The San Francisco SPCA (SFSPCA) is the go-to place in the City for rescuing homeless dogs and cats. They have an animal hospital, an adoption center, a veterinary clinic, a spay/neuter clinic, dog training programs, and more.
SFSPCA offers classroom visits for kids in grades K–12. Topics include Dog Talk, Companion Animal Care, and Career Talk. School groups starting in grade 2 can tour the facility through the Student Tours program. Kids help make animal toys and other things for the shelter.
Is Mom allergic to animals? Does your landlord have a "no pets allowed" policy? SFSPCA gives kids opportunities for hands-on interaction with their resident animals. Sign up early as all these programs fill up fast!
SFSPCA's youth programs include:
Afterschool Junior Volunteering:
Kids in grades 1–8 get hands-on time with animals and make friends with other young animal lovers. This program encourages kids to consider different issues: the needs and feelings of others; the effects of one’s actions; and one’s own place in the world relative to other living beings. Classes meet once a week for three weeks and the cost is $80 per session. Tuesday programs are for kids in grades 1–4. Thursday programs are for kids in grades 5–8.
High School Volunteer Program:
Mature and responsible teens can join the cat volunteer team to help with care, talking to potential adopters, and answering questions from the public. Volunteers must complete a three-week training course that allows them to volunteer throughout high school. Volunteers are required to put in at least 10 hours each month for at least 6 months. The training program tuition is $90.
Community Service Saturdays:
Youth ages 11 to 18 can go to the animal shelter to help care for SF/SPCA animals and learn more about responsible pet guardianship. Participants assist with feeding the animals, cleaning their habitats, and doing other shelter duties. This opportunity fulfills school community service requirements. Tuition is $50 per Saturday.
Try a different kind of camp this summer—this one is designed for kids who love animals or want to enhance their animal awareness.
Depending upon the camp, activities include dog walking, cat socialization, games, crafts, tours, guest speakers, animal-related education, field trips, professional demonstrations, veterinary observation, discussions, animal support projects, and lots of fun!
2013–2014 Winter Break Camp:
Dates: December 21, January 2–January 4
Ages: Grades 1–6
Cost: $90 per day
Extended Care: 8:30am–9am, 4pm–5:30pm. $15 per day
2014 Week-long Spring Camp Sessions:
Dates: March 31–April 4, April 14–April 18
Ages: Grades 1–6
Days/Times: Monday to Friday, 9am–4pm
Cost: $400 per week; $90 per day
Extended care: 8:30am–9am and 4pm–5:30pm ($15 per day or $75 per week)
2013 Week-long Summer Camp Sessions: June 3–August 16 (mini camp week of July 1)
Ages: grades 1–6
Days/Times: Mondays through Fridays, 9am–4pm
Cost: $400 per week, $90 per day (Spring Break only); financial aid available
Extended care: 8:30am–9am and 4pm–5:30pm ($75 per week or $15 per day)
SFSPCA's volunteer programs provide opportunities for families with children to have hands-on encounters with the animals.
Adults ages 18 and up can teach children about dog safety, companion care, animal shelters, and much more. There are School Volunteer, Camp Volunteer, and Special Project Volunteer positions available.
Find out about foster care for animals in your home.