Become an Animal Shelter Volunteer

August 13, 2013

If you have just a few free hours a month, you can help a lot by volunteering at an animal shelter. Most shelters do not have the funds to do all they want or need to do, and volunteers are an important part of their operations.
For cat lovers, there may be an offsite location that needs you. With so many pet supply stores and grooming facilities partnering with shelters to help locate homes, there are many places that have room for a few cats ready for their new homes. These felines need daily care for food, fresh water and clean up. If you have an hour one morning per week, this could be for you.
There are a lot of ways volunteering to help out dogs. Some shelters have a morning walk program that allows some of the dogs to get out, socialize and work on their manners and leash-training, while exercising with human volunteers. Or, you may just come in and take specified dogs out for some one-on-one human time for play or grooming.
If you have great people skills, than helping with offsite adoptions could be your calling. Many shelters take puppies, dogs, kittens and cats to malls, farmer’s markets, and other events to help them find homes.
Maybe, you have a little room in your home and heart for fostering. This has become a large extension of shelters. It allows those evaluated to be good dogs for adoption to move out of the shelter and into a home where they can receive family time, some basic training and be further evaluated. These dogs often go to offsite adoptions, although you do not always have to be there as long as arrangements are made for the dog to get there.
And, yet another way to help is through volunteering to work in the office. There is a lot of paperwork and someone has to be at the desk during regular working hours. Sometimes there is just not enough staff to handle it all. If you like the computer, you could also help with the shelter website and list pets on various adoption sites.
There is little doubt that most facilities need volunteers to keep them running. You can be of great help to so many furry critters in need by volunteering at an animal shelter in your area.

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