Urgently Needed Items

Click here for our complete wish list!

With lots of pets needing care, there are many ways you can help us. Many of the items below are linked to samples for reference. Everything can be found locally or on our Amazon Wish List!


Adopt Today

the SPCA of
Tompkins County

We recommend Hill's® Science Diet® Pet Food

Online shop for paper and janitorial supplies

Makers of Cat Attract
kitty litter

Thank you PetMeds for your generous donation!

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer Applications

**STUDENTS: Those of you who will be away from Ithaca for Winter Break, we are asking that you wait to apply when you return so that you can attend orientation and training at that time.**

ADULT Volunteer Application (18 or older)
YOUTH Volunteer Application (12-17 years)
For a quick guide to the age requirements for volunteers, please click here.

Community Service
If you need to complete mandated service hours (for court, university judicial affairs, a class or any other reason), please download and complete a Community Service Application.

Foster Care
We often need foster care for kittens, cats, dogs and puppies, along with other animals. Please go to our pages on Foster Care for more information.

Volunteer Position Descriptions

Feline Friend (minimum age 12)
Feline Friends spend quality time with the cats, socializing them and helping to keep their apartments clean. You will also work with members of the public and help them find a cat that is purr-fect for their home.

Annex Attendant (minimum age 12)
The SPCA Annex is located in The Shops at Ithaca Mall. The Annex Attendants provide care for the cats and small animals waiting for their forever home. You may socialize the animals, clean their cages and help potential adopters pick their forever pet!

Animal Care Attendant – cleaning (minimum age 16)
This opportunity is for the dedicated few who are able to understand the importance of a clean environment for our animals currently in need of medical attention. The rescue center houses many of our newly received animals and those under observation and needs to be cleaned daily to prevent diseases and germs from spreading. If you are up for it, definitely sign up today!

Dog Walker (minimum age 18)
Dog Walkers do just that – They walk the dogs for exercise, provide enrichment using appropriate equipment and help teach the dogs basic obedience. At times you will also interact with members of the public to help them find their new best friend and clean up after the dogs, whether outside for a walk, in the play yard or in their rooms.

Canine Companion (minimum age 18)
In this newly created volunteer position, Canine Companions spend their time indoors with the dogs, helping members of the public to help them find their new friend. You will also do some light cleaning if dogs have accidents in their rooms during the day, play with them in the play yard, and provide lots of one-on-one petting time in their rooms.

Special Event Support
(minimum age 12)
Have you ever see an SPCA sponsored event and wish you could be a part of it all? Give your time to help with set-up, clean-up, and/or scheduled assignments to make our events a success! This is a rewarding experience where you get to meet many people of the community and watch how many people are willing to help with our mission and goals to help animals in need.

Facility Assistant (minimum age 16)
If you are the type that loves fixing things around the house, then apply your skills to help with various projects throughout our buildings and grounds. Our Shelter needs constant maintenance and with your help, we can provide a better environment for the animals, visitors, volunteers and staff!

Humane Education Assistant (minimum age 18)
Assist the humane educator both on site at the shelter and at off-site events, including tours of the shelter and educating groups on humane treatment of animals, and attendance at community group events and festivals, educating people about the SPCA, our mission and vision.

Descriptions of additional skills

Adoption Desk Support/Adoption follow up

Meet and greet potential adopters when they arrive at the Pet Adoption Center, provide support for the staff at the front desk, including answering the phones, completing adoption paperwork, and providing general animal care information to the public. Computer knowledge is helpful, and good customer service skills are a must.

Animal Behavior/Training
Volunteers work with the animals on behavior issues, whether it means taking a dog out for extra exercise, teaching a fearful cat that humans are “ok”, or helping a dog learn good manners. If you have experience with animal training and would like to use it, please let us know.

Computer Work/Data Entry
Do you have impressive computer skills or know your way around an office? Put your time to work and help with mail projects, filing, photocopying, and phone calls. We need volunteers to help keep our facilities running in an organized manner so that when we are busy with visitors and potential adopters, we know everything will be in good hands!

Flyer/Poster Distribution Crew
If you know the town well, this is the perfect opportunity for you. Be a part of a team that delivers our flyers, posters, and quarterly newsletters to veterinarians and local businesses in the community. Help us spread the word about our events and mission so all of Tompkins County can join in on our efforts and goals!

Is fundraising a piece of cake for you? Would you like to help out with events that bring us donations? If this sounds appealing, or if you have fundraising/grant writing experience, we’d love to take advantage of your skills.

Gardening/Grounds Crew
Many people enjoying being outside getting their hands dirty whether in rain or shine. Be a part of our grounds crew to help take care of the many acres of land that provides our animals with adequate space to run and play. We want to make our facilities look and feel welcoming both inside and out – but it’s only possible with your help!

Graphic Design
Some of us are blessed with artistic creativity and we can definitely use that talent! Donate your time by creating and updating materials for us to be used as promotional and/or advertising for us. It will not only show the public what a great skill you have, but can help us tell our tale to Tompkins County with an inspiring visual representation!

Help give animals a fresh start! As a volunteer groomer, you can assist in the grooming needs of our furry residents, whether they came in dirty or matted, or if they just need a primping before going on the adoption floor.

Medical Aide
Do you have experience with the medical aspects of animals? Our medical staff would appreciate your knowledge and help in assisting them when providing medical care to those in need. If you think you can handle this feat at hand, let the Volunteer Program Manager know of your previous experiences and we can get started right away!

Other Special Skills?
Do you have a special talent that you want to share? Come and tell our Volunteer Program Manager and let us find something to apply your special skills to. Every department needs your help – share your time and talent to help with a special project, event, or program. Let us know and we’ll work together to keep our reputation as the best shelter in America!



Last Updated on Thursday, 10 November 2016 11:08





"It's been a little over a month since I adopted Turtle Dove (now Echo) from you, and I wanted to let you know how wonderfully she is doing.  From the moment I brought her home she fit right in and my 3 1/2 year old cat Callahan accepted her immediately.  She's such a love and super playful and a joy to have around.  It's so fun to watch her and my boy play and nap and groom each other.  Thank you all for all you do.  I sent you a picture of Echo (left) and Cal (right) so you can see how much they love each other."

Did You Know?

The SPCA of Tompkins County was the first “green” shelter to be built in the United States.

SPCA of Tompkins County

Adoption Center &
Rescue Building

1640 Hanshaw Rd.

Ithaca, NY 14850



Adoption Center Hours

Monday 12-5
Tuesday 12-7 Wednesday CLOSED
Thursday 12-7
Friday 12-5
Saturday 12-5
Sunday 12-5



SPCA Annex Hours

Monday through Saturday


Rescue Center Hours




Our Mission

The mission of the SPCA of Tompkins County is to protect companion animals. We are a no-kill shelter dedicated to preventing animal cruelty and overpopulation. We promote responsible pet stewardship by providing education, counseling and training to nurture and enhance the human-animal bond.

The SPCA of Tompkins County is a registered 501(c)(3). Our tax id number is 15-0624378.