If you love animals and want to make a difference, join us at the Florida Keys SPCA as a volunteer. Volunteering at an animal shelter can be a very rewarding experience as you enrich the lives of animals waiting for a new home. Volunteers are critical in helping us complete our life-saving mission every day.
We ask all of our volunteers to complete a Volunteer Online Application and Register for Orientation before volunteering with us. After completing one of the quarterly orientation sessions, each volunteer will then attend the appropriate training sessions depending on what positions are available and what areas they are interested in.
Volunteers that are ages 16-17 must have a parental consent waiver signed prior to volunteering. Any interested volunteers 15 and younger can refer to our Youth/Teen program.
We ask you to make a three month commitment of at least 8 hours a month. The animals need your help and we respect your time and commitment, therefore we make every effort to make your time with us rewarding for both you and the animals.
We require a background check of all volunteers after orientation, before training starts to ensure the safety of our animals, staff and other regular & junior volunteers.
There is a one-time $30 fee that is paid at orientation that provides you with a Volunteer T-shirt, handbook and other necessary materials to become a volunteer.
The first step to becoming a volunteer with the FKSPCA is filling out an application either online or at our shelter and signing up for one of our orientation classes that are held quarterly. Prior to the orientation class the Volunteer Coordinator will review your application and discuss with you individually where your interests are in volunteering with our organization. If your application is accepted you will then attend our orientation class, which gives the staff members an opportunity to give more detail as to what we are trying to accomplish at the shelter, how we do it and how you can help as a new volunteer. This class is an 1 hour long educational session with a tour of our facilities afterwards.
After new volunteers have completed their orientation class, depending on their where their interests lie with the shelter, we have training sessions dedicated to each type of volunteering.
For working with Dogs, we start you with an educational training session with our Animal Behavior Manager Cathy Baier. She discusses in detail about shelter dog behaviors, the expectations volunteers should have for training with dogs and limited demonstrations. From there volunteers can attend dog behavior training sessions to further themselves in our dog program to the point where they can walk dogs or take them to outreach events.
When training with Cats, we have you train with a mentor volunteer to learn the ins and outs of taking care of all of our cat adoption rooms. This typically takes about an hour and after your training we can set new volunteers up with times to start volunteering!
For small animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters, the volunteer coordinator or a mentor volunteer can train new volunteers on the procedures on how to care for them, which is also needed on a daily basis.
In our Shelter 101 course we give you a tour & overview of the entire shelter where we will show you how and where you can assist staff wherever it is needed. We will provide you with the knowledge and tools you will need to successfully walk into the shelter and know exactly what tasks you can get started on to make a real difference in our day to day needs.
The Youth/Teen program is for youth ages 10-15 with parental supervision required at all times during their orientation, training and volunteer sessions. Youth and Teens can help with cat socialization, basic animal care, shelter cleaning and assisting at one of our many fundraisers. If you have any questions about Youth/Teens please contact the volunteer coordinator.
Groups can assist the shelter in many ways such as having Wish List drives, holding your own fundraisers in the community, grounds work and shelter cleaning projects, doing group craft projects like making dog and cats toys or bandanas and assisting at our fundraisers where we always need lots of helping hands. If your group would like to get involved please contact the Volunteer Coordinator.
If you have any questions on our volunteer program, please don’t hesitate to contact the Volunteer Coordinator directly at the shelter.