Volunteering with SMRAS


Welcome to the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter volunteer program! Being a volunteer is extremely rewarding, educational, and fun. You will have a significant positive impact on the lives of homeless animals! Whether you walk a dog, cuddle a cat, give a bath, or simply feed a treat, volunteering with our animals will touch your heart and bring you back for more.

Volunteers Are Part of Our Shelter Family!

Our mission is to care for, protect, and find quality homes for abandoned and neglected animals, aid in the reduction of pet overpopulation, and provide community education for the mutual benefit of animals and people.

We rely on volunteers to help us in each aspect of our shelter's operations from helping owners find their lost pets to cleaning kennels to helping scared pets and finding them adopters!

Minimum Requirements

  • The minimum age to volunteer is 12 years old. All minors must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
  • Adult volunteers may choose to bring minors as young as 8 years of age for non-animal handling volunteering, e.g. making treats for our pets
  • Please review our safety and handling procedures online prior to volunteering
  • Attend an in person volunteer orientation prior to beginning service
  • Track impacts and sign up for opportunities via this portal
  • We appreciate volunteers who can commit to at least one day each month to support our shelter. Volunteers looking for one-time opportunities for groups may email foster@sanmarcostx.gov


Duties include cleaning, feeding, grooming and exercising the pets, administrative work, adoption counseling/interactions, special projects, and outreach events. We always need help greeting visitors, answering the phone, entering data, photographing the pets, assisting the veterinary team, and organizing special events. 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 organizations around our community.

Basic animal care involves cleaning kennels and exercising dogs. 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.

You will receive training and support throughout your time as a volunteer. If you want to learn a new skill or elevate your knowledge, we LOVE that and are here to help!

How to get started:

    • You must be 18 years old or over to volunteer alone at the shelter. Minors can accompany a guardian at the age of 8 years old but will not work directly with the animals (there are still lots of activities to help with). If a minor is 12 years old, they can work with animals directly. All minors must be always with their adult guardian when at the shelter. 
    • Click the join button above to submit your application through GivePulse.  
    • Once you have made an account, you will have access to our volunteer page through their website or their mobile app (the app is easier to use.)   

    • Read through the Volunteer Handbook and General Release Waiver/Liability forms.

      • These are required documents available when you register for an orientation, as well as the documents tab on GivePulse.  

    • Attend an in-person orientation to learn more about how to get involved, get a tour of the facility, and learn more about why we need your help.  You can see our orientation schedule on the events tab in GivePulse.  
    • After you have gone through orientation, you will be ready to start volunteering!  
    • We can't wait to see you soon!

    560 People | 1,258 Impact | 3,300 Hours




    you have to wait to get an email back from the animal shelter saying they've checked and verified your application.
    I am having the same problem! I filled out an application but can't find an orientation to sign up for.
    Hello! I'm trying to sign up for a volunteer orientation, but can't seem to find out where to do this. Can anyone help me out? Thanks so much!