Thank you for your interest in volunteering with the Dutchess County SPCA! To apply to become a volunteer, please download our volunteer application by clicking the Volunteer Application link at the bottom of this page. Completed applications should be scanned and sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can mail your application or drop it off in person at: Dutchess County SPCA, 636 Violet Ave, Hyde Park, NY 12538.
Once received, your application will be reviewed, and we will contact you when something becomes available. While we would love to contact each applicant individually, due to the high volume of volunteer inquiries we receive, we are unable to do so. Please know that we appreciate your interest and will contact you when an opportunity becomes available.
Be sure to review the detailed information below before completing your application.
Volunteer Program Coordinator
845-452-7722, ext. 417
FAQ about Volunteering
How old do I have to be to volunteer with animals?
You must be at least 18 years of age before you can walk dogs, 16 years of age to work in the cat room, or otherwise have contact with any of the animals. 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 or other volunteers. 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 website Foster Program.
Is there a minimum time commitment?
Yes. If you have an animal-care job, we request that you agree to volunteer for at least two 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?
No, unfortunately we do not.
Does your volunteer program cover court-ordered community service?
Based on availability, please contact us for details
What if I only need to do a certain number of hours for school?
You may be scheduled to help with a special event. You can do this without attending our “Orientation” sessions. Advance notice is required, usually at least two weeks. Please use the contact information at the top of the page to sign up for 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.