A Message from the Volunteer Supervisor

Thank you for your interest in the San Antonio Humane Society (SAHS) Volunteer Program! Volunteers are vital in helping us continue our mission to improve the lives of dogs and cats in our community by providing shelter, care, adoption, rescue, spay/neuter programs, and community education. We understand your time is valuable and we appreciate that you’re thinking about spending some of it with us!

Current volunteers click here to sign in

About Our Programs

Volunteer Capabilities Overview

The SAHS is an independent non-profit organization relying on the generosity and commitment of volunteers. The role of volunteers is to assist the staff in completing daily operational tasks to fulfill the mission and vision of the SAHS. To this end, volunteers of any capacity are expected to safely and efficiently perform any and all necessary tasks related to their assignment. The SAHS is all-inclusive and we are dedicated to respecting and accepting the differences of all individuals. With that said, the safety of all individuals and pets within our organization remains our highest priority. The SAHS will consider accommodation requests and will provide reasonable accommodations when possible to enable persons with disabilities to volunteer; however, we reserve the right to restrict or release volunteers according to safety and organizational necessity.

The SAHS does not have the space or resources to provide a therapeutic experience for the sole benefit of a volunteer. Volunteers provide safe operational support to staff by caring for pets until they get adopted. Therefore, we cannot accommodate job coach/client pairs seeking primarily an animal therapy experience. Staff are unable to create projects solely for the benefit of the volunteer.

Please consider the following minimum volunteer capabilities:
- Physical Capabilities
- Cognitive Capabilities

Individuals unable to meet the minimum volunteer capabilities outlined above may still volunteer if accompanied by a caregiver or job coach. Please consider the following policies if volunteering with a caregiver/job coach:
- Caregiver/Job Coach Policy

SAHS General Volunteer Program

The SAHS General Volunteer Program is open to individuals 18 years of age or older. We do our best to provide our volunteers with as much flexibility as possible while still keeping the needs of the shelter and the pets in our care in mind. We understand that your time is valuable and we appreciate that you are spending some of it with us!

Before registering for an orientation, please review the following information to ensure our program is the right fit for you.

- Volunteer Handbook

We encourage volunteers to participate in all opportunities that interest them. However, please understand that it takes our staff time and energy to train volunteers. This is why we ask volunteers to pick one team of interest to start their volunteer service. Once trained in that team, volunteers can join and train for additional teams. Current volunteer teams include:

Program Requirements
Individuals must be a minimum of 18 years of age to be accepted into the SAHS General Volunteer Program and must complete a background check before volunteering.

  • If you have concerns about your ability to pass a background check please contact volunteer@sahumane.org.
  • The fee for this service is $18.95 and is paid directly to the background check company.

Volunteer Opportunities & Time Commitments

Volunteer opportunities are available between 7 am & 7 pm every day except for major holidays.

How to get started:

  1. Register for a Volunteer Orientation
    - Space is limited so be sure to register early.
    - Individuals are required to pay a $15 fee when registering to reserve their seats. This fee helps the SAHS offset the cost of volunteer software, insurance, and supplies. (This is a separate fee from the $18.95 background check fee)
    - An account must be created and a ticket must be purchased individually for each person attending orientation.
    - All fees are non-refundable and non-transferable so please be sure to double-check registration requirements and the orientation date & time before registering.

  2. Check your inbox for a confirmation email from the Volunteer Coordinator and an invitation to complete your background check.
    - You will not be able to attend orientation if your background check is not in process.
    - You will not be given your volunteer shirt and badge until your background check is complete.

Upcoming Volunteer Orientations
Dates for next month's orientations will be opened after all orientations for the current month have been filled. If none of the current dates work for you, please check back then.

Click here to register for an upcoming orientation

P.A.W.S. (Practicing Animal Welfare through Service) Youth Volunteer Program
The San Antonio Humane Society’s (SAHS) P.A.W.S. program (Practicing Animal Welfare through Service) is a service-learning volunteer program designed for junior and senior high school students between the ages of 16 and 17. Working and learning alongside SAHS staff and volunteers, P.A.W.S. participants will develop leadership, problem-solving, critical thinking, public speaking, and interpersonal skills. The program is perfect for students needing to earn community service hours for programs like the National Honor Society and/or The President’s Volunteer Service Award.

P.A.W.S. will take place over the course of the 2023-2024 school year. Students will participate in ten four-hour sessions consisting of a mix of classroom learning and hands-on volunteering. Topics include but are not limited to enrichment & behavior management, veterinary medicine, media & marketing, community outreach, and animal-related career paths. Students will also work on a project throughout the course of the program to be presented in front of shelter management during the final group session. Students that attend all scheduled sessions will earn a minimum of 40 volunteer hours. However, all students will have the opportunity to earn additional hours during the course of the program through webinars and additional volunteer service. Upon successful completion of the P.A.W.S. program, students will have the opportunity to become members of the general volunteer program if they wish to continue their volunteer service with the SAHS.

The P.A.W.S. program is limited to 15 participants. All interested individuals will be required to complete an application and submit a resume and two letters of recommendation. At least one letter of recommendation must be from an adult that is not related to the applicant i.e. a teacher, coach, professional mentor, or job supervisor. SAHS staff and volunteers will review all applications. If selected to move forward, students will be invited to the SAHS for a formal interview with a committee of SAHS staff and volunteers. The interviewing committee will then make their final decisions and notify all applicants via phone or email.

There is no application fee, however, a $100 fee will be required of all students that are picked to participate in the program. This fee helps to offset the cost of the participant's insurance and supplies required for the program. Financial assistance may be available for some individuals. Please contact volunteer@sahumane.org for more information.

Click here to apply for the P.A.W.S. Youth Volunteer Program


Veterinary Technician/Assistant Program
The Veterinary Technician/Assistant Program is designed for individuals needing to earn hours for a veterinary technician or assistant program. The program is open to individuals 18 years of age or older that are planning to enroll or are already enrolled in a veterinary technician/assistant program. Sessions are limited to 15 participants and last a total of three months during which time participants can accrue the experience needed for their particular program. Volunteer opportunities are available in the clinic and surgery areas and include direct animal, customer service, and administrative experiences. Schedules are flexible and offered seven days a week excluding major holidays. Clinic shifts are available daily however at this time surgery shifts are only available Monday through Friday.

Upcoming Veterinary Technician/Assistant Program Orientations
Orientations for this program are held quarterly. If there is an upcoming orientation the link to register will be posted below.

President’s Volunteer Service Award

PVSA Logo web

The San Antonio Humane Society (SAHS) is proud to announce the availability of the President’s Volunteer Service Award, a prestigious national honor offered in recognition of volunteer commitment. Established in 2003, this award is given by the President of the United States and honors individuals who have demonstrated a sustained commitment to volunteer service over the course of 12 months. As a Certifying Organization of the President’s Volunteer Service Award, the SAHS can nominate potential recipients and distribute the Award to those who meet or exceed the Award criteria.

Hours are measured over a 12-month period (Oct. 1 - Sept. 30) and awards are designated based on cumulative hours. The awards are offered in multiple levels and are designed to recognize each milestone of your service achievement. Levels include bronze, silver, gold and the highest honor, the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award for those who contribute more than 4,000 hours of service in their lifetime.

Awards web
Along with the ultimate honor of presidential recognition, recipients may receive a personalized certificate, an official pin, medallion or coin, and a congratulatory letter from the President of the United States.