Volunteering with the RSPCA QLD

Animal Care Assistant | Wacol


What to expect

This rewarding volunteer role would suit applicants that love animals and are committed to improving their welfare; people who wish to experience hands-on work with animals and want to learn about the care and health requirements for future work in the industry; and anyone looking for a worthwhile way to spend their time. It can be physically demanding and sometimes smelly, and you’ll be outside in winter and summer weather.  You might feel emotional about the animals you’re working with and may find this difficult, but ultimately the reward is that you’re making a huge, positive difference to their lives – and yours!


What are the benefits?

  • Positively impacting the lives of many animals in care
  • Animal handling experience with domestic animals including dogs, cats, puppies, kittens and also livestock (large and small), pocket pets and domestic birds
  • Hands on training from our shelter team
  • Opportunity to gain new skills and learn about the animal care industry
  • Becoming part of a friendly and passionate new community

What are the tasks?

The Animal Care Assistant can be a very physical, hands-on volunteering role and every single task, no matter how big or small, makes a big difference to the animals in care. Although you do get time throughout the shift to interact with animals, a typical shift includes all of the below tasks:

  • The daily cleaning of the animals' pens which involves removing dirty bedding, hosing or wiping out enclosures, sweeping and scooping up of poop, cleaning litter trays, and providing clean bedding and toys
  • Hygiene control – ensuring appropriate sanitisation and hand-washing, and avoiding cross contamination – and ensuring that the animals remain stocked up with food, water, bedding and toys.
  • Assisting with socialising, enrichment and exercise of animals in care - you will be trained by shelter staff before you can work independently with animals.
  • Taking bins full of soiled linen/towels/bedding to the laundry and collecting clean bedding/towels etc to take back to your area.
  • Assisting with general laundry duties as part of each shift, including loading dirty laundry into the machines, loading and/or taking clean washing out of the dryers, and folding all clean items.
  • Assistance with ensuring the Animal Care Campus environment is presentable, and general tidying up.
  • Following RSPCA philosophy of positive reinforcement with all animal interactions.

What skills and characteristics do I need?

  • Confidence in working with domestic animals and/or willingness to learn more about how to work with animals in a shelter situation
  • Able to cope with increased noise levels and have the ability to hear if an animals is in distress or giving warning signs of fear
  • Be able to fulfil all of the above tasks independently
  • Be physically fit (able to lift 10kg) and able to stand for long periods. This role can be very fast-paced, due to this our volunteers need to able to manage their own time effectively 
  • A high level of manual dexterity with the ability to multitask
  • Attention to detail and able to accurately follow instructions with the ability to comprehend these independently 
  • Enjoy working in a team environment
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Hard working and committed to the RSPCA

To help potential volunteers to fully understand the role requirements, we have created the Essential Capabilities of an Animal Care Volunteer  document. Please read this before you apply to ensure you understand what we look for when reviewing applications. If an applicant is not able to meet these essential requirements, unfortunately, we are unable to progress their application any further.

When can I volunteer?

We are seeking reliable volunteers who will be able to commit to a minimum of 1 x four hour shift per week for a minimum of 3 months to ensure consistency and continuity with the animals. Due to the variety of animals we work with and the level of training involved, your first 3 months will be considered a probationary period. This is so we can ensure the role is a good fit for you and so we can ensure you feel confident with the tasks involved.

  • Monday to Sunday Dog shifts (7.45am - 12pm or 12pm - 4.30pm)
  • Monday to Sunday Cat shifts (7.45am - 12pm or 12pm - 4.30pm)
  • Monday to Sunday Pocket Pet & Farmyard shifts (7:45 - 12pm or 12pm - 4.30pm)

Please note - If you are applying for a role that involves working with Dogs or Cats, you will be required to attend a 'first day' training shift before you commence with your regular weekly shift. We currently run these training sessions every Tuesday and you will be automatically assigned to one of these once you confirm your onsite orientation date. 

If you are ready to join the RSPCA Qld team, please click "Fill in an application" above. For further information, please contact us at volunteering@rspcaqld.org.au