Youth Volunteering- Shelter Scouts Program

What is it?

Shelter Scouts is a new and temporary program that allows youth access to volunteer opportunities and enrichment during the current COVID 19 situation. Our Shelter Scouts program explores different ways that youth can help pets in our community. Participants will explore the world of animal welfare through service learning projects, educational activities, and animal meet-and-greets. This program is supervised by our Humane Education staff, so there is no need for parents/guardians to be present.

Shelter Scouts is open to youth ages 8-18. Sessions are held for 2 hours once per week, for three weeks. At this time, we only have program availability at our Oakland location.The fee for Shelter Scouts is $100/student/3-week session. This fee helps to cover the cost of staff supervision during the program as well as additional COVID cleaning supplies. Limited financial assistance is available for qualified applicants, and a link to our scholarship applications can be found at the bottom of this page.

Youth should enroll based on their age on the first day of the session they are registering for. All program hours are eligible to be signed off as service hours. Participants are welcome to sign up for multiple 3-week sessions, as each session has different content, activities, and animals.

Students will receive one volunteer shirt on their first day of their initial session only (students registering for multiple sessions will not receive additional shirts). Additional shirts are available to purchase for $15 each.

What Will We Be Doing?

Students will be completing a variety of tasks to assist East Bay SPCA programs and the animals in our care. Some examples of potential service projects include making dog treats, assisting with shelter laundry, creating adoption posters, preparing for upcoming East Bay SPCA programs or events, making cat toys, assisting with shelter clean-up, providing attention for the animals in our care, etc. Participants will learn about responsible pet care, the medical needs of animals, dog and cat behavior, training techniques, animal advocacy and more.

While all activities will be centered around helping the shelter and the animals in our care, participants should not expect to spend the full session with the shelter animals. In order to make sure our animal-loving participants still get the dog and cat time we know they love, we will plan to include a minimum of one hands-on animal meet-and greet per day. As an animal shelter is a very dynamic environment, the planned daily tasks are always subject to change based on the needs of our staff and shelter animals.


Each session is completely different, with new activities, volunteer tasks, lessons, and of course animals!  Feel free to sign up for just one session or all of them. Students can join at any point; participants will not be confused or lost by starting on session 3 without having attended any previously.

Due to current COVID concerns, we have adjusted to the following cancellation policy:

  • For cancellations made 7 days or more prior to the program’s start date, we can provide you with refund minus a $25 administrative fee to your credit card or check.For any COVID related cancellations– due either to potential or confirmed symptoms or exposure isolation– we can provided you with full refund of credit to your East Bay SPCA registration account balance, which can be used at a later date to either reschedule the same program or to sign up for future education programs such as our Winter, Spring, and Summer Camps.
  • Please note, we cannot accommodate any makeup sessions. Transferring sessions due to illness cancellations is subject to availability.
  • Shelter Scout sessions will be capped below 15 participants max, per county guidelines.
  • All participants and staff will be required to wear masks on site that block their nose and mouth.
  • All people will practice social distancing as much as possible while on campus. Tables and chairs will be engineered to keep participants spaced apart.
  • Our policy is social distancing as much as feasibly possible within a childcare setting. While we will be encouraging and aiming to positively enforce social distancing, much of our focus is on ways to promote disease prevention if and when social distancing is broken—such as increased hand washing and sanitizing, keeping in small stable groups, and sanitizing spaces and objects between uses.
  • Activities may be moved outdoors as weather allows. When we are indoors, we will be in an area not accessed by the public. Additionally, we have a state-of-the-art ventilation system that is designed with disease transmission in mind, due to the fact that our shelter has always had to take exceptional precautions against highly dangerous transmittable diseases for our animal population.
  • Whenever possible, participants will be provided with their own set of supplies. Any supplies that need to be shared will be sanitized between users.
  • Staff will do a visual check of participants upon arrival and ask about any new or different symptoms appearing in campers. Any potential symptoms will result in a child being asked to return home. Previous conditions such as seasonal or pet allergies and asthma will be taken into consideration.
  • Participants will have their temperature taken upon arriving at camp daily. In accordance with public health recommendations, an elevated temperature of 100.0F or higher will be consider contagious and the individual will be sent home.

Register Now!

Pre-Teen Group Ages 8-12

Oakland Adoption Center, 8323 Baldwin Street

*NEW* Tuesday 2:30-4:30 PM

Session 3 (10/13, 10/20, 10/27)

Register Now!

Session 4 (11/3, 11/10, 11/17)

Register Now!

Session 5 (12/1, 12/8, 12/15)

Register Now!

Wednesdays 3:00 – 5:00 PM

Session 1 (9/2, 9/9, 9/16) –Registration Closed

Session 2 (9/23, 9/30, 10/7) –Registration Closed

Session 3 (10/14, 10/21. 10/28)

Full! Register for the waitlist


  Wednesdays 2:30-4:30 PM  *Time Change for November and December*

Session 4 (11/4, 11/11, 11/18)

Register Now!

Session 5 (12/2, 12/9, 12/16)

Register Now!


Thursdays 3:00 – 5:00 PM

Session 1 (9/3, 9/10, 9/17) –Registration Closed

Session 2 (9/24, 10/1, 10/8)-Registration Closed

Session 3 (10/15, 10/22, 10/29)

Register Now!

Session 4 (11/5, 11/12, 11/19)

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Session 5 (12/5, 12/12, 12/19)

Register Now!

Teen Group Ages 12-18

Oakland Adoption Center, 8323 Baldwin Street

Saturdays 10am-12pm

Session 1  (9/5, 9/12, 9/19)- Registration Closed

Session 2 (9/26, 10/3, 10/10)- Registration Closed

Session 3 (10/17, 10/24, 10/31)

Register Now!

Session 4 (11/7, 11/14, 11/21)

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Session 5 (12/5, 12/ 12, 12/19)

Register Now!

Sundays 2:00 – 4:00 PM

Session 1  (9/6, 9/13, 9/20) –Registration Closed

Session 2 (9/27, 10/4, 10/11) – Registration Closed

Session 3 (10/18, 10/25, 11/1)

Register Now!

Session 4 (11/8, 11/15, 11/22)

Register Now!

Session 5 (12/6, 12/13, 12/20)

Register Now!

Click here here to apply for a scholarship.

Limited Financial Assistance is available for qualifying applicants. Please contact us if you need an application in another language, or if you prefer to complete a hard copy rather than online at


Interested, but unable to attend these sessions?

Feel free to fill out our updated scheduling survey here to help influence future scheduling decisions!

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