We are not currently scheduling New Volunteer Orientations, and are instead focusing on specialized recruitment to meet the needs of the shelter. We will send recruitment emails to all applicants who meet the basic criteria for the role. Please complete an application here to be added to that contact list, and keep an eye on this page for updates. All volunteers need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Our volunteers are indispensable. They come from all walks of life to donate thousands of hours of their time in nearly every PHS/SPCA department, extending the capacity for our paid staff to help animals and the people of San Mateo County. Some help 2-3 full days per week, while others give 2-3 hours; all commitments are greatly appreciated. In return, we offer opportunities for meaningful participation. If you love animals and like working with people, consider volunteering in our award-winning program.


Please review our adult volunteer positions for more information.  You must be 18 years of age to volunteer with us and we require a commitment of 2-4 hours per week for one year.     Junior volunteers require a 2-hour commitment for 6 months.  Youth ages 16 and 17 years old can volunteer on their own in limited roles, while youth ages 13 to 15 years old must volunteer with a parent or guardian.  Please see junior volunteer positions for more information.   We are unable to accept volunteers under the age of 13.  Please note that not every position is available at every orientation.


To become a volunteer, simply complete a Volunteer Application and choose your orientation date. Space is limited, so please choose only one date that is convenient for you. If you would like to attend an orientation date that is already full, you can come to that orientation and try for a Drop-In seat, which are almost always available due to no-shows or cancellations. If there’s no room, you will have to leave and try for another date. Click here to see our upcoming orientation dates.  All orientations are held at the Lantos Center for Compassion–1450 Rollins Road in Burlingame, unless otherwise noted.

Volunteer Packs

PHS/SPCA asks new volunteers to purchase a “Volunteer Pack” for $30 including tax which includes a short-sleeve volunteer t-shirt, lanyard and combination access keycard/ID badge.

Volunteer with Us!

  1. Review our Volunteer Positions
  2. Fill out an Application
  3. Attend an Orientation
  4. Purchase a $30 Volunteer Pack
  5. Volunteer!

Note: Some positions require supplemental training, and not all are available at every orientation.

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