Current Volunteers log in to Matrix

Volunteering: The animals need you!  Why Volunteer?

The Santa Fe Animal Shelter maintains an active and vital volunteer program that encourages Volunteers to participate at the Shelter, our satellite locations and in the greater community.

As a Volunteer with SFAS, you will be part of a progressive philosophy on humane education and animal care; being valued as an integral part of keeping pets healthy and happy. Whether you wish to volunteer by spending time working with the animals, by teaching humane principles to children, working at the clinic or in many of the other volunteer roles, we and the animals welcome your help!

Resources for volunteers!
Use the buttons to the right to access additional volunteer resources.  More details below (scroll down).


Official Volunteer Merchandise

Volunteer Requirements: 

  • Must be 12 years or older. Youth 6-12 years can attend an “Experience the Shelter” event with a parent or guardian, other friends, family or school groups. Our Humane Education team may be available for a larger group tour at the Shelter or visit to your organization’s location; learn more about our Humane Education program. Youth aged 6-13 years can also attend a Critter Camp session that is hosted during school breaks throughout the year.

  • Applicants between the ages of 12 and 15 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Both parent and child must submit applications and attend training for their desired volunteer roles.
  • Those wanting to handle animals must attend specific handling classes provided by the Shelter.
  • Applicants must be able and willing to follow organizational policies for the safety and well-being of the animals and other people at SFAS locations.
  • Must be willing and able to schedule or log volunteer hours specific to the project through our volunteer scheduling software. Individual training is provided for learning how to do this easily.
  • Submit a one-time, non-refundable $5 volunteer application fee. The fee helps cover the costs of our volunteer T-shirt (received after 30 days of volunteering), name badge and equipment. You also have the option of purchasing a new volunteer apron for $9, which you may take home; communal aprons will be provided if you do not wish to purchase one. The application fee will be waived for student groups, youths 12-18 and those qualifying for assistance.

*Note: The application fee does not guarantee placement as a volunteer in our program but will serve the animals in our care if placement is not made, including change of heart 

Volunteer Application Process:

  1. Submit an Application and payment for the application fee. Follow the prompts on the screen until you receive the success message. 
  1. Once the app is submitted and reviewed, you will receive an email with instructions on how to register online through Volunteer Matrix, our Shelter’s volunteer scheduling software.
  1. After registration, you can sign up for the New Volunteer Orientation and begin watching our animal handling videos; the links will be provided in the registration email. You will receive volunteer credit for attending the Orientation, for video training completed at home and for any hands on-training you receive at the Shelter.
  1. You are welcomed as a SFAS volunteer, a vital part of the care and enrichment of Shelter pets!

Shelter Foster FamiliesAnother amazing way to volunteer

We need foster families! Our foster families care for animals that aren’t ready for adoption. Most foster placements are two to six weeks, and are for nursing mothers and their litters, young kittens, puppies, injured pets or animals needing socialization or time away from the Shelter.

Hospice foster homes for animals with advanced age or medical issues are crucial for the care of a more delicate population. Consider rising to the challenge and enjoy the reward of bringing these pets into your home.

Find out more about our New Hope Foster Program.

Independent Volunteer Opportunities:

Would you like to help the Shelter but cannot commit to a formal volunteer experience? There are several opportunities that you, your friends, family and groups from other organizations can participate in that benefit animals. Learn other Ways to Help Animals.

Community Service

Applicants seeking volunteer hours for school, a religious organization or other agency can meet their requirement with SFAS. Download the Community Service Application and the Log Sheet to verify your hours. Please read the application entirely, making sure to fill out all required information. *Note: Youth aged less than 18 years must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian at all times while performing work in the Shelter. If you have further questions, contact

Court-Ordered Community Service

The Santa Fe Animal Shelter welcomes volunteers who are required by a court to complete community service. However, we will not accept individuals convicted of any violent crime toward people, animals or any felony drug offenses. Download the Court Ordered Application. Please read the application in its entirety. After submission to the Admissions building, it may take the Coordinator up to four days to review and approve your signed copy.


To learn more about our current volunteer needs or to discuss special projects, contact the Volunteer Coordinator at or call (505) 983-4309 x1128

New Hope Foster Program: (505) 983-4309 x1270,