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, December 2nd 4:00PM – 5:00PM
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 Joanne Martin as the Volunteer Spotlight of the Month for November 2021. Joanne joined the volunteer team in September of 2020 just a few months after moving to Aiken from Rochester, Minnesota. She was particularly interested in helping the shelter dogs through the SPCA’s Phideaux University Program, which is a part of the volunteer program that focuses on supporting the homeless dogs who are waiting for their forever family.

After joining the team, Joanne quickly attended the SPCA’s Canine Behaviorist’s class on best practices for dog handling and leash walking. It didn’t take long until Joanne graduated to becoming a Phideaux Professor, a level of the program which trains volunteers on how to use positive behavior modification with a specific dog.

Joanne was paired with shelter dog Miss Honey who Joanne remembers as “sweet, loving, eager-to-please dog inside.” Sweet Miss Honey came to the shelter as a stray in February 2021 and when looking at her one could tell she had had a tough life. She had obviously had many litters of puppies, her ears had been crudely cropped, and she was very timid but thankfully was adopted by a loving family in March.

Photo of SPCA volunteer Joanne Martin

In April 2020, Joanne bravely answered the desperate plea for Vet Care Center (VCC) volunteers. With this volunteer position, Joanne began helping every Thursday with customer service at the VCC during walk-in clinics. The VCC staff are very grateful for Joanne’s hard work and tenacity. Vet medicine is not a new arena for Joanne who began working in a vet clinic during her high school days in Pennsylvania, and afterwards earned a degree in Veterinary Medical Technology from Sanford, NC.

Remembering her studies in North Carolina, Joanne reflects, “[This] began my love affair with the South. That was many years ago and though I ended up taking a different path in my professional journey, volunteering at the SPCA [Vet Care Center] has made me feel like I’ve come full circle and returned to my roots. I enjoy working with the hard-working staff at the clinic, witnessing their dedication and service to animals.”

Animal Welfare is a mission close to Joanne’s heart, and she has previously served on the board of a local humane society in Minnesota called Paws and Claws, a non-profit no-kill shelter. Joanne has also supported people in hard places as a past board member for Legal Assistance of Olmsted County, which provides free legal services for those with limited income who need representation in family court, for domestic violence, custody, and eviction issues.

To sooth and entertain her soul, Joanne turns to the musical and performing arts. She has served on the board for Chatfield Center for Arts in Chatfield, Minnesota. She continues to remain a volunteer with the organization’s Performing Arts Committee and is a talent curator for their Chosen Bean concert series, which features folk music artists from all over the country. Joanne’s soulmate of 11 years, Tim Hildebrandt, is a singer/songwriter and recording engineer. Both also play music for church and are members of Folk Alliance International.

Joanne and Tim have a lovely family including their precious pets. Joanne amusingly comments, “I serve as staff to a Birman cat, Nella, and a 10-month-old Miniature American Shepherd, Emma.” She has also worked with Welsh Springer Spaniels, Welsh Corgis, and Chesapeake Bay Retrievers in obedience and conformation.

Currently she is showing her Miniature American Shepherd, Emma and hopes to participate in Agility and other dog events with her. Emma has introduced Joanne to so many great dog folks in Aiken, and they relish being a part of the community. Joanne thought her dog show days were behind her after their beloved Welsh Springer Spanish passed away two years ago, but Emma has reignited the passion. Her family is making new friends and enjoying life here in Aiken.

The SPCA Albrecht Center is so grateful for Joanne’s skills and passion for animals in Aiken! Thank you for your perseverance in helping the homeless pets in our community.

Want to volunteer for the animals at the SPCA Albrecht Center? Visit: www.LetLoveLive.org/Volunteer for more information.

Photo of SPCA volunteer Joanne Martin’s companions: Nella (cat) & Emma (dog)