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 punctuality is required. If you arrive more than 5 minutes late, please attend the next session.

  • Thursday, August 5th 10:30AM – 11:30AM
  • Saturday, August 7th 1:00PM – 2:00PM
  • Thursday, September 2nd 10:30AM – 11:30AM
  • Saturday, September 4th 10:30AM – 11:30AM
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

For July’s Volunteer Spotlight, the SPCA Albrecht Center would like to recognize Donna Boswell. Donna began volunteering with the SPCA in January and immediately began socializing with the shelter dogs and cats. In addition to supporting the homeless animals, Donna jumped at the opportunity to aid the SPCA Vet Care Center (VCC) with customer service. Having 26 years of experience in assisting the “two-legged patients” at doctor’s offices, she knew the importance of the behind-the-scenes of an office’s day-to-day operations. The staff immediately noticed Donna’s sweet nature and calm demeanor when assisting VCC clients during walk-in clinic hours. She became a shining light during the hustle and bustle of the afternoon walk-in clinic hours.

Photo: Donna pictured with SPCA Vet Care Center Receptionists. Left to right: Patti Collins, Donna Boswell, Missy Salyers

Donna has always had a desire to help all creatures as she explains, “When I was little and living in Korea, my mom would tell me I would try to help all the little, big, slimy… pretty much anything that breathed with four, two, or three legs.” As an adult she brought her caring nature to medical offices as receptionist, medical assistant, or assistant manager and now feels volunteering with shelter animals gives her a purpose and satisfaction beyond the daily tasks of life. Particularly in moments one may feel overwhelmed by fellow human-beings, Donna reflects, “animals do not care who you are or where you come from. They just want to be loved.”

Not only do the shelter pets welcome Donna, but the team at the SPCA has as well. The receptionists, vet assistants, vet techs, veterinarians, and vet manager all give praise to Donna’s hard work, intellect, and amiable personality. The admiration is mutual as Donna looks forward to her Fridays assisting the VCC and leaves feeling uplifted and appreciated. Walk-in clinics are very fast-paced and commands everyone’s full attention to ensure every client and pet receive the appropriate services. The SPCA couldn’t fulfill the needs of our community pets without the assistance of volunteers like Donna.

Donna also trained to become a volunteer dog walker at the end of February and is currently expanding her knowledge of positive behavior training techniques. A current adoptable dog named Neena-Leena is a staff favorite and has also melted Donna’s heart. During the Memorial Day holiday, Donna took Neena-Leena home for a weekend away from the shelter. During her stay, Neena-Leena chilled with Donna’s indoor kitties, made a cozy spot on the couch, enjoyed the garden, and sat at Donna’s feet to just soak up family life. Donna would like potential adopters to know Neena-Leena isn’t a huge fan of walking but would love a family who would encourage Neena-Leena to slowly explore her surroundings, take her on car rides to get ice cream, and give her a safe, loving home to relax in.

Donna has two adult children, Amber and Noah, who bring joy to their mother. At home Donna has six beautiful cats, yes SIX! Miller was the first to join the family when Donna adopted him from an SPCA in North Carolina. Then a black cat meandered up to Donna’s house, and this kitty was too adorable to ignore and was soon christened Lucy. But wait, turns out Lucy’s big belly had a surprise in store for Donna- three new furry kittens made their debut and settled into the family. All cats were spayed/neutered, and later Donna decided to start a new brave adventure in becoming a kitten foster parent to Zoe. Saying goodbye to a foster can be hard on the heart, and Zoe was destined to complete the family number. There has been a recent human addition as well- the SPCA congratulates Donna on becoming a grandmother! Her beautiful granddaughter, Alyssa, made her appearance on June 22, 2021 and Donna is now retired to fully enjoy her new full-time job as grandma.

The SPCA Albrecht Center greatly appreciates Donna’s support and dedication to the shelter and vet clinic! We couldn’t meet our mission of serving homeless pets and community pets without your skills and generous heart.