Creative Ways to Volunteer at your Local Animal Shelters
Hello, hello, beautiful people! Petra here! The little humans in my neighborhood are always out and about, playing all these ball games in the front yard. I try to keep up with them, but between you and me, I really prefer lounging around and watching from the sidelines.
But some days, when it starts getting colder out, the little humans don’t come out of their houses at all, and it got me thinking about other activities they could be doing. I believe one of the best things to do with your winter, or any time of the year for that matter, is to volunteer with your local animal shelter!
The first thing to do would be to find out more information about the shelters in your area. There are several different types of shelters, such as municipal shelters or privately owned shelters. Municipal shelters are funded by the government through taxes and may employ animal control officers. Humane society shelters are often privately funded and focus on the prevention of animal cruelty, animal rescue, cruelty investigation, and community education. You can decide how you can help your shelter based on what they cater to! Here are a few examples:
- Cleaning– Many shelters have several different types of animals and not as many hands on deck as needed. It would really help the employees if you were able to clean a few dog or cat kennels each day, or even sweeping through the place, or picking up after the animals.
- Playing with animals– Like the little humans, animals need to exercise their bodies to stay healthy too. Play a game of fetch or Frisbee with the dogs, or pet a cat while reading them a book. A little bit of love can go a long way.
- Putting your talents to good use– I’ve heard that volunteer hours are really good for these things called resumes? Is that right? Well, if there is something you’re looking to learn more about or build your profile with experience in, then volunteering would be a great way to help your future.
- Photography– Sometimes the animals that are rescued are in terrible shape, so it’s always nice to have before and after pictures to show potential pet owners, how much each one as grown. Photographers can also help by taking pictures for fliers, social media pages or updating animal profiles
- Help with crafts– Create yarn toys or soft, cloth beds for the animals to play and sleep in. Many of the toys can quickly get worn out with repetitive use, so creating homemade toys can help keep the animals happy and active.
- Help with books– This could mean anything from the accounting, inventory checks, updating websites, or creating new marketing/public relations campaigns. As well as being homes to my furry friends, shelters are also businesses that need to be taken care of in order to run properly.
- Hold fundraisers for donations– If you love to plan events or have great fundraising ideas, plan community event where families can come out to play adopt or foster a pet. You could also plan a donation drive, and encourage those in your community to donate old sheets, pillows, toys, shoes, or anything an animal could have fun playing with or chewing up.
- Fostering- Like humans, all animals have different personalities and not all of them can develop well in a shelter. It can be especially stressful in a shelter that fills up rather quickly. For those animals that need space, a family’s love and caretaking can help them grow to their potential and beyond. If you are considering fostering, check out this link for things you need to know about it.
Whichever task you chose to take on, remember that no task is too small to do. Anything can help! If you have volunteered in the past, or chose to do so in the future, and you would like to share your story, leave a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience!
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