Enrichment Program Volunteer

RSPCA Darwin is seeking participants aged twelve and over to help with the Enrichment Program at the Darwin Shelter. Enrichment participants help brighten the days of shelter animals by providing companionship, enrichment toys and positive training.

Getting involved in this program is best suited for adults and kids who want to assist on a casual basis as this program offers a more flexible volunteer opportunity that does not require committing to a set shift day or time. This role provides valuable support, companionship and training to the shelter animals but, as this is a casual role, it does not involve going into animal enclosures. Please note that volunteers under the age of 18 must be supervised by a guardian at all times while on site.

What’s Involved

Induction sessions are twice a month for 2-3 hrs, on a Thursday afternoon and Saturday morning, followed by orientation during your first shifts.

Due to the time taken to train and induct volunteers, we are seeking volunteers who are able to commit to a minimum of four hours per month.

If you have not visited the Darwin Shelter recently, please visit the shelter during opening hours (no need to make an appointment) before applying. This will give you an opportunity to familiarise yourself with the environment. It will also allow you to determine whether you will be able to travel to the shelter, particularly if you will be taking public transport.

Please note that there is a maximum of two children per parent or legal guardian. This means that families wanting more than one child to be involved will need to submit separate applications for each child, and one application for each parent or legal guardian. We will contact the parents or legal guardians first. Young people must have their parents or legal guardians permission and we must receive all separate applications before proceeding.

Tasks

  • Read to the shelter animals. Catch up on some reading and provide the shelter animals with companionship and the opportunity to socialise with different people. This activity is great for those who enjoy reading or have lots of reading to do for school or studies. For those learning to read, it’s a great opportunity to read to some very good listeners. The shelter animals love being read to, and they benefit from the companionship it provides.
  • Make toys for the shelter animals at the creation station. Toys provide the animals with environmental enrichment and mental stimulation.
  • Help train the shelter dogs from the front of their kennels using positive training techniques. The shelter dogs love to get positive praise and treats. Training helps get the dogs adopted faster, and provides them with mental stimulation and socialisation.

Requirements

  • Must be aged twelve and over. Children under the age of 18 years old must have a parent or legal guardian present with them at all times. Parents or legal guardians must submit a separate volunteering application.
  • Must have visited the Darwin Shelter before submitting your application
  • Be comfortable with and enjoy being around different animals & be comfortable in the shelter environment
  • Be able to follow directions and instructions

What you get in return:

  • Contact with a variety of domestic animals including dogs, cats, puppies, kittens and occasionally more exotic pets
  • Great opportunity to learn about the care and health requirements of domestic animals
  • Time to play and interact with the animals in your care
  • Opportunity to gain new skills and learn about the animal care industry
  • Helping animals in a way that the people with animal skills aren’t as good at!
  • Be part of a fun, engaged, passionate team
  • When it gets hot and you need a break, unlimited kitten cuddles to make the hard work worth it!