Volunteer Program

SICSA is always looking for talented and passionate individuals to help support us and the animals in our care. To find out about becoming a volunteer, please first complete our volunteer application.

After you have submitted your online application, you may attend an upcoming volunteer orientation. The next orientation will be Tuesday, September 23rd from 6pm-7pm in the training room at SICSA. We hope to see you there!

For more information about volunteer opportunities, please review our FAQ or contact Jennie Baxla, Volunteer Coordinator, at 937-294-6505 ext. 21 or jbaxla@sicsa.org

Volunteer Opportunities


Dog Programs

Dogs at SICSA are walked at least four times a day. Shifts start at 8AM, 10AM, 2PM, and 6PM. Volunteers are needed to help assist the staff in the kennels during these times in order to provide fresh water, clean bedding, and treats. At SICSA, we train our adoptable animals and modify animal behavior using positive reinforcement and a consistent approach. 

Training Requirement: Dog volunteers will attend Dog Training 101, a 2-hour training session that includes positive reinforcement techniques, proper leash behavior, how to control and correct negative walking behaviors, and how to promote positive behavior inside the kennel. Monthly continuing education courses, such as off-leash training, are also available for new and experienced SICSA volunteers.

Cat Programs

Volunteers spend time with our adoptable kittens and cats for kenneling, socialization, and play. All SICSA adoptable cats need one-on-one attention. Volunteers are welcome after 11AM each day to engage in socialization with our adult cats. Volunteers are also needed to help with cleaning cat and kitten shelters every morning. Volunteers should arrive around 9AM to clean.

Training Requirement: 1-hour cat cleaning and socialization training session.

Foster Care

Volunteers are needed to foster homeless animals in their home for a period of time. Fosters can choose a certain breed or size, a certain period of time (ex: summer), and a certain gender or age. We can accommodate fosters and schedules in a variety of ways. 

Training Requirement: To become a foster volunteer, complete the foster care application and email to RGrant@sicsa.org or DLoase@sicsa.org or mail your application to: SICSA, Attn: Foster Care Coordinator, 2600 Wilmington Pike, Kettering, OH 45419. Read More.


Volunteers who enjoy interacting with the public are needed to greet clients in the SICSA lobby. The primary role of the Greeter is to help direct customers and give a favorable first impression of SICSA. 

Training Requirement: Volunteers must learn about SICSA's services and programs. Volunteers wishing to greet alongside a dog must complete the Open Paw dog training and 1st shift support session.

Development & Administration

Volunteers are needed for special events and office work.

Off-site Events

Volunteers can help adoption counselors represent SICSA, taking animals out and showing them off to potential adopters at different venues. SICSA travels to various locations and special events in our community with adoptable animals. You must be comfortable interacting with the public.

Training Requirement: Offsite Volunteers must be able to handle both dogs and cats and must both dog and cat training, as well as an Off-site event training session.

Pet Therapy

Volunteers bring the joy and comfort of animal companionship to people in nursing homes and hospitals with our pet therapy animals.

Training Requirement: PFT volunteers should be comfortable handling dogs and cats and must attend both dog and cat training, as well as a PFT training session. To find out more about Pet Therapy, please contact Carolyn at CSpiller@sicsa.org or 937-294-6505 ext. 20. Read More.

Youth Programs

Volunteers are needed to assist with our on-site youth programs, including birthday parties, mini-camps, tours, and SICSA Saturday programming. Help is needed with all aspects of the programs, including set-up, program facilitation, and clean-up. Prospective volunteers may be subject to fingerprinting and a background check in keeping with the State of Ohio Guidelines for Volunteers Working with Children.

Junior Volunteers

If you are a teen who loves animals, apply to become a SICSA Junior Volunteer! Junior Volunteers are teenagers ages 13-17 selected to volunteer over the summer at SICSA Pet Adoption Center. Junior Volunteers are responsible for the care of SICSA animals, including cleaning kennels, preparing food, refreshing water, and giving one-on-one socialization. All Junior Volunteers must have a parent or guardian's consent to volunteer and have reliable transportation. Interested students may apply during the annual application timeframe (typically early January-mid March each year.)

The application period for the 2014 Junior Volunteer program is closed. Please check back in January 2015 for junior volunteer opportunities and application information. The Junior Volunteer program is the only volunteer program for students 13-17 years old to work independently from their parents. Junior Volunteer applications are only accepted during the application timeframe, no waitlists are kept. Students who recently applied to be part of the 2014 program will be notified by mail and email in mid-April regarding their placement status.

Parent Youth Partners (PYPers)

Children between the ages of 8-12 can participate in cat and dog kennel activities or Pet-Facilitated Therapy with their parent. The parent will have to be fully trained in dog handling and/or cat socialization in order to work with the animals. Parents would then be responsible for training their children and must always be present whenever their child is at SICSA. When working with dogs, parent must always be holding the leash and should be the only one going in and out of dog kennels.

Training Requirement: Parents must complete dog and/or cat training. An additional PFT training is required in order to begin PFT visits.

Friends of SICSA

Friends of SICSA (FOS) is always looking for more members. FOS makes and sells crafts at local bazaars and festivals and other fundraising activities. Meetings are the 3rd Wednesdays of each month. Email Pklarrick@ameritech.net for more information. Read more.

Community Service Opportunities

We can accommodate volunteers who would like to complete service hours for school, church, or civic projects, provided the volunteer is 18 years of age or over.

Children ages 8-12 may complete their service hours through our Parent Youth Partner (PYPer) program, alongside a parent or guardian. Youth ages 13-17 may complete service hours as part of our Junior Volunteer Program during the summer.

At this time, we do not have the infrastructure in place to accommodate court-ordered community service. Thank you for understanding.

Please contact Jennie Baxla at jbaxla@sicsa.org with any questions.


How To Apply



To find out about becoming a volunteer at SICSA, please first complete our volunteer application. After you have submitted your online application, you may attend an upcoming volunteer orientation. The next orientation will be held on Tuesday, September 23rd from 6pm-7pm in the training room at SICSA. We hope to see you there! For more information about our volunteer opportunities, please review our FAQ or contact Jennie Baxla, Volunteer Coordinator, at 937-294-6505 ext. 21 or jbaxla@sicsa.org.

Age Requirement

We have year-round opportunities for volunteers 18 years old or older. Applications for youth ages 13-17 are only accepted for the Junior Volunteer Program during specified times of the year. Children ages 8-12 may volunteer as Parent Youth Partners (PYPers). 


SICSA volunteers who choose to work with dogs and cats receive Open Paw training and have access to several continuing education and enrichment training courses. Volunteers receive a t-shirt at cost, and dog volunteers also receive an apron at cost.


All SICSA volunteers are encouraged to become members. Your annual membership helps support SICSA's mission of promoting the welfare and adoption of companion animals, and nurturing loving, lifelong relationships between animals and people. The $40 basic membership level includes several benefits, such as a newsletter subscription, SICSA window cling, and recognition in the annual report. Membership also gives you a voice in the direction of SICSA, a unique benefit in our community. All members in good standing are eligible to attend and be a part of the voting process at the annual meeting. Visit our membership page for more information.

Legal Issues

If you have ever been convicted of a felony you must disclose the date and the nature of the crime. Information will be kept confidential. If you have been convicted of any violent crimes against people or animals, theft, weapons or drug charges you will not be accepted into our program. Background checks may be required. You must disclose if you are currently under a Labor & Industry claim, or have been released from any other volunteer position. Persons found withholding this information will be terminated immediately.