San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter Volunteer Program

Become a volunteer


We're thrilled you want to join us in saving thousands of homeless pets each year! See below for important information about our program and instructions to sign up!

What do you get to do as a volunteer with the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter?

  • Dog walking and training
  • Cat training and enrichment
  • Photography
  • Adoption matchmaking
  • Cleaning and medical care
  • Bottle feeding for young kittens and puppies
  • Fostering
  • Special events, education, and outreach
  • Pet retention support (keeping pets in homes) and family reunification


Duties include cleaning and feeding animals, grooming and exercising animals, clerical work, adoption counseling/ interactions, special projects, and outreach events. Volunteers, working alongside our team are given thorough instructions on how to properly clean kennels and feed and care for the animals.

Basic animal care involves grooming and exercising. Cats and kittens need brushing and nail trimming. Dogs and puppies need bathing, brushing, nail trimming and enrichment. All animals need daily exercise. We have cat toys and scratching posts available for the cat playtime; and we have several courtyards to walk and play with the dogs.

Other duties include clerical work, greeting visitors, answering the phone, data entry, filing, animal photography, veterinary services as well as other miscellaneous or specialized tasks and activities. Special projects and events include various programs in the schools and civic organizations, annual events such as the San Marcos Mutt Strutt, Pet Fest, PetSmart Adoptions, and a variety of events for Texas State University, San Marcos CISD, and other organizations around the community.

Volunteer Requirements

  • Volunteers must be 18 years or older. Accompanying minors must be 8 years or older and must stay with their family at all times.
  • Volunteers must abide by social distancing and masking guidelines.
  • Volunteers must review our online training documents, then attend a one-hour, in-person orientation. No walk-in volunteering is allowed at this time. Orientation is hands-on with the animals. After this orientation, volunteers can begin volunteering immediately in their chosen area.
  • While there are no minimum hour requirements, we ask that you plan to volunteer at least one day a month to stay involved with our community and make the greatest positive impact possible.
  • Be kind and courteous with staff and clients.
  • Treat every animal with respect as an individual.

Ready to start? 

  • Register on our volunteer portal, Give Pulse, and fill out our volunteer application.
  • Once we approve your application, you are welcome to sign up for the next available orientation. Please note that volunteer orientations will be held less frequently while we fill critical positions, but we hope to get back on our regular schedule soon. 
  • Once accepted and oriented, you can sign up for shifts on our Give Pulse portal when it works best for your schedule. 

Still have questions or would like to talk to someone about volunteering? Call 512-805-2603 or email

  • Community members who want to fulfill court-ordered service hours may email for more information.
  • Groups interested in one-time volunteer opportunities or service projects may email for more information.