Volunteers are always welcome.  Read below for the roles and requirements of each position. There are many ways you can help the animals in our shelter with your time, which is priceless to the animals.

Our Hours of Operation are:
Monday: CLOSED
Tuesday & Thursday: 12 (noon) – 7pm
Wednesday, Friday to Sunday: 10am – 4pm

Volunteer positions

Stop in anytime and fill out an application form or fill one out online here.


Everyday, the Dartmouth Shelter receives calls from the public requesting assistance with stray, abandoned or homeless animals. To help care for these animals, the shelter has a foster care program to help with the overflow.

The foster program will cover the cost of veterinary care, food, litter and anything else the animal requires. The role of a foster home is not to provide financial support, but rather to provide the love, patience and attention the animal may need to regain their mental and physical health.

If you are thinking of becoming a foster parent, there are several things to consider before opening your home to a new friend. All members of your household should sit down together and discuss what fostering a pet would mean to everyone involved. If you have small children or other pets, you need to consider how it will affect them. Also, do you work long hours?  Do you live in an apartment and, if so, do you have your landlord’s consent? Do you have the time and patience necessary to care for a young or sick animal?

When you become an approved foster parent, you can decide which type of animal will work best in your home environment.

If it is a dog you are interested in, there may be opportunities to open your home to a young puppy or a dog with medical or behavioral issues that may benefit from a stable home environment and just needs some extra socialization and love in a home before they can be put up for adoption. Sometimes this is the biggest impact a foster home can provide in an animal’s life.  Dog fosters are needed occasionally for dogs recovering from illness or nursing moms with pups.

One of the most needed foster situations is mom cats with a litter of kittens. During the spring and summer months, the number of homeless cats and kittens flooding the shelter soars. The demand on shelter resources is made even greater since many of the kittens that come to the shelter are too young to be adopted. Keeping kittens at the shelter for up to 8 weeks before they are old enough to be adopted ties up kennel space, staff and resources. A foster home provides kittens with a quieter, less stressful environment where they can grow into healthy cats. Opening your home and heart as a foster parent to an abandoned animal is a rewarding way to become a volunteer! Fostering is a fantastic opportunity to make a hands-on contribution to saving animals’ lives.

We also need fosters to care for orphaned kittens that require bottle feeding. Depending on the age of the kittens they require feeding every 6 – 8 hours, kittens a bit older may only need supplemental bottle feeding once or twice a day.  We will provide training on bottle feeding techniques and all supplies are provided.  Bottle babies take up very little space in your home, but must be kept separate from other pets in your home.

Foster duration can last from 2 weeks up to 3 months depending on the animals individual situation.  The greatest need is for fosters for mom cats with kittens, but we also do need fosters for single cats/kittens, this is a great fit if you only have a small space.

Basic Requirements for Fostering Animals

  • Be at least 19 years of age.
  • Your own animals must be up to date with their vaccinations.
  • Have the consent of your Landlord (where applicable).
  • The support of all other household members involved in fostering.
  • A suitable room to isolate the foster animal(s) from other household pets.
  • Have access to a vehicle to transport animal(s).
  • Be able to provide three (3) references.
  • Have a stable life situation.
  • Be dependable and reliable in carrying out your commitment
  • Consent to a home visit from a Nova Scotia SPCA representative.

If you have any questions about becoming a foster home contact us. If you are ready to apply click here to apply online.

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