Get Involved

Volunteer at Our Shelter

Volunteer Information

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with the 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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  • 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 at the Sharonville Humane Center (no working directly with animals) and will need a signed waiver from their parent/legal guardian
  • All volunteers must submit the appropriate application online
  • All traditional volunteers are required to attend New Volunteer Orientation & Training at the Sharonville Humane Center, including animal 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
  • Volunteers, regardless of type or age, must be able to work independently

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.

Please direct any questions, comments or concerns to

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 thousands of 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 commit to a regular schedule?
  • Do you have regular access to the internet and email for important volunteer information?

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 Traditional SPCA Cincinnati volunteers are matched with a volunteer role that we feel best fits our needs as an organization. They must then attend New Volunteer Orientation & Training to learn more about our organization and our expectations, including how to handle animals. 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 is also part of their responsibilities. All of these require training to ensure the 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 with questions or to request a date.

Do you offer opportunities for school community service hours?

Yes! Individuals who require community service hours for school may earn hours through the SPCA Cincinnati. These short-term volunteers will attend a role-specific orientation with an employee or manager. 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!