Here are several ways to volunteer your time involving animals.
1. Walk shelter dogs.
Most shelters don't have enough staff to walk the dogs often. I try to walk dogs at a local shelter once a month. It's hard to find the time, but the one I go to lets people stop by anytime throughout the day to walk dogs without an appointment. Dogs spend hours locked in small kennels at shelters across the country, so any time you can spare to walk one will make a difference for that dog on that day. Click here for my post on walking with shelter dogs.
2. Walk an elderly person's dog.
I know more than one senior with a young or hyper dog. A lot of older people aren't able to walk their dogs at all. Imagine how helpful it would be if someone did it for them, plus the dog would behave better if it got more exercise.
3. Take your dog to visit a hospital.
Dogs are great therapy, as we all know. Of course, some hospitals won't allow dogs to visit, but some will. Some even have volunteer programs set up. I would love to bring Ace to a children's hospital.
4. Transport animals for a rescue.
Dogs and cats often need to be picked up and brought to shelters or taken from shelters to their potential new families. Most of the time it's volunteers who do this.
5. Foster a pet.
If you foster an animal, you are saving that dog or cat's life.
6. Donate money to an animal shelter.
We all know shelters always need money to pay for vaccinations and other veterinary care, food and other bills. Five dollars does make a difference.
7. Donate your time to a shelter.
Money is always needed, but so is help. Volunteers might clean, write news letters, answer phones, manage the web site or answer questions from potential adopters.
8. Take your dog to visit a nursing home.
I've always wanted to do this regularly, but haven't yet. Ace went along to visit my own grandma in a nursing home one time, and he was a good boy during that visit.
9. Promote awareness of animals in need.
Use your blog to write about how to help animals or to write about your own experiences helping animals. Tell people about affordable spaying and neutering programs. Encourage others to adopt from a shelter.
What are some ways you have volunteered involving animals?