RSPCA Darwin Regional Branch

Kennel assistant volunteer - RSPCA Darwin Regional Branch

Kennel Assistant Volunteer

The RSPCA Darwin is seeking dedicated individuals to give hands on help, and provide care to the dogs awaiting adoption. This role involves helping keep the kennel environment clean, and being part of our shelter positive training and enrichment program. It involves training, exercising and providing environmental enrichment for the dogs. This program is important for the dogs’ wellbeing in the shelter environment, and provides comfort and support while they await their new homes.

This role requires that applicants have visited the shelter prior to application. If you have visited the Darwin before, that is great. If not, you will need to visit before submitting an application.

Please visit the shelter during opening hours (no need to make an appointment) as it will give you an opportunity to familiarise yourself with the environment, meet some of the shelter animals and give you an opportunity to reflect upon the travel time and options, as well as the time commitment involved in volunteering (particularly if you are coming via public transport, as there are limited public transport options). Visiting may also help you to decide which role you want to apply for.

The puppies and small dogs often get adopted quickly which is great. Volunteers in this role need to have experience and confidence with caring for large active dogs, as it is sometimes the larger dogs that may stay longer in our care. It is essential that applicants have visited the shelter, had an opportunity to meet the shelter animals and have reflected upon the tasks involved when considering which role they will apply for.

What’s Involved

Because we need to make sure the shelter dogs and puppies receive even care and attention across the week, this is a rostered role that requires a minimum commitment of a three hour shift once a fortnight for three months.

Shift times: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m., six days a week and 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Sundays (subject to shift availability)

Training provided.


  • Assist staff with pooper scooping, cleaning, hosing dog kennels and yards
  • Change bedding, top up water bowls and enrichment tools (e.g. fill Kong toys)
  • Observe the animals for signs of illness and documenting this
  • Assist with preparing feeds and feeding
  • Undertake tasks to provide environmental enrichment for the dogs
  • Walk dogs and take them to exercise areas
  • Provide individual attention to the dogs, including handling, training, and socialisation
  • Assist with taking dirty blankets to the laundry and rubbish removal
  • Undertake grooming duties as required. This may include bathing and brushing


  • Applicants must be over the age of 18 years
  • Confidence, ability, and experience with caring for dogs and puppies of different sizes including large active dogs (this can include dogs and puppies that you have helped take care of at home)
  • Good communication skills, including verbal and written
  • Ability to follow instructions, work independently and as part of a team
  • Have visited the Darwin Shelter
  • Be able and willing to engage in tasks which include repetitive, bending, squatting, lifting and standing and able to lift up to 20 kilograms
  • Have an up to date tetanus vaccination (or willingness to get one before starting)
    This is a volunteer role. If you are seeking a formal student placement or other non-tertiary placement as a mandatory requirement and need supervision or signing off on attendance or tasks, please view the information under Student and Other Placements. If you are studying and don’t need a formal placement, or just want extra experience and to learn more about animal care and welfare, you can apply for this role.

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!