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

PHOTO: (from left to right) Haley, Natalie & Brooke Thornsberry

The SPCA Albrecht Center would like to recognize two volunteers who have shown great dedication to the shelter animals – Brooke & Haley Thornsberry. In August 2020, this mother/daughter duo became part of the volunteer team and dived right into fundraising events as well as socializing with the adoptable cats and kittens. Mother, Brooke, knew from the start she wanted to assist with Cat Care – a morning task in which volunteers assist staff with cleaning and feeding the felines in the SPCA’s Kitty Kat Kastle.

“Volunteering is very rewarding and good for the soul,” Brooke explains, “It makes me so happy to be able to give the cats clean food and water while also taking the extra time to love on them.”

Daughter Haley has expressed interest in veterinary medicine as a potential career, and volunteering at a local shelter is a great way to build experience with animals as well as add pizzazz to future college and job applications.

Brooke was born and raised in Aiken County where she met her high school sweetheart and now husband, Gary. They are proud parents to Haley (15 years old) and Natalie (9 years old), and Brooke has put her utmost love into raising these two young ladies. Brooke grew up with dogs, cats, gerbils, and hamsters and has continued this family tradition in the Thornsberry homestead.

In addition to the human members, the Thorsnberry family includes three dogs (Elvira, Diesel, Marvin the Martian), three cats (Church, Monkey, Kitty), rabbits, and various fish housed in two aquariums with each daughter caring for an aquarium. Diesel, an eight-year-old chorkie, was actually adopted from the SPCA Albrecht Center by the Thornsberrys in 2013. He fits right in with his Pitbull sister, Elvira, and jet-black pug Marvin.

Haley is a sophomore at Midland Valley High School where she is participating in the Dual Enrollment Program with Aiken Tech to earn her associate degree. In addition to her academic pursuits, Haley has had a childhood talent for softball and now enjoys playing with her competitive travel softball team as they travel to tournaments in Georgia and South Carolina. As a junior volunteer, Haley comes to the shelter with her mom to socialize with cats, participate in in-kennel enrichment activities with the dogs, help with fundraisers, and attend SPCA volunteer seminars about animal welfare topics.

Haley will continue to build her knowledge about ways to socialize with companion animals of different backgrounds and breeds, how to support the animals’ mental health through enrichment activities and see firsthand how a human’s love can change the lives of these homeless pets for the better. Haley is a great example to all the youth in our community including her younger sister, Natalie, who is thrilled to socialize with the kittens too.

Both Brooke and Haley work closely with the adoptable cats, and they each have their favorites. Mrs. Brooke is a fan of Momma and says, “you can tell that she wants to be loved but she’s still scared.”

Momma has been at the SPCA since September 2020 when Animal Control Officer Morano brought her in as a stray cat. Readers may remember when Momma was also highlighted in May‘s Volunteer Spotlight. Obviously, volunteers have a sweet spot for this almost three-year-old short-haired grey and white female.

Young Haley enjoys working with a cat named Ignatius, and she remembers when he was surrendered by his owner in August 2020 resembling a streetwise tomcat. Haley says she “always thought him such a sweet cat with a very distinctive voice.”

Ignatius no longer looks like a tom cat, but instead has transformed into a distinguished almost 12-year-old medium-haired tuxedo male.

Thank you, Brooke and Haley, for showing such love to the shelter animals as they are waiting for their forever family!