Volunteer Day is celebrated internationally this week, and we’re marking the occasion by promoting two animal charities we work closely with; the RSPCA and the Animal Welfare League (AWL), both of which rely heavily on volunteers. International Volunteer Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1985 and is officially celebrated on 5th of December. Six million Australians volunteer their time and we consider the RSPCA and AWL to be among the worthiest for patronage.

The RSPCA is a community based charity with a history dating back to 1871, that works to prevent cruelty to animals by actively promoting their care and protection. It works closely with the farming sector to make a positive impact on the lives of farm production animals and it is involved in regular discussions with government and industry groups regarding relevant animal welfare issues. RSPCA shelters are the public face of the RSPCA, rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming thousands of stray, neglected, abused and unwanted animals every year.


In 2014/15 1,000 volunteers helped to run the RSPCA in South Australia, and the organisation’s achievements were impressive; They cared for 10,000 animals, their inspectors responded to almost 5,000 cruelty reports, and they adopted in excess of 4,000 animals. The RSPCA needs ongoing support with events and fundraising activities, donations, and foster care. Volunteers are the lifeblood of the RSPCA and it is a rewarding experience which provides the opportunity to make an impact to the lives of at-risk animals.


RSPCA South Australia is called upon to assist animals in need during times of emergency. This includes responses to bushfires and floods, and to road accidents involving animals on a large scale. RSPCA South Australia also works with a number of partner organisations to rescue and rehabilitate injured native wildlife.


If you would be interesting in volunteering with the RSPCA there are a number of ways you can help:

•Assist at their Lonsdale, Whyalla or Port Lincoln shelters

•Support Animal Welfare Advocacy with Educational Programs

•Help out at an RSPCA South Australia event such as Million Paws Walk

•Assist in an RSPCA Thrift Shop

•Use your skills in the RSPCA’s administration team

•Become a Foster Carer for animals in need

Contact the RSPCA to learn more about how you can help by visiting their website, following them on Facebook or calling them.


The Animal Welfare League of SA (AWLSA) is a leading animal welfare and care provider recognised for the provision and development of services for animals in need.

Established in 1964, AWLSA operates the state’s largest animal shelter and leads the industry in re-homing lost, surrendered and abandoned animals – around 20,000 per annum.


AWLSA together with other industry stakeholders provides high quality animal care facilities and related services to South Australia’s animals, their owners and the broader community, including pet boarding, dog grooming and dog training. As an organisation that cares for approximately 12,000 dogs and cats each year without any direct Government funding, the AWL would not be able to operate without the tremendous support of hundreds volunteers.


Without the contribution of AWL’s volunteers it would not be able to provide lifesaving adoption, behaviour, health and training services to thousands of animals in need. It has approximately 400 volunteers, across eight locations that assist staff in a variety of roles in shelters, adoption centres, ReTAILS Thrift Stores, community events and fundraising.


Volunteers play an extremely important role in the everyday operations at the AWL and without their dedication and tremendous support the AWL would not be able to care for the thousands of animals that come into the organisation’s care each and every year. People volunteer for many different reasons, some want to give back to the community by helping the animals that are waiting to find their fur-ever homes, others are looking to increase their skills and experience and to enhance their resumes, while others are looking for a fun way to make new friends.

To learn more about volunteering opportunities at AWL visit their website. If you’re interested in adopting, AWL has a great online pet matching system. AWL operates a lost and found service and also provides advice and education. It’s a one stop shop for people who are interested in animal welfare.


Vets4Pets is proud to be a supporter of the RSPCA and AWL. Our hospitals provide details of animals looking for homes on our waiting room TV monitors. Take a look next time you’re in. You’re bound to spot one that will steal your heart.


If you have any questions about adopting animals or their care, please contact any of the Vets4Pets locations. Also, please join us in acknowledging and celebrating the tremendous efforts of volunteers all over the country. Where would we be without them?