Thank you for your interest in volunteering with the Dutchess County SPCA! To start the process of becoming a DCSPCA volunteer, please read through the FAQ below and then complete the inquiry form to the right.
We will contact you when an opportunity becomes available. All volunteers must complete our orientation before being assigned a task. Please note, dog walking requires more training than other volunteer positions.
The Dutchess County SPCA is following CDC guidelines with regards to COVID-19.
845-452-7722, ext. 412
FAQ about Volunteering
How old do I have to be to volunteer with animals?
You must be at least 18 years or older to volunteer. We apologize for the restriction, but issues related to insurance force us to impose this requirement.
If I’m under 16, what jobs can I do?
You can organize a drive to collect items from our Wish List. You can ask your friends, relatives, neighbors, and classmates if they’d like to donate things such as blankets, towels, dog toys, bags of kitty litter, cleaning supplies, etc. These donations are very helpful to us, since we use-up an enormous amount of supplies every year.
You and your family can also help with foster care.
Are there any other requirements for volunteering?
You should be able to read and communicate well enough to follow instructions. You should get along well with others, because you will have to work closely with staff members, other volunteers and occasionally the public. But you should also have the ability to work independently without close supervision.
Do you have a foster care program?
Yes, and the whole family can help with this rewarding job! We’re always looking for people who can provide temporary care and housing to young or ill animals. The animals would live with you for a period of a few weeks, until they can be returned to the SPCA for adoption. You can learn about the program on our Foster page.
Is there a minimum time commitment?
Yes. If you have an animal-care job, we request that you agree to volunteer for at least four hours per week, for at least a year. (You’re welcome to commit to a longer shift, if your schedule allows it.) We apologize for imposing such stringent requirements. The reason is this: the staff and existing volunteers invest substantial time and effort into training new “recruits”. Having a large turn-over would put a strain on everyone involved.
However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Please see the explanation further below.
Are there exceptions to the rules about time commitment and keeping a regular schedule?
Yes. Foster care is performed in your home, so there is no particular schedule. Special Event help is done on an as-needed basis.
Some of the other non-animal-care jobs are also more flexible about time commitments. Ask us for details.
Do you offer a summer-only volunteer program?
Not at this time.
Does your volunteer program cover court-ordered community service?
No, we are unable to accommodate court-ordered community service at this time.
What if I only need to do a certain number of hours for school?
You may help with a special event if one is scheduled. You can do this without attending our volunteer orientation sessions. Advance notice is required, usually at least two weeks. Please use the inquiry form to let us know you are interested in helping with a special event!
You can also organize a drive to gather items from our Wish List. Just keep track of how much time you spend on this project, and we’ll sign any documents required by your school.
How do I set my schedule?
Once you have completed our orientation sessions, the staff and existing volunteers will work with you to determine a mutually acceptable schedule.