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The Nova Scotia SPCA simply could not function without the help of the fantastic volunteers who donate their time. If you are ready to put up your hand to help, we’ve got the volunteer options to suit you. For the past 3 years our Dartmouth branch has been voted to receive the Coast’s Gold Award for the Best Place to Volunteer!

Seventh Slide - AGM

Profile of SPCA Volunteer

The Nova Scotia SPCA is always seeking individuals who want to give their time to help the animals, and involve themselves with all their heart. These special people are very concerned to improve the environment for animals in our society and to help the Nova Scotia SPCA save more lives.

The motivation of their involvement is to help the animal, first and foremost!

Basic requirements for all volunteers:

  • Be 18 years of age and over (for most volunteer roles)
  • Be available for long-term commitment

Note the hours and volunteer roles may differ slightly at each of our shelter based branches as well as our foster based branches and the thrift store. Contact the location directly for specifics on their current volunteer needs.

HERE ARE SOME OF THE DIFFERENT TEAMS WITHIN OUR VOLUNTEER PROGRAM:

  • Providing exceptional customer service
  • Graciously accepting donations
  • Pricing and organizing donations
  • Processing cash, debit and credit card payments
  • Keeping the store neat & tidy

Qualifications:

  • Friendly
  • Willing to work in a team
  • Experience with cash registers an asset (but not mandatory – we’ll train you!)

Time Commitment: 3-5 hour shift weekly or the ability to be on call for shifts Shifts are as follows:

  • Tuesdays 10-2, 2-5, 5-8
  • Wednesdays 10-2, 2-5, 5-8
  • Thursdays 10-2, 2-5, 5-8
  • Fridays 10-2, 2-5, 5-8
  • Saturdays 10-2, 2-6
  • Sundays 10-2, 2-6

We are looking for candidates who want to help with simple tasks related to office work. The volunteer will be responsible for filing documents, making photocopies, entering data into Excel and our internal database, answering phone call inquiries, etc.

Requirements: Must be able to work on a fixed schedule (at the same time each week), enjoy administrative work, be familiar with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel), be reliable and independent.  Must be comfortable with cats and with all size and breed of dogs.


We are looking for dynamic candidates who want to get involved to guide our future adopters in the adoption process of dogs and cats. The volunteer will be responsible for greeting customers, explaining the different steps when adopting a pet, reviewing the adoption forms for accuracy and completeness and answering general inquiry questions.

Requirements: Must be able to work on a fixed schedule (at the same time each week), must enjoy working with the public, be organized and have good interpersonal skills.  Must be comfortable with cats and with all size and breed of dogs.


We are looking for motivated candidates who wish to get involved in daily physical tasks at our shelter based branches; to assist our employees with animal care.  The volunteer will be responsible, according to the time of day, to participate in washing the blankets, bowls and cages/litterboxes of the animals.

Requirements: Must be able to work on a fixed schedule (at the same time each week), be able to work independently, all volunteers must be comfortable around dogs while dog care volunteers must be comfortable with all size and breed of dogs, some knowledge/experience in interpreting and understanding cat/dog body language.


A picture is worth a thousand words! Our website offers a spotlight to all animals up for adoption at the SPCA. The Photographer/Profile writer volunteers are in charge of photographing and/or writing a description of each animal looking for a family. Publishing our animals’ information on our website grants them greater visibility, yielding them more chances of being adopted! If you are a talented writer or photographer, come and meet our beautiful models!

Requirements: Having excellent writing skills, enjoys working in a team, own a digital camera.


We are looking for candidates who can transport animals around the province between various SPCA Shelters, Vet Hospitals and Low-Cost/High Volume Spay & Neuter Clinics. The volunteer will be responsible to bring animals from one destination to another safely and confidently. We have different types of transportation needs: short (two hours or less), medium (2 to 4 hours) and long (between 4 and 10 hours). These transports can be done with your own vehicle or a vehicle from the Nova Scotia SPCA (to be discussed). The volunteer must give his availability in advance and be reliable.

Requirements: Valid driver’s license, good driving record, reliable and independent.


The Lost and Found volunteer team helps bring home countless animals each year. Its members work tirelessly to find the owners of each lost animal arriving at the shelter; namely by posting their pictures on its website. And because we know that losing a pet is never easy, our volunteers are available to lend a sympathetic ear to distressed owners, and to provide them with practical advice on finding their companion.


The volunteers participating in the Foster Program help to find homes for the animals with treatable illnesses or minor injuries. They take pictures of the animals available for foster and assist department staff in their various tasks to coordinate the foster placement (updating the blog, document preparation, filing records, entering in our internal database, answering phone calls and emails).

Requirements: Good interpersonal skills, be comfortable with animals and with computers.


Dog Team
This program includes several activities to stimulate the five senses (touch, smell, hearing, sight and taste). For example, we can give massages to stressed dogs, play games with dogs in the kennel or meet and greet room to reduce barking.

Cat Team
Volunteers will also be asked to play with very active cats or offer massages to anxious cats to ensure their welfare during their stay at the SPCA. The main task of the volunteer will be the behavioral assessment in order to establish the cats profile, allowing a better match with their potential adoptive family.

Requirements: Must be able to work independently, all volunteers must be comfortable around dogs while dog care volunteers must be comfortable with all size and breed of dogs, some knowledge/experience in interpreting and understanding cat/dog body language.


Keeping our shelters clean is essential to keeping the animals in our care healthy.  A cleaner volunteer will assist with all types of cleaning tasks to help make our shelters look their best, from windows, to sweeping & mopping and anything else you see that needs a good shine!


Don’t have the time to commit to the same day and time each week? Then this occasional volunteer role is for you!  Stop by during your local shelter branches hour of operation to take a dog for a walk (within the area of the shelter) or spend some time with our adoptable cats.   If you are under 18 years of age, check your local branches requirements first (may require a parent/guardian supervision).

Requirements: All volunteers must be comfortable around dogs while dog care volunteers would benefit from being comfortable with all size and breed of dogs, some knowledge/experience in interpreting and understanding cat/dog body language.


The SPCA, in cooperation with local rescue groups, will be looking for volunteers to assist in areas such as trapping, transporting and caring for feral cats recovering from surgery.

Training will be provided!

The time commitment will be dependent on what TNR efforts are occurring. When a project is scheduled many volunteers are required for 3 to 5 days prior to the surgery date and for 3 to 5 days after the surgery date.

Requirements: This role will involve working outside, in the community at various locations and can be physically demanding.


Check with your local branch to find out if they currently offer a junior program for youth under 18 years of age. Some branches have strong and successful junior programs available for youth where they organize fundraising events, and participate in education outreach while other branches are currently developing programs for youth.


The SPCA organizes and participates in various events throughout the province and we are always in need of volunteers.  If you have a passion for fundraising, coordinating, or would like to become involved in any one of our SPCA event committees contact your local branch directly.


  • We’re looking for 2 individuals who can make a 1 year commitment to the NS SPCA
  • This volunteer role would require at least 10 hours per month
  • The role is very flexible. Your skills will be applied on a project-by-project basis and we’re keen to work within your schedule
  • You are welcome to work from your home or office. Some conference calls and/or in-person meetings will be required to collaborate with SPCA Provincial Office staff (Dartmouth)

Required Skills

  • Experience in leading creative and package design
  • A package design or similar degree/diploma would be an asset
  • Strong understanding of marketing trends, typography, color and design
  • A passion for popular culture, emerging technologies and design trends
  • Proficiency in Adobe, Illustrator, Design and Photoshop
  • Leadership skills to take specific creative projects from concept to execution

Please visit the “Careers” page to apply for this volunteer position.


The Nova Scotia SPCA partners with Girl Guides of Canada to bring you the Paw Prints on Your Heart Challenge.  We are always seeking volunteers to help coordinate and lead these sessions as well as other educational events.


Apply by filling out the volunteer application form if interested in any of the above volunteer opportunities.  *Note dog walker/cat cuddlers are not required to fill out an application, simply visit your local branch to get started.

To volunteer at one of our shelter based branches; Dartmouth, Cape Breton, Colchester, Kings, Pictou or Yarmouth, fill out the application form found HERE.