Volunteer FAQ’s

How do I become a Volunteer?

Read through our list of current volunteer opportunities and the corresponding position description to determine which volunteer position(s) you are interested in. Then, complete our online volunteer application.

How long does it take to begin volunteering?

This depends on your interests and availability as well as our needs. Some volunteer roles require only basic training, while others are more advanced and require some experience in the shelter in addition to more extensive classroom training.

What is the volunteer commitment?

In general, we ask volunteers to commit to at least 6-8 hours per month.

For those interested in volunteering in our shelters or clinics, we ask to commit to a regular weekly shift of two hours for a minimum of six months. Many people enjoy their experience so much that they stay much longer!

We welcome you to explore and train to move on to more experienced roles after your initial training and we will try to be flexible if your regular schedule needs to change.

Can I volunteer with a child?

Yes! We welcome children aged 10-15 to volunteer alongside a trained parent or guardian as a pair. (One child per trained adult.)

Youth aged 16-17 are welcome to volunteer independently with a waiver signed by a parent or legal guardian. The East Bay SPCA also offers youth volunteering opportunities through our Humane Education department. Click here to see what’s available!

Can I volunteer if I can’t commit to 6 months?

We do offer some short term volunteering opportunities on a case-by-case basis at our Oakland campus. Volunteers who can’t commit to the six-month requirement may still be able to lend a hand with daily shelter duties such as doing dishes and folding laundry. Contact us directly if interested in a temporary assignment.

Can I volunteer with both cats and dogs?

Absolutely! However, we suggest that you begin working with only one species. After you complete your training and have some experience in the shelter, you can begin volunteering with the other species as well.

Can I volunteer with more than one program at a time?

Definitely! Many volunteers choose to get involved in various programs simultaneously. We will work with you based on your interests to coordinate a schedule that works for everyone.

I have volunteered at another SPCA or Humane Society before. So, does my training count here?

All shelters operate independently from each other and have varying protocols for safety and best practices. Your previous experience will surely help your transition as a volunteer with the East Bay SPCA, however you will need to complete the same training and onboarding as any other volunteer would.

Can I volunteer after work or on weekends?

We have volunteer shifts available seven days a week between 8 am – 6 pm.

After attending a Meet & Greet, participants are invited to submit an application to let us know availability and interests so that we can match people up with volunteer roles and shifts that work for them and meet our needs.

Can I volunteer if I have a changing schedule?

Volunteering in our shelters or clinics requires that you commit to a regular weekly shift of two hours.  We understand that volunteers will occasionally need to make changes to their schedule or take time off. However, if your availability varies regularly then volunteering in this capacity would not be a good fit. We encourage you to consider helping out in other ways, or by becoming a Foster Volunteer.

Can I fulfill community service hours at the East Bay SPCA?

We work with people to fulfill court mandated community service at our Oakland location only, on a case-by-case basis at our discretion. Community service volunteers primarily help with tasks like laundry, mopping and dishes. There is no animal interaction. Please contact us directly for information.

Are there ways I can volunteer from home? 

Consider becoming a Foster Volunteer! Our network of Foster families help us provide special care for very young animals, those who are sick or injured or those who need a more quiet and relaxed atmosphere in order to thrive. We offer Foster orientations at both our Oakland and Dublin campuses. Find out more about becoming a Foster Volunteer.

You Might Also Like

Behavior and Training

Other Ways to Give East Bay SPCA

Foster East Bay SPCA

Behavior and Training

Learn to speak a language your pet will understand.

Other Ways to Give

Cash donations aren’t the only way to help give animals a second chance. Learn other ways you can make an impact!


Can I crash on your couch for awhile? You don’t need a lot of time, just love and a warm lap!