10 Reasons Why You Should Volunteer at Your Local Animal Shelter
A few weeks ago I volunteered at an animal shelter for the first time, and I absolutely loved it. I was able to give back to the community by spending time with dogs that needed some love and attention.
Even if you’re only giving an hour a week at the shelter, it really makes a difference to the pets and staff there.
Here are 10 reasons why you should volunteer at your local animal shelter.
1. Helping out pets in need
A lot of pets that end up in shelters are strays or were given up for adoption. Depending on the size of the shelter, each animal may not be getting the attention they need, so volunteering to spend time with them helps improve their lives and chances of getting adopted since you are helping to keep them socialized and allowing them to not go stir crazy in their kennels.
There’s just something about volunteering that makes you feel good inside. You’re putting in time and effort while not asking for anything in return, so of course you should feel good! Caring enough to help out the community is a reward on its own.
3. Gaining experience if you plan to adopt
If you’re planning to adopt one day, volunteering is a great way to dip your toes in the water. The shelter probably can’t teach you everything, but it’s a good start on learning how to properly walk a dog and get used to picking up after it.
4. Could help you make the decision to adopt
Even if you’ve never thought about adopting before, who knows? Once you see a dog at the shelter and get to know it a little better, you may find yourself wanting to take it home.
There’s no such thing as too many volunteers, so take a few friends with you when you volunteer. It’s just as fun as shopping or going to the movies and as an added bonus, it doesn’t hurt your wallet.
6. Meeting other volunteers
Strangers are just friends you haven’t met yet, and what better place to find friends than at the shelter? You get to talk to other people who share an interest in dogs and share some fun pet experiences.
7. Great for a resume
Even though it’s not a paid job, volunteering does have its benefits in the long run. Whether you’re applying for college or a job, most employers value the fact that you care about your community.
8. De-stress from work
Work and school can get stressful, but volunteering is actually a pretty good stress reliever. Playing with a dog will really take your mind off of things, while walking a dog lets you stretch those legs and get some exercise in.
If you’re looking for bigger responsibilities at your local shelter, ask the staff if there are more opportunities for you to help out. Until I asked one of the volunteers, I didn’t even know that my local shelter hosts an annual event to promote adoption. Now, I have an extra volunteering opportunity to add to my calendar that I’m totally excited for.
10. Volunteering can lead to a full-time job
A lot of the employees at shelters usually start out as volunteers. One volunteer that I talked to at my local shelter just recently joined the rescue board. Now she helps make big decisions on behalf of the shelter and the dogs there. If saving the lives of animals is a passion for you, volunteering can be the start of a very fulfilling career.
Did we miss any other reasons to volunteer at your local animal shelter? What do you like best about volunteering? Let us know in the comments below.