Volunteering is a great way for people to stay active while giving back to the local community.

The SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare has many different volunteer options for those who want to help homeless animals. Most of the people working at the SPCA Thrift Store, located at 1589 Whiskey Road, are volunteers working for free. Our pet care specialist and behaviorist do their best keeping up with daily walks; however, our volunteers are always up for the job to help us out.

Our community gives back so much that they even participate in our events. For example, our Pups n’ Suds fundraising event, where people come out to get their dogs washed, ears cleaned and nails trimmed, is almost exclusively performed by volunteers. Our volunteers are the best, and we encourage all ages to participate in giving back to their local SPCA shelter.

Being an animal shelter volunteer helps the animal and is suitable for your emotional, physical and mental health. Spending time with animals helps lower your stress levels and blood pressure. It keeps you active, especially if you prefer to walk dogs. This is also an excellent way for our sheltered animals to socialize with more people, places, things and even sounds. There are so many ways to volunteer, from walking the dogs, cleaning cages, reading to our animals, cuddling with them (so they feel loved), and even taking them on days out to explore the world (check out our Dog’s Day Out program).

We want everyone to feel included in helping our animals, and our animals genuinely appreciate all the love they receive. You can have your child under 11 years old volunteer in their own unique way, from purchasing hotdogs, making toys for the animals, or cool clothing, like bandanas. Bringing your kids to our shelter during open hours also helps our shelter pets get used to interacting with children and learning cues of playing too rough or when they want them to play with them more.

Children ages 12-15 are called “Junior Volunteers” and can volunteer at shelter events, Read and Relax program, cat enrichment and other volunteer opportunities, as long a guardian is present.

Young teens aged 16 and 17 can volunteer without a guardian present as long as the guardian has signed a consent form. We also provide documentation of your child volunteering to go towards school community service hours. So, if adoption is not a good fit for you, but you still want to help sheltered animals, we encourage you to visit our website at www.letlovelive.org. This is a great way to find different volunteering activities you can participate in with your entire family. If you would like to volunteer, please email [email protected] or you can visit our center at 199 Willow Run Road Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 pm.

Fostering is also a great way to volunteer your time to help animals. When fostering, you are saving two lives at once. You allow a sheltered animal to go home with you to gain home-life experience, and you will enable another animal to take the place of the one you removed from the kennel. The great thing about fostering is that it is a short-term commitment (vs a lifetime commitment with adoption) and we will provide all the supplies you need. You can email [email protected] to get more information about our fostering program or call 803-648-6863.

We want to extend a big thank you to all our volunteers who make our jobs a little easier and the lives of our animals even more special. It takes a village to help shelter animals, and we depend heavily on our community volunteers so that we can continue our life-saving work. Please make sure to like and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok to keep updated with everything going on at the SPCA Albrecht Center.

If you are interested in adopting, now is a great time to do so because all our adoption fees for adult dogs and cats are waived until the end of September. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Everyone can be great because everyone can serve.” We hope you will consider being great with our homeless animals!