Volunteer Opportunities for Ages 13-17 – the Junior Volunteer program

Registration for our Winter session is now open!

Under adult supervision, Junior Volunteers will assist with afternoon animal care of our cats and small animals. Please note, per NHSPCA policy, only trained adult staff and volunteers are permitted to provide direct care to dogs and farm animals.


    1. JVs will run in sessions throughout the school year, meeting in Fall, Winter, and Spring.
    2. JVs will meet one day a week, every other week, for 4 total volunteer dates.
    3. The age range for JVs has been expanded to include students ages 13-17. Two groups will run at the same time on alternating weeks.
    4. A mandatory training event will be required prior to each session to ensure that JVs are able to complete the basic tasks necessary for participation. If you are unable to attend the training, you will not be able to participate in the volunteer session. If you participated in our Junior Volunteer program within the last year, you may not need to attend the training session. 
    5. Participation in this 4-week immersive experience is $25, which helps us to offset training, staff time, and supplies required to run this program.
    6. Required paperwork for participation:
      • Per NH state law, students ages 13-15 must have completed working papers to participate (this form can be found here)
      • Students ages 16-17 must have parental permission slips to participate (this form can be found here)
      • All students must complete a Student Volunteer Agreement (this form can be found here)
      • For more information regarding the necessary paperwork, please see the FAQ section below.


Our Junior Volunteer program schedule is determined based on the needs and hours of our Adoption Center and the necessary feeding and care times of our animals. At this time, the NHSPCA Adoption Center does NOT have late hours, and volunteers and staff must exit the building by 4 pm. As such, Junior Volunteer hours are currently limited to 2:30-4:00 pm. We’re sorry that we can’t accommodate everyone’s schedules, but we hope to offer an opportunity for a later evening for participants coming from farther away or with different school schedules sometime in the future!

Winter 2023 Junior Volunteers will be able to choose from the following dates and times. 

  • Sundays 2:30-4:00 pm
  • Mondays 2:30-4:00 pm
  • Tuesdays 2:30-4:00 pm
  • Fridays 2:30-4:00 pm

Only THREE volunteer spots will be available for each day. While we have offered four spots in the past, we have found that having more than three volunteers present reduces the opportunities each child has for hands-on participation. We want everyone to have the best experience possible while they are here, and we want everyone to have a chance to get involved and help out! If we find that the workload increases enough to require additional support, we will adjust the group sizes accordingly.

When registering, please keep in mind that you will be expected to attend the same day of the week for all 4 meetings!


Sessions will take place in the fall, winter, and spring.

For the safety of our volunteers and animals, a mandatory training session is required. The training session typically lasts one hour and will take place shortly before the beginning of each new session. The Winter 2023 training session is currently TBD. Junior Volunteers who have participated within the last year do not need to attend the mandatory training session, unless there is relevant change to our policies and procedures. 

The Winter session will run from the week of January 8th, 2023, through the week of March 12th, 2023, with Junior Volunteers meeting on the following days:

Group A Sundays: 1/8, 1/29, 2/12, 3/5
Group A Mondays: 1/9, 1/30, 2/13, 3/6
Group A Tuesdays: 1/10, 1/31, 2/14, 3/7
Group A Fridays: 1/13, 2/3, 2/17, 3/10

Group B Sundays: 1/22, 2/5, 2/19, 3/12
Group B Mondays: 1/23, 2/6, 2/20, 3/13
Group B Tuesdays: 1/24, 2/7, 2/21, 3/14
Group B Fridays: 1/27, 2/10, 2/24, 3/17

Please ensure that you can attend all the scheduled dates. We are counting on the help of each of our Junior Volunteers for important animal care responsibilities, and we want to make sure our animals get all the love and attention they need! In the event of sickness or an emergency, please notify us of your need to be absent as soon as possible.

Booking and Refund Policy

This program is extremely popular, so registration is first come first serve and no refunds will be available. Once you have submitted the registration form, a member of our staff will reach out to confirm your registration and provide additional information. If your child did not get registered in time but is still interested, please reach out to [email protected] so they can be added to a waiting list for a future session.

Waiver: I recognize that in conjunction with my child’s attendance at the New Hampshire Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NHSPCA), my child will be in contact with and may be allowed to hold and pet animals. I understand that despite all precautions made, there is a chance that my child may contract a disease or illness by handling the animals. I further understand that there is a chance that my child may sustain a scratch or bite while handling animals. I understand that the above is illustrative of the types of risks involved in participating in programs at the NHSPCA, but is in no way a complete list of possible risks. By checking the YES box when registering, I do hereby absolutely and unconditionally release and discharge the NHSPCA, including its employees, successors, assigns, directors, officers, and agents from and against any and all claims, obligations and liabilities of any nature relating to or arising out of my child’s participation with this NHSPCA program. I certify that I am the registered child’s legal parent or legal guardian.

Photo Release: I authorize the NHSPCA to use photos of my child engaging in program activities for media purposes.

Group A Tickets

Group B Tickets

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What happened to the previous waiting list?

    The Junior Volunteer program was paused for a long time while we were closed to the public during Covid-19 and construction around our campus. During this time many students previously on the waiting list have either aged out or have new schedules. Given this, along with the new structure, we have decided to start fresh.

    If your child was unable to register for this session, please contact [email protected] to be added to our new waiting list for upcoming sessions.

  • Why do you charge money to volunteer?

    The fee for our Junior Volunteer program helps cover costs associated with training, staffing, and any necessary materials to make sure the experience is as positive and enriching as possible for the students and the animals.

  • Why is the program limited to three volunteers per day?

    We want to make sure all the JVs who participate get as much hands-on experience as possible! We’ve found that larger groups leave fewer opportunities for participation among the members.

  • What if I am allergic to cats, small animals, hay, etc.?

    JVs will not only be interacting with animals, like cats and smalls, but will also be in contact with many foods and materials. If you have allergies to pet dander, hay, etc., this may not be an appropriate volunteer opportunity for you.

  • What if I can't attend all of the dates for a session?

    We are counting on the help of each of our Junior Volunteers for important animal care responsibilities, and we want to make sure our animals get all the love and attention they need! If you have other commitments that might interfere, please consider waiting to register until you have more availability.

  • What kinds of things will Junior Volunteers help with?

    Our JVs will help with many aspects of animal care, like feeding animals, cleaning litter boxes and cages, washing animal bedding, and preparing daily enrichment activities. JVs will be helping with the care of cats and small animals. Per NHSPCA policy, only trained adult staff and volunteers are able to provide direct care to dogs and farm animals.

  • What is the paperwork that is required?

    Per the NH Department of Labor, children ages 13-15 are required to have working papers completed in order to participate in volunteer activities. These papers can be signed by a parent OR an issuing officer at the student’s school.

    The NH Department of Labor also requires that students ages 16 and 17 have a permission form signed by a parent or guardian before a student can volunteer.

    The NHSPCA also requires students and parents to complete a Student Volunteer Agreement, which covers expectations for JVs.