Is there a minimum age to volunteer?
You must be 16 or older to volunteer. Individuals ages 16 and 17 will be required to obtain and turn in a completed MA Youth Work Permit prior to volunteering.
What’s the time commitment?
Commitment will vary by role. We have commitment details listed within the full description of each volunteer role. Most require an on-property commitment once a week on a set day and time, ranging from 2-4 hours.
Can I bring my child with me when I volunteer?
We are not able to have volunteers bring children to their volunteer shift.
Can I drop in to volunteer?
We cannot accommodate requests for drop-in volunteering. All volunteers must go through our full onboarding process, which can take a month or more.
I need community service hours for court or school.
Thank you for considering us as your service location!
In limited circumstances, we may be able to fulfill requests for community service hours assigned by court. Verification to courts will not be provided unless your volunteering for us as court-ordered community service was approved in advance. To apply for approval, email email@example.com with the number of hours needed, the date the service is due by, the offense you were assigned community service for, your full name, and the contact number of someone at the court who assigned your service. Include “Court Community Service” in your email title. If approved, you will be eligible for the Shelter Care volunteer role. Depending on hour many hours you are assigned, it may take 3 months to 1 year to complete your hours.
We have enrolled many students seeking community service hours for National Honor Society or college applications. To best meet our needs, our volunteer program is aimed at volunteers able to make an extended commitment. If you are seeking only a small amount of hours for your community service, our program will not be a match. You must be able to complete the minimum required commitment in the role you are applying for. Shelter Care is typically the most convenient role for students seeking service hours!
Whatever the reason you are seeking community service hours, we cannot accommodate requests to complete hours in a short turnaround time. All accepted volunteers must go through our full onboarding process, which can take a month or more after you are accepted.
Can I just volunteer to pet/read to/play with animals?
While socialization is important, it is part of a larger volunteer role. You must be willing to do everything involved in volunteering, not just the “fun” stuff! Emptying litterboxes, picking up after a dog you walked in the rain or snow, scrubbing dirty food bowls, and washing loads (and loads) of soiled bedding are all part of volunteer life here at Boston.
Where do you need the most help?
While roles involving animal care attract many applicants, we have a high need and lower application rate for volunteers in The Dog Caregiver and Kennel Support Role. These roles are critical to keeping our shelter running smoothly.
I would like to observe surgeries.
Observation of surgeries is not allowed.
Can I foster a puppy/kitten?
Many animals in need of foster homes are adults who are pregnant, sick, under socialized, or not thriving in a shelter environment. Some may be hospice cases. If you apply to be a foster volunteer, you must be willing to take on more than young, healthy animals. Most animals placed in foster are cats or small animals, like rabbits or guinea pigs. We are actively searching for dog foster homes as well! All animals are placed in foster on a case by case basis with those decisions being made by staff. Interested in fostering? We need you! Apply here.
I work/go to school, and can only volunteer on weekends and holidays. Is that possible?
Yes! Staff and volunteers are here 7 days a week. While not all areas have weekend openings, there is usually at least one that does. Please review the detailed volunteer role descriptions for current openings here.
Please note, we do not have evening volunteer options available.
I’d like a remote data entry volunteer role.
We do not have remote volunteer needs, aside from fostering animals.
My friend and I want to sign up to volunteer together.
Every applicant is evaluated for acceptance as an individual. Should you apply, it cannot be dependent upon someone else being accepted into our volunteer program, or being able to volunteer on the same shift. You should have your own transportation which does not rely on another person being able to volunteer at the same time.
I’m looking to place a student or client in a volunteer role.
After having reviewed the detailed volunteer role descriptions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss if volunteering at Boston will be an appropriate match for the role in which there is an interest. We are lucky to have students and clients from several school transition programs and organizations volunteering with us, and are extremely limited in our ability to serve as a placement site for additional individuals at this time.
Please note, we cannot accommodate exceptions to skills, qualities, or experience required. The safety and wellbeing of our animals, staff, and volunteers must always be considered. We are unable to adjust shift times to match shared or public transportation methods.
I already know how to handle (insert animal type here). Why do I need to wait for training to begin?
As an MSPCA volunteer, you’ll need to do things the way we do them! This might be different from the way you interact with animals in a home environment. While animals are at our shelter, we have protocols that must be followed for the safety of staff, volunteers, and the animals themselves.
I would like to volunteer to fix computers, help with marketing, or another unlisted role.
While we appreciate your desire to help, we are only seeking volunteers for the roles we have listed.
I would like to work at the MSPCA. Are you hiring?
Open MSPCA staff positions for all locations can be found on our website, under careers. Applications must be submitted via the careers website, and will be reviewed by Human Resources. Staffing needs are not handled by Volunteer Coordinators.
Return to the Boston Adoption Center Volunteer landing page by clicking here.