High School Volunteers

To apply for financial aid for this program, click here!

Program Overview

While most shelters require volunteers to be, 18 years of age or older, the San Francisco SPCA is able to extend the opportunity and privilege of joining our volunteer teams to mature, enthusiastic and highly committed students in grades 9-12. This important responsibility includes spending time with shelter cats or dogs, assisting with their direct care and being available to answer the public's questions. The High School Volunteer Program provides many opportunities to learn more about cats or dogs, help the animals at our shelter, meet other teens interested in companion animals and explore animal related careers. This program helps to foster skills in personal accountability, animal handling and inter-personal communication.


  • This program is available during the school year between October - April. Those wishing to volunteer over the summer should complete the High School Volunteer Program prior to April.
  • Class meets once a week for three weeks, from 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM.
  • The program fee is $90 per participant.
  • Attendance at all three training classes is required—sorry, no “make-ups.”
  • Refunds will not be provided to participants who are unable to follow-through. Program fees supplement our training classes and help offset the costs associated with staffing and materials.
  • Unfortunately we cannot provide refunds, changes, or switches of any kind. 


The cat or dog volunteer training courses screen and prepare students for independent volunteer work in our shelter. Graduates sign up for a weekly volunteer shift, enabling them to volunteer throughout high school. To graduate from the High School Volunteer Program, students must attend all required classes and demonstrate:

  • Participants must be in high school and 14 years of age at the time of the first class.
  • Respectful and thoughtful communication with fellow volunteers, staff, animals, and general public
  • The ability to follow multiple directions and work independently with safety and maturity in mind
  • Commitment to the required time obligation of at least eight hours each month during regular shelter hours for at least six months
  • Students must complete their 6 month commitment focused on dogs or cats only, before signing up to be trained for the other animal. 

Spring 2016 registration begins Monday, December 7th.

Program Schedule

There are no sections scheduled at this time. We post sections regularly, so please check again soon!