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Learn about Volunteering!

You are integral to our mission.

The Dutchess County SPCA is committed to helping all of the abandoned, sick, abused, and stressed animals that come to our shelter and give them the best possible chance at finding a loving, permanent home.

Volunteers perform vital services for the welfare of the animals, freeing staff to do their jobs and allowing us to help many more animals than we otherwise could. Without volunteers to walk dogs, socialize cats, and assist in the many responsibilities associated with caring for such a large population of animals, DCSPCA would not be able to maintain its high standards of animal care.


If you choose to volunteer as a foster parent, you are providing a home with love and attention that is better than any shelter. In addition, foster parents not only save the life of the pet in their care, but also make a space at the shelter for another homeless animal that needs help.

Additional info for DCSPCA foster parents:

  • Are at least 18 years of age to foster cats and 21 years of age for dogs.

  • Will be living in their current residence for the next year.

  • Must provide assurance that all members of the household are in agreement with fostering (roommates, family members, etc.).

  • Must show proof of adequate facilities to care for the animal (sufficient sanitary space).

  • Must have their own transportation.

  • Complete our Dutchess County SPCA Foster Application process.

  • Sign our Foster Parent Contract.

  • Are willing to help find a forever home for their foster pet.

  • Participate in adoption events and social networking to find potential adopters.

With guidance from the DCSPCA foster families will:

  • Provide a wholesome environment for the pet including good food, clean water, and suitable accommodations for waste relief—clean litter boxes for cats and regular walks for dogs.

  • Provide socialization and enrichment in the form of attention, toys, and treats, and adventures, sometimes with special training protocols for dogs.

  • Provide a warm, safe, clean sleeping area inside your home, with appropriate pet bedding.

  • Administer medications if needed and as directed.

  • Transport the foster pet to the Dutchess County SPCA to see a veterinarian when necessary.

  • Provide pertinent and timely information to the Dutchess County SPCA about the pet’s health and behavior.

  • Transport the foster pet to the Dutchess County SPCA for adoption appointments.

Additional info for

  • Dog walking (requires a training session)

  • Cat socialization (interactive play and handling)

  • Shelter upkeep (laundry, cleaning)

  • Enrichment (making kongs and toys)

  • Donation sorting and stocking

  • Grounds maintenance (weed whacking, playground cleanup)

  • Office work (computer entry, filing) and many other project-based activities.

Volunteers are a critical aspect of our operation and are always welcome and needed. There are many different opportunities based on your preferences and abilities.

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