How to Choose the Right Animal Shelter to Volunteer For

April 17, 2013

Every day, animal shelters rescue hundreds – if not, thousands – of animals who are strays, lost, abused or abandoned. Shelters are mostly privately-funded organizations and majority of them rely on volunteers to help out in various ways, from assisting during rescues and processing documents to taking care of the animals and making calls on behalf of the shelter. Many volunteers are even responsible for getting in touch with suppliers, professionals, the media, donors, patrons and other potential volunteers for assistance. If you love animals and want to volunteer for animal shelters, find out how to find the right shelter for you. Here are some of the most important things to look for:

You should consider the proximity of the animal shelter to home especially if you will be volunteering on your free time and have other obligations to meet. Consider an animal shelter that is a quick drive from your place. That way you do not have to waste time commuting and have more to spend with the animals.

Type and Breed of Animal
Not every animal shelter will take in every type of two- or four-legged, fur- or feather-covered friend. Some are dedicated towards sheltering and protecting specific breeds or types. Some shelters, for example, only take in domesticated animals such as dogs and cats while others may focus more on wilder species. Some shelters may also specialize in animals that are feral or have known behavioral problems. Although there are professional trainers who will directly handle these animals, you might want to volunteer someplace else if you feel uncomfortable in this type of environment.

Not all volunteers are asked to foster animals but if you like opening your home to a little one who needs personal care, volunteer for animal shelters that allow fostering. If you become a foster parent to a dog or cat, for example, you will be in charge of their care until they find a new home.

Care and Practices
Many animal shelters keep rescued animals and provide them with food, shelter and medical attention for the rest of their lives or until after they are adopted. However, there are some that may perform euthanasia as part of their practice. If you oppose this, volunteer for animal shelters with no-kill policies instead. You will be more comfortable in knowing that all the animals you will interact with will have a good chance to live out their lives.

One Response to “How to Choose the Right Animal Shelter to Volunteer For”

  1. Marcela Says:

    Excellent information.

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