San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter Volunteer Program

playing outside with dogWe're thrilled you want to join us in saving thousands of homeless pets each year! The San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter could not do what we do without our dedicated volunteers. We need the support of our volunteer system to aid us in our several activities in and out of the shelter. Join our team and make a difference for the homeless pets at SMRAS! 

Our online application can be submitted below.

Adoption Application Opens in new window

Volunteer Orientation Sign Up

  1. Volunteer Orientation 9/23/23

    This is an in person orientation for new volunteers. It is REQUIRED that you fill out the forms and read over the handbook before attending. Please print off our Waiver/Liability form, sign it, and bring that with you to...

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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 review our online training documents, then attend an 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. If you are inactive for three months without notice, you will have to attend a refresher orientation.
  • Be kind and courteous with staff, customers, and animals.

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

Poinsettia giving SMRAS volunteer kisses

  • Cleaning kennels
  • Walking dogs
  • Adoption counseling
  • Dog playgroups
  • Animal enrichment
  • Cat room and socialization
  • Pet photography
  • Veterinary assistance
  • Dogs Day Out


Duties include cleaning and feeding animals, grooming and exercising animals, clerical work, adoption counseling/interactions, special projects, and outreach events. Volunteers, working alongside our staff 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 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.

Ready to start? 

  • Register on our volunteer portal, Give Pulse, and fill out our volunteer application.
  • Once you have applied, you will receive a message with available orientation dates. 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