Explore the work RSPCA NSW does to help animals and their owners in the community.

Volunteering for Community Programs

There are many incredible ways to get involved with our community programs and make a lifesaving difference to pets and pet owners in need.

  • Become a foster carer. You’ll care for a pet while her owner is unable to due to domestic violence, homelessness, hospitalisation, or some other circumstance.
  • Become a volunteer. You’ll help an elderly person in your local community care for their pet so they can remain together. Your duties could include:
    • bathing or grooming
    • dog walking
    • feeding the pet at home while the owner is in hospital
    • giving the pet medication
    • helping transport the pet to and from the groomer or veterinarian

If you’re interested in becoming a foster carer or volunteer for our Community Programs Team, please fill out the respective application form below. Our team will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

You will need to fill out and submit both forms separately if you are interested in both volunteering and foster care. All applicants must be over 18 years old and undergo a National Police Check before they can become a volunteer and/or foster carer for RSPCA NSW Community Programs. The cost of this check will be covered by RSPCA NSW.

For more information please contact the RSPCA Community Programs helpline (02) 9782 4408.

The helpline operates Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. During weekends and public holidays contact the RSPCA Contact Centre on (02) 9770 7555.

Foster Care and Volunteering FAQs

To become a foster carer or volunteer, please fill out the form below to begin the application process.

Once our Community Programs Team has received your completed application, we’ll conduct a criminal record check, as you may be entering the homes of disabled, elderly or vulnerable clients. You’ll have to complete an induction process, and then you’re ready to volunteer. How soon you start will then depend on which clients in your area need help.

The pets who are fostered through the Community Programs have owners. Their owners are temporarily unable to care for their pet themselves, but our goal is always to reunite animal and owner.

The animals who are fostered through the shelter’s Foster Care program do not have owners yet. These animals will return to the shelter when they old or healthy enough so that they can find loving new forever homes.

Volunteering takes place in your local community, and you can nominate which areas you are able to assist. The majority of our volunteers nominate the suburb they live in, as well as some surrounding suburbs. We do our best to match our clients with the volunteers who live closest to them.

How often you volunteer is completely up to you, and will depend on your availability and schedule. Even if you can only spare an hour a week, or a few hours here and there, it all helps!

If a client’s pet requires more care than one volunteer is able to provide, we will try to match up a client with a second volunteer.

The majority of our enquiries are for cats and dogs, but we also receive enquiries for animals such as birds, livestock, pocket pets and poultry. As a volunteer, you can nominate which animals you feel most comfortable to help with, and we never ask anyone to do a job they’re not comfortable with.

Every situation is different. Stays in foster care can vary from days to months, depending on the client’s situation. However, we understand if carers are not able to commit to long-term stays, and any time you can help with will benefit the animal’s wellbeing.