So, You Want to Volunteer with Animals?

Part 1: Animal Shelters

The New Year is when many of us take stock and think about goals for the upcoming year. Volunteering is often one of those goals. For those of you who love animals, perhaps you want to pursue finding something you can do to donate your time and energy for them. One place where volunteering help for animals is in dire need is animal shelters.

The number of surrendered or stray animals in animal shelters is heartbreaking, with some estimates as high as 6.1 million pets entering shelters each year. Unfortunately, there is never enough staff to give these animals the extras they sorely need, and that’s where volunteers come in. The duties for volunteering in a shelter range from administrative tasks to many different kinds of hands-on activities with the animals. More specifically, here are some things shelter volunteers do:

  • Cuddle with cats, kittens, dogs and puppies
  • Walk, play with, or run with dogs
  • Keep track of an animal’s needs and behavior after working with it
  • Clean cages
  • Take animals to vet appoints or adoption events
  • Take pet photos
  • Write pet bios
  • Talk to potential adopters about a specific pet
  • Lead tours through the facility
  • Do laundry for pet bedding
  • Perform basic care for wounds or other medical issues
  • Participate in fund raising events
  • Train new volunteers
  • Read to animals

And this list is not all! Depending on the facility management, there may be other duties.

My next post will talk about volunteering by being a foster home.

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