Can you spare time to help save South Australia’s animals?

Volunteers are the lifeblood of RSPCA South Australia. Without the incredible commitment, dedication and passion of people like you, we simply could not help more than 8,000 abandoned, neglected, sick and surrendered animals in South Australia each year.

Volunteering is a hugely rewarding experience, offering you the opportunity to make a positive impact to the lives of many animals in need. You will:

  • Play a direct role in improving animal welfare in South Australia.
  • Develop new skills and knowledge, which may assist you with future employment opportunities.
  • Meet loads of wonderful new like-minded people.
  • And more!

Some volunteering positions involve direct interaction with animals, while others involve providing support without direct contact.  Wherever you decide to volunteer, you will make a lifesaving difference to animals in need. Every role is vital.

Who is eligible to join our RSPCA volunteer team

To become a volunteer with RSPCA South Australia, we ask that you:

  • Are 18 years or older. (Unfortunately, due to workplace health and safety regulations, and child protection laws, we cannot accept volunteers aged under 18 years.)
  • Are physically fit and able to undertake the role you apply for.
  • Can work independently, without supervision.
  • Can make quick and rational decisions.
  • Can provide us with an up-to-date National Police Clearance.
  • Agree to follow all staff instructions.
  • Apply on behalf of yourself, not another person.

If you’re interested in becoming an RSPCA South Australia volunteer, check out our specific opportunities below.

Current volunteering opportunities at RSPCA South Australia

Animal care

Work hands on with animals at our Lonsdale shelter or PetVille Hillcrest retail store – you might walk dogs, cuddle cats, feed animals or make enrichment toys. The job can be dirty, but the reward of making a difference is worth it!

Foster care

Provide temporary homes for cats, kittens, dogs and puppies – and sometimes other animals, too. Foster carers are always needed to provide extra love and support, but are especially vital during kitten season (generally between November and March).

Transport & driving

Assist with the safe transport of animals between our various locations, bringing them to medical care or increasing adoption opportunities. You’ll also move stock between our op shops and collect goods from different sites.


Join the team working on a wide range of events, such as Million Paws Walk and Cupcake Day. We’re always looking for volunteers in the lead up to events, as well as helping hands on event day.

Marketing & photography

Hone your communication skills while helping tell the stories of RSPCA South Australia’s animals across a range of digital and traditional platforms. Videographers also welcome!

Corporate partnerships

Get your organisation involved, give your team an interesting conversation topic and engage your employees while proving to your stakeholders and clients that you care about animal welfare.

RSPCA Dog trainer

Dog training

Learn how to read, understand and bond with dogs with the most up to date scientific methods in dog training. Assist in guiding people through fun and fulfilling activities with their dogs.


Help answer phones, reply to emails, create info packs, enter data, prepare mail-outs, assist with research, provide product advice and more, at our Stepney headquarters or Lonsdale shelter.

RSPCA gardening volunteer Neon Martin - photo Guy Furner

Gardening & maintenance

Provide a helping hand with gardening, maintenance and improvement projects across our shelters and other locations, helping ensure animals and visitors have a great experience at RSPCA.

Regional shelters

Live on the Eyre Peninsula? Our Port Lincoln and Whyalla shelters are always looking for helping hands with animal care, adoptions, admin, cleaning, foster care, gardening, fundraising and more.

Op shops sales & support

Provide exceptional customer service and help with merchandising fashion, sorting donated stock, helping customers and processing sales. You’ll also receive great discounts! 

Volunteering FAQs

What are the benefits of becoming a volunteer for RSPCA South Australia?

Volunteering provides many benefits to you (both physically and mentally) and, of course, the animals!

As an RSPCA South Australia volunteer, you will:

  • Directly make a lifesaving difference to abandoned, neglected, sick and surrendered animals.
  • Learn new skills and knowledge. This may assist you with future employment opportunities.
  • Join a team of like-minded people, who love animals.
  • Help counteract the effects of stress, anger, and anxiety. Nothing relieves stress better than a meaningful connection to animal and other like-minded people. Working with animals has been shown to improve mood and reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Combat depression by keeping in regular contact with others and developing a solid support system, which helps protect against depression.
  • Feel happier! By measuring hormones and brain activity, researchers have discovered that being helpful to animals delivers immense pleasure.
  • Increase self-confidence by doing good for animals and the community, which provides a natural sense of accomplishment.
  • Gain a renewed sense of pride and identity.
  • Gain a sense of purpose. Whatever your age or life situation, volunteering for RSPCA South Australia can help take your mind off your own worries, keep you mentally stimulated and add more zest to your life.
  • Help you stay physically healthy. Studies have found that those who volunteer have a lower mortality rate than those who do not. Older volunteers tend to walk more, find it easier to cope with everyday tasks, are less likely to develop high blood pressure and have better thinking skills. Volunteering can also lessen symptoms of chronic pain and reduce the risk of heart disease.

What kinds of roles do volunteers perform?

We have an array of roles available to suit people with different skills, experience, knowledge, qualifications and motivations.

Our volunteers have the opportunity to assist with providing care directly to animals, including at our shelters or in your own home as foster carers, as well as administrative support, customer care, trades, photography, gardening and other skill-related roles. We do our best to match your home location, interests, experience, skills and availability with our currently available volunteering roles.

Do I need to have experience working with animals to volunteer at RSPCA South Australia?

Not at all. Many volunteers have no formal experience, just a love of animals, time to commit and a desire to make a difference to animal welfare.

If you have specific qualifications or experience, please let us know. We aim to utilise your skills and talents in all areas we might need support in.

How old do I have to be to volunteer for RSPCA South Australia?

All applicants must be aged 18 years or older. Due to workplace health and safety laws, and child protection laws, we unfortunately cannot accept volunteers aged under 18 years.

What RSPCA South Australia values will I work within as a volunteer?

We ask that all RSPCA South Australia volunteers help contribute to a positive organisational-wide culture by embracing and aligning your conduct with our values and behavioural statements.

Our values are:

  • Compassion. We are empathetic, caring and considerate.
  • Courage. We are brave and determined to stand by our principles.
  • Integrity. We are ethical, honest and transparent with ourselves, our supporters and the community.
  • Leadership. We are the driving force to motivate and inspire positive change in animal welfare.
  • Achievement. We are focused on our objectives and continuously strive towards our goals.
  • Collaboration. We work as a team and foster partnerships to maximise outcomes.
  • Innovation. We are creative and daring in our thinking – we seek new ideas and new ways.

Can I bring my children with me when I’m volunteering if I supervise them at all times?

Unfortunately not. All volunteers must be aged 18 years or older due to workplace health and safety laws, and child protection laws.

How often will I be required to volunteer?

Due to the induction and training involved to become a volunteer, we request that you commit to a minimum number of hours each week specific to the area you wish to volunteer in, as detailed below.

We strongly encourage you to visit the RSPCA site that you wish to volunteer at before filling out our volunteer application form. This will give you an idea of premises, environment, distances and possible transport modes, which may affect your ongoing volunteer commitment.

Lonsdale and Whyalla shelters:

A minimum of one half day (8am to 12 noon or 12 noon to 4pm) or one full day (8am to 4pm) each week or fortnight for a minimum of three months.

Port Lincoln shelter and Stepney head office:

A minimum of one half day (9am to 1pm or 1pm to 5pm) or one full day (9am to 5pm) each week or fortnight for a minimum of three months.

Op shops:

A minimum 4 hours per week (hours will be assigned according to the op shop roster).


I’d like to volunteer for just one day. Can I do that?

Due to the induction and training required, we are unable to offer you a volunteer placement for just one day.  If you’re interested in a corporate volunteer day organised through your workplace, please see our corporate partnerships page.

How do I apply to become a volunteer for RSPCA South Australia?

It’s easy – just click on volunteer opportunity you’re interested in on our volunteering webpage.

Do I need to complete training before I can start volunteering?

Yes, we deliver regular inductions followed up with on-the-job training. Once your volunteer application is received, we will email you advising you of the next steps.

Does RSPCA South Australia offer student or community volunteer placements?

We work in collaboration with a number of training organisations and community programs, including Work for the Dole. Depending on your requirements, we may be able to offer opportunities including student work placements, work experience, university internships or other formal placements. If you’d like more information, please email

Can I bring my pet with me when I’m volunteering?

Unfortunately not.  The shelter has limited space and we often treat sick animals, bringing your owned animal in may place them at risk of contracting illnesses.

Have further questions?

Feel free to contact us for more information about our volunteering program.