Welcome, potential Canine Companions volunteers! Thank you for considering donating your time to Canine Companions. The Southwest Regional Center of Canine Companions is located in Oceanside, California. If you are not in the area, click here to find the Champions group nearest you. You can help us make miracles happen in the lives of people with disabilities and their families!
Please note that some volunteer opportunities are limited and our greatest need is for volunteer puppy raisers. Click here to learn about volunteer puppy raising.
The list below will give you an overview of our volunteer opportunities. However, if you have a special skill or talent that you feel would be beneficial to our organization, please note that on the volunteer application. Some opportunities require availability during our normal business hours of Monday through Friday from 8AM to 5PM, while others can accommodate those limited to weekend availability. Everyone is required to attend a one-hour orientation which is held on a Saturday morning, except for those interested in puppy raising or puppy sitting/fostering which requires a separate application process. Upcoming orientations are scheduled for:
If you are interested in volunteering for Canine Companions and you live in the Oceanside area, please complete our Volunteer Application after reading about our opportunities below. Once you have submitted the application, you will be contacted about attending a volunteer orientation. Thank you for your interest in Canine Companions for Independence!
Event Support - Groups as well as individuals can help support our events! Canine Companions has various events throughout the year that rely on volunteer support and leadership. Have fun and meet wonderful people while helping Canine Companions fulfill its mission. There are quarterly graduation ceremonies, golf tournaments and other special events. Jobs may include event planning committees, refreshment providers, event registrations, outreach and more. Events may occur during weekdays or weekends.
Facility and Grounds Maintenance - Do you love to garden? Do you have a passion for home repairs? Do you enjoy cleaning and organizing? You can help keep the Oceanside campus a beautiful place for our students, staff and visitors. This opportunity requires availability during normal office hours.
Field Trips - Accompany Canine Companions instructors on field trips as they take dogs in Professional Training to various environments. Volunteers watch the van to ensure dogs are kept cool and comfortable. This will not involve direct contact with the dogs. Field trips are usually done during summer months and always during normal office hours. Minimum age requirement is 18.
General Office Support - Work with our dedicated staff at the Southwest Regional Center in a professional yet casual environment. Volunteers with general office and computer skills are needed to assist with mailings, data entry, filing, making copies, creating spreadsheets and other projects. This opportunity requires availability during normal business hours.
Outreach Booths - Canine Companions often participates in local outreach events. Volunteers are needed to staff information tables, interact with the public and answer general questions about Canine Companions. Hours and days vary.
Puppy Raising - Assistance dogs aren't born, they're raised. Without volunteer puppy raisers, Canine Companions could not provide assistance dogs completely free of charge to people with disabilities. If you are ready for a challenging but rewarding experience, consider raising a puppy from our breeding program. For more information, click here.
Puppy Sitting and Puppy Fostering - Would you like to care for a Canine Companions puppy in program while a puppy raiser is unavailable? This could range from a few hours to several days at a time. For more information, click here.
Team Training Lunch Providers - Individuals receiving assistance dogs are required to attend an intensive, two week training on campus. During that time, volunteers provide lunches to the class. Volunteers may bring catered food or they may cook meals for approximately 40 people.