BECOME AN SPCA VOLUNTEER

The SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare welcomes individuals who can support staff in meeting the mission of the organization. Volunteers are the backbone of the SPCA Albrecht Center – contributing over 10,000 hours of compassionate care to our shelter pets every year. Volunteers are staff, who generously donate their time to ensuring a brighter future for homeless animals. When you become a volunteer, you are a part of our team for life! Volunteer roles include animal care, retail customer service, dog walking, and much more.

VOLUNTEER LOGIN

Are you already a registered volunteer? Click the icon below to enter our secure volunteer portal. You will need your email address and Volunteer Information Center password you created when completing your volunteer application. THANK YOU for your service!

VOLUNTEER REQUIREMENTS

General volunteers must be at least 16 years of age. To become a volunteer, you must first attend a Shelter 101 Information Session. These information sessions are designed to explain how our volunteer program is structured and highlight the expectations we have of volunteers. By the end of the information session you will be able to determine if you are a good fit for our volunteer program and if our program suits your volunteering needs.

Upcoming session dates are listed below and are subject to change. Advance notice is not necessary, but we do like to get an estimated head count. Please fill out the form below just to let us know you’re coming! Punctuality is required. If you arrive more than 5 minutes late, please attend the next session.

  • Thursday, September 2nd 10:30AM – 11:30AM
  • Saturday, September 4th 10:30AM – 11:30AM
  • Friday, October 1st 10:30AM – 11:30AM
  • Saturday, October 2nd 12:00PM – 1:00PM
  • Wednesday, November 3rd 10:30AM – 11:30AM
  • Saturday, November 6th 12:00PM – 1:00PM
Children aged 12-15 may join the volunteer team as Junior Volunteers who are able to participate in select volunteer activities with a parent or legal guardian. If your child is interested in becoming a Junior Volunteer, both parent and child should attend the Shelter 101 Info Session. After attending a Shelter 101 Information Session, if you determine that you are a good fit for our volunteer program, please submit a Volunteer Application. If selected, you will be contacted by email to attend an interview with our Director of Volunteer Services. If you are invited to join the volunteer team, you will receive a volunteer package which includes a volunteer t-shirt and name badge with lanyard. The cost for this volunteer package is $25, $20 for seniors (55+) and students, and $10 for Junior Volunteers.

MANDATORY (Court Ordered) COMMUNITY SERVICE

Community service volunteers must be at least 16 years old. If you need to complete PTI or court ordered community service hours, please email the Volunteer Coordinator – include your case manager’s name and phone number in your email. The volunteer coordinator MUST FIRST verify your information with your community service contact before you can begin your volunteer duties. Once your information is verified, you will be contacted to schedule an interview. After the interview, if you are approved to participate in our program, you will be able to begin your service hours.


Applicants with the following offenses will NOT be permitted to perform community service with our organization:
  • Any offense relating to theft, burglary, fraud, arson, or breaking and entering
  • Any violent offense, including but not limited to: animal cruelty, assault and battery, domestic violence, child abuse or endangerment and any sexual conduct offenses.
Community service volunteers are charged a $10 deposit for the use of a t-shirt and name badge while completing their service. This deposit will be refunded upon the return of these items. Completion of required hours at the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare is dependent upon our need for additional help at the time you apply. The SPCA Albrecht Center reserves the right to refuse volunteer service from any applicant.

MEET THE LEADER OF OUR VOLUNTEER TEAM!

Miranda Ewing joined the team at the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare in February 2020. She has committed her life to volunteering and fostering homeless animals, and believes the strength of a community shines when we can lean on each other. A 2012-2013 AmeriCorps alumni and Rescue Volunteer for Team Stinkykiss (a local CSRA animal rescue), she is an advocate for all animals and all people! Her family includes her husband, who knows all critters may find a temporary home with him (even if he’s allergic to some).

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

 

DOG WALKING
& TRAINING

Volunteer dog walkers are needed each day at the SPCA Albrecht Center to get the dogs out of their kennels for some fresh air, exercise, training and enrichment. After training with our Pet Care Staff, volunteers become qualified to walk the shelter dogs. Must be 16+ to handle, walk or train the shelter dogs.

CAT CARE & ENRICHMENT

If you’ve been to our facility there’s no doubt you’ve noticed we have more than a few cats. While cats are known for being a bit more independent than dogs, they still crave human companionship and benefit from enrichment. Volunteers are needed to help clean and feed the cats in the mornings and provide enrichment in the afternoons.

THRIFT STORE

The SPCA Thrift Store accounts for approximately 1/3 of our annual income and is essential to continuing our operations and mission work. Many of our Thrift Store volunteers enjoy knowing they are helping the animals without being around the constant temptation of taking them all home! Shifts of varying hours can be coordinated between you and one of the Thrift Store managers. On the job training is provided.

CLINIC GREETER

The SPCA has a full-service Veterinary Care Center (VCC) which provides complete vet care for privately owned pets. 100% of the revenue from this practice goes to supporting the SPCA Albrecht Center’s mission. Volunteers can come during walk-in hours to greet clients, assist with client paperwork, and answer client questions about prices and services provided.

READ & RELAX

Developed by the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland in Westbrook, Maine, “Read and Relax” decreases the stress levels of dogs on the adoption floor by teaching them to remain calm in the presence of humans without having to be the center of attention – in other words, just hang out. Volunteers can bring their own folding chair and book, or borrow one from us.

JUNIOR VOLUNTEERS

This program is open to children aged 12-15. Junior Volunteers have the opportunity to volunteer at shelter events. In addition, Junior Volunteer members can participate in Read & Relax and Cat Enrichment with their parent or guardian.

FOSTERING

Although our facility is large, there is not always enough room for all of the animals we would like to care for – especially during times like ‘Kitten Season.’ Volunteers help by temporarily opening their homes to animals in need. All fosters require a brief counseling session before you begin your foster work and a foster care application must be completed. If you are interested, please click here to complete the application.

OFFSITE ADOPTIONS

Most Saturdays a team of SPCA Albrecht Center volunteers set up for adoptions at PetSmart, Petco, Starbucks or other local businesses. These events keep us visible in the community and give us yet another opportunity to find homes for the shelter animals. Volunteers help with customer service, adoption counseling, handling the shelter dogs, and driving and loading the SPCA Albrecht Center van to transport the animals.

SERVICE PROJECTS

We have many DIY projects for you to complete to fulfill school service hours. These projects help us provide hours of enrichment for the shelter animals! Click here to download our Service Hour Guide. Once you have completed your service project, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator at 803-648-6863 or by email to schedule a drop off and sign off on your hours.

VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT

The SPCA Albrecht Center would like to recognize Kathryn Dow as the Volunteer Spotlight of the Month for October 2021. Kathryn began volunteering with the SPCA this summer shortly after moving from Oregon to be closer to her family. Kathryn’s twin brother was the first to make the trek from the Pacific Northwest to the Southeast when he was stationed at Fort Gordon in Augusta. He married and settled down, and the parents soon followed. Boy, are we glad Kathryn decided to make the CSRA her home as well!

Not afraid to dive right into her new community, Kathryn knew she wanted to help in animal rescue and applied to be in the volunteer program explaining, “I like to work with other people who also like to be around animals and [I want to] give back as well.” Staff describe Kathryn as full of spark and friendliness, so both animals and people enjoy being around her.

With a bachelor’s degree in animal science and a minor in equine science from Oregon State University, the SPCA’s Canine Behaviorist jumped at the chance to put Kathryn to work. After receiving instruction in the shelter’s policies and training methods, Kathryn began working with the shelter dogs with leash-walking skills, in-kennel enrichment, and even groomed the shelter dogs. As part of the Phideaux University program, volunteers can use reward-based methods to teach “adoptability” skills to a shelter dog.

Kathryn was paired with big goofball Abe, who was adopted in August. Kathryn also opened her heart to fostering a shelter pup named Vanilla Bean who was brought to the SPCA after someone found her wandering on Silver Bluff Road. Kathryn cared for sweet Vanilla Bean for almost 3 weeks until the pup was ready for spay surgery. Fostering a homeless pet is a very rewarding experience but also a challenge as the foster parent prepares for the bittersweet goodbye. Kathryn loved Vanilla Bean so much and wrote a very detailed letter to her potential adopters, which staff posted on Vanilla Bean’s door while she waited for adoption. Happily, Vanilla Bean found her forever family the following week.

PHOTO: Kathryn Dow with pups Eddie & Rosie

Kathryn’s love of animals includes her furry friends Kidd, Eddie, and Rosie. Kidd has been Kathryn’s horse companion since high school, and he is a 20-year-old sweetie. The pair have been on the equestrian team, dabbled in polo, and competed in barrel racing. The other two faithful friends are Rosie the schnauzer poodle and Eddie, who Kathryn jokingly calls her Jack Russel “terrorist.”

Kathryn even started her own grooming business in July which she named Rosie’s Place. In addition to owning her own business, Kathryn also works at two different barns in Aiken and gives horseback riding lessons on occasion. Kathryn’s lively spirit shines through in all aspects of her life including her leisure activities: camping, going to the beach, hiking, construction, sewing, leather work, and anything to do with animals.

When asked what she finds most rewarding about volunteering with the SPCA Kathryn replies, “knowing that I’m changing lives and helping animals to live as good as they can until they find their forever home.”

Kathryn, you have most definitely influenced the lives of these homeless animals and made a positive impact on the people you work alongside. Thank you for your compassion and tireless volunteer efforts!