Youth Volunteer & Community Service Opportunities

General information

Students and scouts needing community service hours or wanting to volunteer to help out our shelter are encouraged to inquire about our projects listed below. Your hard work will make a difference in the lives of the animals in our care!

Hands-on, in-shelter volunteers must be at least 18 years old or older. We are unable to make exceptions to this policy. 

Please note that the Sacramento SPCA does not have a program for court-ordered community service at this time.


Teenager dropping off donations from a birthday party

Project: Birthday Party

Use your celebration for a good cause! Instead of birthday presents, ask for donations for the Sacramento SPCA like toys, beds, treats and wet cat food! Stop by the shelter with your goodies and we’ll grab a photo for you to share with your friends!

Project: Newspaper Collection

The SPCA uses newspapers to line animal enclosures, to help keep the animals in our care comfortable and clean. Directions for stacking collected newspapers: Use full sheets of newspaper only (putting half-sheets and anything glossy aside for recycling); lay out full sheets of newspaper, stack them in groups of 25 or 35; then fold each stack of sheets in half. 

Project: Pet Toy & Treat Drive

The Sacramento SPCA needs plenty of pet toys and treats to keep the animals in our care busy and happy. We particularly need Kong toys for dogs, which we stuff with peanut butter and canned dog food to keep our dogs entertained. Solicit donations from friends, family and neighbors.

Project: Towel & Blanket Drive

The Sacramento SPCA uses thousands of towels and blankets every year.  We are always in need of gently used towels and blankets to replenish our supply. Solicit donations from friends, family and neighbors. Tell them that getting rid of their old towels is a great excuse to go out and buy new ones!

Project: Used Book Drive

The Sacramento SPCA holds two major book sales each year, which generate more than $100,000 to benefit the animals in our care.  We accept donations of used books year-round. Please make sure books are in good, readable condition. No encyclopedias or magazines, please. Solicit donations from friends, family and neighbors.

Project: Baking Pet Treats

The dogs and cats in the SPCA’s care always enjoy yummy homemade treats!  Choose a recipe for pet treats online or from a cookbook and get cookin’. Be sure to have adult supervision when using the stove or oven. When you bring your completed treats to the shelter, be sure to include a list of the ingredients so we can make sure they’re not given to pets with food allergies. Our staff will distribute your treats to the animals during non-business hours.

Treat Recipes:

Apple & Peanut Butter Treats
Pumpkin Pie Treats
Peanut Butter & Banana Treats

Project: Making Pet Toys for the Animals in our Care

We are always in need of toys for the dogs, cats, and small animals in our care. If you search “DIY dog toys” or something similar on Google, many different toy tutorials will pop up. If you decide to make toys, we please ask that they are able to be machine washed & soaked. We clean all of our toys to prevent the spread of disease at our shelter. Snuffle mats & fleece tie blankets are options to make as well. If you are interested in making toys, please fill out the Youth Volunteer Application & we will get back to you as soon as possible.

School & Scout Projects

Students & scouts are welcome to partner with Sacramento SPCA for Senior Projects, 8th grade projects, badge requirements, awards, etc. We would love to hear how you envision using your project to support the animals in our care! Some examples of senior/scout projects: building a feral cat enclosure for our community cats on the SSPCA’s campus, renovating benches, building shade structures, and making cat scratching posts. Please note that Project opportunities are distinct from our regular volunteer programming and do not include working directly with animals because of the extensive training required.

Camp Kindness Counselor

Teens ages 14+ are invited to apply to be Teen Counselors at Camp Kindness at Sacramento SPCA. Volunteer teen counselors are a crucial part of our camp program and help with everything from leading games and crafts, to clean up, to being a role-model for our campers. Counselors will be selected based on an application and interview. If you are interested in becoming a teen camp counselor, please send a resume along with the subject line “Camp Kindness Counselor Application” to

Other Projects

on’t see a project listed above that fits your needs? Please contact our Education & Outreach Coordinator, Kaeli Green, at or (916) 504-2849 to discuss other possibilities. We would love to hear your ideas!

To begin your volunteering for the Sacramento SPCA, fill out the online application.

Community Service Application