Updates on City of San José Services and/or Operations . (English | Español | Tiếng Việt | 中文)


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San José Animal Care Center
2750 Monterey Rd.
San Jose, CA 95111

408-794-PAWS (7297)

Volunteer Program

Animal Care Center Volunteer Program

* The City of San Jose has implemented safety precautions in response to COVID- 19.  For this reason the San Jose Animal Care Center will be CLOSED until further notice. We are NOT able to have volunteers working on-site at our facility right now. However, we are still accepting volunteers for our kitten foster program. Please check back for updates.  Thank you for your understanding.

You can help the homeless animals in your community by volunteering as a Pet Pal at the San José Animal Care Center. Our goal is to place our adoptable animals into responsible homes and to ensure that all our shelter animals are cared for and comforted as much as possible during their stay with us.

Please note - we do not provide signatures for verification of volunteer hours for class assignments or court-mandated requirements, even if you plan to do more hours than your requirement.

Step 1: Understand the Requirements

Age Requirement

  • Adult Program: Anyone interested in volunteering as an individual Animal Socializer must be 18 years old.
  • Parent / Child Program: Children over 11 years old can volunteer with a parent/guardian who has successfully completed our adult volunteer training class. The parent/guardian must remain with the child volunteer at all times. Only one child per parent/guardian allowed on-site. Child volunteer t-shirt fee $15.00.
  • For children under 11 years old, check out some other ways you can help the animals in your community.

Animal Experience

To volunteer in an animal-handling role, you must have prior animal handling experience. For instance, if you want to socialize cats, you must have had a cat of your own or had significant experience with cats. If you don't have experience working with animals or do not wish to work directly with animals, you can volunteer in our Licensing Department, which involves general office work.

Time Commitment

Volunteers are expected to volunteer approximately 3 hours per week. Volunteers can only work during the hours that the shelter is open to the public. Within those hours, volunteers will be able to set their own volunteer schedule to best suit their needs.

Materials Fee

Volunteers are responsible for a $35 materials fee, which includes training materials, volunteer apron, t-shirt, and badge. It is mandatory for volunteers to wear their apron and badge while volunteering at the Animal Care Center.

Step 2: Read the Volunteer Handbook

Click here to download our Pet Pal Volunteer Handbook. You will be expected to know and follow rules and procedures that are covered in the handbook and may be tested on it during training.

Step 3: View Current Volunteer Opportunities and Apply

Adult Day Care / Special Needs Groups / Developmental Services Programs: Available for non-animal roles only. Supervisors are required to attend the entire training session with your client and stay with their clients each time they volunteer for the entire time they are volunteering. If you have specific questions on this, please call (408) 794-7213.

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