Volunteers are the heart of our Zoo and have always played dominant roles throughout its history.

Inspired by Mr. Charles Paddock and his friends, our community has always answered the call of ongoing needs of the Zoo in the form of food supplies, construction materials, puppeteers, docents, gift shop volunteers, clerical assistance and financial support. These early benefactors understood the value and uniqueness of the Zoo for all Central Coast residents and visitors.

We are always looking for volunteers for our education programs, events, and office support. To become a volunteer please complete the form below or call 805-470-3182.


A Volunteer is any individual who donates time and/or services to facilitate Charles Paddock Zoo programs. Training requirements for each position below are considered minimums, and are subject to review and modification as necessary.

  • A General Volunteer is a volunteer working on various projects throughout the zoo and at zoo events. Specialized training outside of orientation is not usually required for General Volunteers. General Volunteers are aged 18 and up, supervised by the Education Dept.
  • An Education Volunteer is a volunteer who works alongside the Education Coordinator to sustain, promote, and progress the Education Department. To be an Education Volunteer you do not necessarily work within the public’s eye, you work primarily behind the scenes within the classroom and office building. An Education Volunteer can help do a number of things including but not limited to; curriculum, organization, filing and cleaning, set-up, research, planning, designing, and coordinating the display case. As an Education Volunteer you must be at least 18 years of age and you are encouraged but not required to get a live-scan, tetanus shot and take a TB test in case you would like to be involved in the public’s eye.
  • An Outreach Volunteer is a volunteer who works alongside the Education Coordinator and are involved in public programs of the zoo including but not limited to; school programs, Wildlife on Wheels, scout programs, preschool classes, Teen Zoo Crew, camps, tours and the Ask Me Cart. An Outreach Volunteer is required to attend personalized OV trainings, monthly ED Department meetings, and complete a minimum of 12 hours per quarter to maintain an active status. If, as an Outreach Volunteer, you would like to handle animal ambassadors, you will need to complete additional training and a minimum of two handling hours a month. As an Outreach Volunteer you are required to get a live-scan, a tetanus shot, a TB test and be at least 18 years of age, since you will be working with both the public and the animal ambassadors.
  • An Intern is a volunteer who provides support in a variety of departments. Interns are generally college students and are accepted on a case-by-case basis and supervised by the Animal Department.


Park Hours

Open 7 days a week
April 1 st – October 31 st:
10:00 am to 5:00 pm

November 1 st – March 31 st:
10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day

Admission Prices

Adults 12 & over $7.00

Children 3 to 11 $5.00

Seniors 65+ $6.00

Children 2 years and under — FREE

Our Location

Charles Paddock Zoo is located at 9100 Morro Road, Atascadero, CA 93422

Contact Us

Phone: 805.461.5080

Email us at info@charlespaddockzoo.org



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