There are many good reasons to get involved with animal rescue volunteer programs at your local shelter. If you’re considering a career working with animals it’s a great way to get practical experience, gain skills and build your resume. But even if you aren’t looking for professional experience, volunteering is a great way to connect with your community and feel good about improving the lives of vulnerable animals. Once you’ve decided to commit to volunteering, there are a number of ways you can get involved.
It takes a lot of person-power to keep an animal shelter running, and much of that person-power comes from volunteers. In-shelter care can involve everything from helping to socialize pets for adoption to cleaning kennels to make sure they have a healthy environment to live in. It can also include getting more involved in the business side of things, like running the front desk or working on marketing materials.
Most volunteer animal rescue programs have specific needs they are looking for volunteers to meet, so it’s helpful to go into it with an open mind. A position cleaning kennels or answering phones is a great way to get to know the shelter and transition into a different role when it opens up. In the meantime, you’re providing a vital service and you’ll probably get the chance to get to know many of the animals you’re helping care for.
Shelters interact with the wider community in many different ways. They may have special adoption drives, provide mobile spay and neutering services or have free vaccination days. These events help raise awareness about animal care, bring attention to the shelter and most importantly, serve to improve the lives of animals. Animal shelters volunteer programs are required to make them successful.
You may help clients with their pets, provide information to the public by handing out pamphlets or talking to pet owners or counsel people about the animal adoption process. As the public face of the shelter, you’re helping to find homes for the animals who need them.
Foster an Animal
If you’re thinking about getting a pet but you’re not ready to commit, or if you just love caring for animals, consider volunteering to foster animals for animal volunteer programs. This is one of the most popular volunteer opportunities with animals, because it provides the most direct and meaningful contact with shelter pets. You’ll need to have your own pet supplies and transportation, as well as the time to snuggle, play and cuddle with your foster animals, at least two hours a day.