Get Involved

Volunteer at Our Shelter

Volunteer Information

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with SPCA Cincinnati! Volunteers contribute to the success of everything we do, and our animals benefit immensely from our volunteers’ time and compassion. Volunteers know that they are making a real difference in the lives of animals in need while contributing to the success of every department. Please carefully review the information below to determine if we offer the volunteer experience that you are seeking.

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Requirements

  • Minimum age to volunteer: 16 years old
  • Minimum age to work directly with animals: 18 years old
  • 16-17 year olds will be assigned cleaning and support roles (no working directly with animals) and will need a signed waiver from their parent/legal guardian
  • All volunteers must submit appropriate application online and, depending on opportunity, may be required to interview
  • All volunteers are required to attend an one-hour New Volunteer Orientation at the Sharonville Humane Center and role training with a lead volunteer at their assigned facility
  • Volunteers working with dogs will be required to attend and pass 3 hours of Volunteer Handler Training
  • All volunteer activity is scheduled in advance to meet the needs of our organization
  • Volunteers are required to complete a minimum of 4 hours of service each month to remain in good standing

Available Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers are involved in most areas of our organization, and we are continuously evaluating our needs to develop additional opportunities! You can see a listing and description of our current opportunities here.

To Apply

Please complete the appropriate online volunteer application below:

  • Traditional Volunteer Application (age 18 and older)
  • Teen Volunteer/High School Community Service (16-17 years old): Teen volunteers and high schoolers seeking to earn community service hours with us must be a minimum of 16 years of age. You are placed at the Sharonville Humane Center only and will complete cleaning tasks. You must be approved and scheduled to volunteer. Consent of your legal guardian will be required before you are allowed to volunteer.
  • College Community Service: College students seeking to earn community service hours with us are placed at the Sharonville Humane Center only and will complete cleaning tasks. You must be approved and scheduled to volunteer.
  • Diversion Program/Court-Mandated Service: Individuals who have been sentenced to the court’s Diversion Program to earn community service hours are placed at the Northside Shelter only and will complete cleaning tasks. You must be approved and scheduled per requirements to volunteer.

Please direct any questions, comments or concerns to Lee Ann Luxenberger, Volunteer Services Manager at volunteer@spcacincinnati.org.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Why volunteer with SPCA Cincinnati?

SPCA Cincinnati has been a trusted leader in animal welfare in Ohio and the Tri-State area for over 140 years. We see over 13,000 animals come through our doors annually and our volunteers are important members of our team who aid us in caring for those animals. SPCA Cincinnati volunteers

  • Help save the lives of animals in need and help individuals and families find loving companion animals
  • Learn about animal welfare issues in our community and help to spread the word about animal protection and good pet ownership
  • Develop new skills and have new experiences that help them in their academic pursuits, careers, and other volunteer roles
  • Make and connect with new friends within a large team of animal lovers
  • Help themselves – volunteering increases self-esteem and helps you to reduce stress. Working with animals also has additional health benefits

Is there anything that I should consider before applying to be a volunteer?

SPCA Cincinnati needs mature, compassionate, and reliable volunteers. Please consider the following before completing a volunteer application:

  • Are you at least 16 years old?
  • If you are 16-17 years old, are you okay with not working directly with the animals?
  • Do you have reliable transportation?
  • Do you have the ability to volunteer at least 4 hours per month and to commit to a regular schedule?
  • Do you have regular access to the internet and email for important volunteer information?
  • Are you willing to go through an interview process once you’ve applied?

If you answer ‘no’ to any of the questions above, we might not be the best fit for you at this time. 

Why can’t I just come in to play with puppies and kittens?

All SPCA Cincinnati volunteers are interviewed and matched with a volunteer role that we feel best fits our needs as an organization. They must then attend New Volunteer Orientation to learn more about our organization and our expectations. Volunteers working with dogs must also complete and pass 3 hours of Volunteer Handler Training. Team Leaders will also provide assignment-specific training. This training is required for your safety and for the best interest of the animals in our care. Part of a volunteer’s responsibilities includes playing with animals, of course. But, cleaning, teaching basic behavior, and interacting with the public are also part of their responsibilities. All of these require training to ensure safety of our animals, employees, and volunteers. All of our volunteers are on a schedule so that we know that the animals are receiving care each day and at scheduled times. We require approved volunteers to sign up so that we are not over or under booked in various areas of our organization.

Do you offer group volunteer opportunities?

Yes! We welcome small groups of up to 10 volunteers to serve with us. Group volunteers (businesses, schools, religious and/or civic organizations) will perform support work for the organization and will not be working directly with animals. All volunteers in the group must be 16 years of age or older. Email Lee Ann Luxenberger, Volunteer Services Manager, with questions or to request a date.

Do you offer opportunities for school or court-mandated community service hours?

Yes! Individuals who require community service hours for school or for Diversion Program through the court system may earn hours through SPCA Cincinnati. There are different requirements and applications for each. These short-term volunteers are not required to attend New Volunteer Orientation, but will be oriented to their assignment by a manager or lead volunteer. Please plan ahead – it will generally take at least 2 weeks to process your application and get you set up if accepted. We cannot accommodate last minute requests.

Are there any ways that kids under age 16 can help?

Absolutely! Kids can help our animals in many ways. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Bake homemade dog treats to donate to the shelter
  • Make homemade dog or cat toys to donate to the shelter
  • Ask friends, neighbors, and family members to donate to us – you can pick one item (towels are a great example of something we need all the time!) or ask for any items from our wishlist!