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Cambridge and District Branch

To report animal emergencies, cruelty or neglect call the National RSPCA Helpline on 0300 1234 999


Volunteering with the RSPCA

We have a 10-point plan to ensure that we keep RSPCA services going in the Cambridge area. However, to achieve this we always need more volunteers, so we will be very grateful for any help that you can offer us. Volunteering for the RSPCA gives an enormous sense of satisfaction that you are doing something really worthwhile to help animals in the local area.

See below for ways that you could get involved. For more information about volunteering you can email or have a chat with one of the branch committee members by calling in at the 61 Burleigh Street charity shop on a Sunday after 12 noon.

Register as a potential foster care volunteer (this would normally involve providing short-term care for cats, dogs or smaller animals in your own home)

Register to volunteer at our Cambridge charity shop (61 Burleigh St., Cambridge CB1 1DJ)

Register to volunteer at our Newmarket Charity Shop (10A Market St., Newmarket CB8 8EE)

Register to volunteer at events (these are typically stalls at dog shows and other fundraising activities)

RSPCA Cambridge Charity Shop Volunteers

One of our other most urgent needs is for helpers at our three charity shops in Cambridge and Newmarket. If you are interested in charity shop volunteering, please phone phone 01223 312 802 (for Cambridge) 01638 662053 (for Newmarket) or download and complete a copy of our charity shop volunteer form then bring it to either 61 Burleigh Street, Cambridge, 188 Mill Road, Cambridge or 10A Market Street, Newmarket and ask to have a chat with the manager on duty. Charity Shop Work Experience Placements

We can also offer work experience placements at our Cambridge shops. Activities are varied and can include:

  • Using the till
  • Sorting and cleaning donated items
  • Internet searches to establish the value of donated books
  • Placing items on sale online
  • Answering telephone queries

If you are interested in a work experience placement please contact us as above.

Become a Branch Trustee

Every RSPCA branch needs a minimum of 7 trustees and a maximum of 14. We are currently running very close to the lower end of the scale, so would love to be in a position where we do not need to worry about meeting the minimum requirements.

The basic duty of RSPCA trustees is to attend monthly committee meetings to make decisions about the management of the branch. However many trustees do get involved in more hands-on ways, for example with fundraising, rehoming animals and running branch activities.

If you might be interested in becoming an RSPCA Cambridge branch trustee at the AGM in June please note that you need to have been a member of the RSPCA national society for at least 3 months and live in the branch area. Alternatively, it is possible for the existing trustees to co-opt you at any time during the year if you are not yet a member.

Contact us for a nomination form if you would like to stand for election, or nominate another branch member.

Volunteering for Fundraising Events

Hosting events is an effective way of raising both money and awareness of what the RSPCA Cambridge does. But to host them we of course need enough people to help out. This is an area where we are currently struggling, so any time you could give to help with an event would be much appreciated. See our News page for information on upcoming events. Alternatively, if you have a good idea about a fundraising event, please contact our Fundraising Coordinator.

Fostering animals

As much as we would love to find the perfect home straight away for each homeless animal that comes to us, it often takes time. That’s where our dedicated team of fosterers come in. They temporarily look after animals that we are unable to house in our kennels, until a new loving home is found for them.

Could you take in an animal in need and give it love and care until it goes to its forever home? We are particularly in need of more dog and cat fosterers at this time.

Pre-adoption Visits for Potential Rehoming

Before rehoming an animal we visit each and every new home to make sure that it will be a suitable environment for a pet. This is all done by a team of volunteers and we are keen to recruit more home visitors across the area. We are especially in need of volunteers in the Ely area to help with this important area of our work.

Training is provided for new home visitors.

Volunteer Drivers

Volunteer drivers are responsible for bringing animals to the Cambridge clinic from private vets, and from the clinic to our kennels or fosterers. These animals are usually strays who have been found injured and taken into the care of the RSPCA. We keep a list of volunteers offering help with transport and phone round until we find someone who's free to do a job when we have an animal needing to be moved, so you don't necessarily need to be available all day.

Transporting animals to the clinic can involve quite a lot of waiting around as animals will generally be assessed by the clinic and the volunteer driver will then take them up to the veterinary hospital for inpatient treatment.

If you might be interested in volunteering as a driver for us, please email

Other opportunities

Apart from the above there is always a list of other activities that you would be able to get involved with. Some examples include a roving photographer to take pictures at events, addressing Gift Aid envelopes for donations, helping out with our website and newsletter, but that is by no means all.

A list of particular volunteer positions with the branch can be found on the RSPCA Cambridge and district page

As a volunteer employer we adhere to a Health and Safety policy and have a valid Risk Assessment, Employer’s Liability Insurance and Public Liability Insurance.

Working with animals

Please note: If you want to work with animals you need to be aware that this is a highly competitive and often very poorly paid field. Even vets, who are probably the highest potential earners, can expect to start their working life with a substantial student debt and to work very long, hard hours. Jobs working with animal charities are scarce because nearly all charities struggle to raise enough funds to employ many helpers.

If you are thinking about selecting a college course, ask questions about the kinds of jobs it will qualify you to do. You need to be aware that basic animal care courses won't necessarily lead to a qualification which will get you into employment and you may be better off with something more specific, such as veterinary nursing, farriery or pet grooming which will be of direct use to a potential employer.