send you an application.  If you are a youth volunteer you will also be required to complete two essays prior to volunteering and receiving orientation dates.

When the application is completed and approved you will receive multiple available orientation dates so that you can choose which date works best for you. The orientations last approximately 1.5 hours and give an overview of our programs, services, the volunteer program, and the next steps in the volunteer process.

After completion of the orientation, volunteers will be scheduled for a training date.  All new volunteers begin in large dogs, small dogs, the cattery, or small mammals.  On your training day, you will be asked to pay $25 to cover the cost of insurance we provide each volunteer, badge, and t-shirt.  Once orientation and training is complete all volunteers will be approved to volunteer on a designated day and time of the week of their choosing.

Available Volunteer Opportunities:

The following volunteer positions assist with the daily operation of the Houston SPCA, and are available to qualified applicants.

Direct Animal Care

Assist potential adopters find companion animals, clean cages, socialize animals, and walk animals.

The areas in Direct Animal Care include:

  • Large Adoptable Dogs & Puppies
  • Small Adoptable Dogs & Puppies
  • The Cattery
  • Small Mammals

*You must complete 20 hours in one of these four areas before moving on to any other area.

Other Volunteer Opportunities after 20 hours are completed

Receive incoming animals, and assist in completing necessary paperwork. You must be 18 years of age, have 20 hours volunteer experience in adoption counseling/front desk and 20 hours in direct animal care.

These volunteers assist in the barn with feeding, bathing, and socializing the farm animals. Must be 18 years of age and have completed at least 20 hours in an animal care area to be considered for this position.

Clinic Technician Assistant –Surgery & Clinic
Help the veterinary staff process incoming animals and prepare them for adoption. Includes preparing vaccinations, cleaning ears, and general grooming. Must be 18 years of age and have a minimum of 20 hours in an animal care area is required for this position.

Front Desk/Adoption Counselor
Help process adoption paperwork (including counseling), answer phones, take cruelty and lost & found reports and assist the public with general questions/directions. Must be 18 years of age and have completed at least 20 hours in an animal care area to be considered for this position.

Humane Education
Assist with tours of the facility and Critter Camp (summer, spring break and Christmas holiday). Must have completed at least 20 hours in an animal care area to be considered for this position.

Mobile Adoptions
Held at various locations throughout Houston, volunteers work to find homes for Houston SPCA animals. Examples of locations include Neiman Marcus and Toyota Center.

Special Events
Held at different locations throughout the year. Examples of special events include microchip clinics, Gala, and other community events. A minimum of 20 hours in an animal care area is required for this position.


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