4 Things You Learn Volunteering at an Animal Shelter
Animal shelters take care of animals who are looking to find a new home and since this is a huge endeavor, they are always looking for donations from people. While they always appreciate items for the animals such as blankets, toys, and food) and monetary donations, one of the greatest things you can donate to a shelter is your time. By volunteering, you can help them work with and place more animals. You may even learn a few things along the way!
Here are four things you might learn volunteering at an animal shelter.
1. Everyone is there to help
When you volunteer at a shelter, one of the first things you’ll realize is how refreshing it is to be surrounded by people who are committed to the work they are doing. Everyone who donates time at a shelter is using their free time to help save animals, and that can be a way to connect with your fellow volunteers. Whether they have an outgoing personality or are shy, everyone is at a shelter to help make a difference. It can be a real change in attitude to what many of us see in our daily lives!
A great thing about volunteering is that, while they don’t require any particular skill set in order to be a volunteer, most rescue shelters and humane societies take the time to train their volunteers to work with animals. This means that anyone who offers to help can expect to be shown proper ways of caring for animals, basic routines, and other information that should be known. A shelter may need help with everything from working with animals to working the phones or sending out mail, so there is always a variety of work to be done. As for the experience, volunteer work looks great on a college application or resume!
3. It’s a lot of hard work, but totally worth it
Volunteering at a shelter will keep you active an engaged. It’s a lot of hard work taking care of animals, and it can take a lot of energy out of you. A set of comfortable clothes is recommended, and expect things to be challenging until you learn the routines. That being said, it can be a great source of exercise for those of us who spend too much time in front of the television and it leaves one with a feeling of accomplishment that is hard to beat.
The hardest part of working at a shelter is saying goodbye to animals you have grown attached to. After working so closely with animals, making friends with them and earning their trust, it can break your heart to have to part ways. If you’re lucky, it will be a happy goodbye, as they head off to their new forever home. Sometimes the parting can be much sadder. Whatever the case, seeing off an animal is always the cause for a few tears. It is offset by the fact there are always new faces, new animals to meet and work with, and always more pets deserving of good homes.
Have you ever considered volunteering at an animal shelter? Let us know in the comments below!