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9 ways to volunteer with animals

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?

Cynthia Blue

Friday 6th of June 2008

I know one of the hardest things to do is foster a pet, but it's also one of the most desperately needed things, too. If you are able to foster, it's very rewarding! Just don't keep them like some of us... lol

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Thursday 5th of June 2008

Hats off to you for the way you have pointed out things need to be done to develop an awareness for your pet.

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Thursday 5th of June 2008

I trained with my girl Quinn to visit hospital patients and I just loved it. But she did not. She got antsy and bored if the patient didn't pet her enough and would start howling when ready to leave. If I thought Trooper would be calm enough I might start with him but I think he's more suited to agility. :)

I'd LOVE to take him in to visit the elderly but again...he's so big and hyper that he practically knocks over healthy adults. Maybe as he gets older and more calm I will be able to take him to visit nursing homes. It really is good therapy for older people to pet and be around animals.

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Mayra Calvani

Thursday 5th of June 2008

Thank you for this wonderful post, and for reminding us the little things we can do to make a difference in a dog's life.

Best, Mayra

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Apryl DeLancey

Thursday 5th of June 2008

These are great ways to get involved! Thank you for this list. When I was in college, I spent more time and now I spend more money on these causes.

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