If you want to get involved in your community, volunteering at local shelters is one of the best ways to do it. Animal and homeless shelters are hubs of energy, kindness, and selflessness—but they can also be hectic places that need as many helping hands as possible.
There are so many ways to help out at shelters besides just adopting
Check out some of the following options:
- Donate supplies. If you have the space and don’t mind making frequent trips to the store, donating supplies is a great way to make a difference in an animal’s life on a regular basis. These items can include blankets, collars and leashes, toys, treats, and food bowls.
- Volunteering is probably one of the most valuable contributions you can make since staff members are often short-staffed due to budget constraints or limited hours for working professionals who wish to be involved in animal advocacy work outside of their paid jobs during daylight hours only (which means no late night shifts). There are several different areas where volunteers may assist: socialization activities with pets; walking dogs; assisting with housekeeping tasks; helping out people who need assistance finding appropriate services for their pets; etcetera.
Help organize donation drives.
Asking for donations is important, but so is remembering to thank people who give. And it’s crucial that you follow up with those who say they’ll donate, even if you have to remind them multiple times. After all, you don’t want them to regret their decision later on and think that not donating was a mistake! So be sure to send out emails or texts reminding them about their commitment as soon as possible after making it known.
Also make sure to let people know when the drive ends so they can either drop off their items or pick them up from your location.
Help with pet adoptions.
- You can help matching potential adopters with the right pet. This may involve helping them decide on a breed of dog or cat, then setting up meetings where they meet and interact with animals that fit their criteria.
- Helping with paperwork is another way to volunteer in this role. Pet adoption forms need to be filled out before the adoption takes place, so you’ll be ensuring that all of those important documents are completed accurately and on time so that the process runs smoothly.
- Training is another key component of this role: you’ll teach new owners how to properly care for their pets by giving them advice on feeding, grooming and training methods (if applicable). It’s also helpful if you have experience in any specific areas such as training dogs for search-and-rescue work or agility competitions, since these specialties require more instruction than other types of training do.
Become a foster parent.
When you volunteer to be a foster parent, you’re giving animals a temporary home until they are adopted. The need for foster parents is great in all parts of the country. All kinds of animals need homes and many are waiting for people who can take care of them with love and compassion while they wait for their forever home: puppies, kittens, senior dogs and cats, injured wild animals (such as birds with broken wings), exotic pets from zoos or circuses that no longer want them (like tigers), farm animals such as cows and pigs who were injured at some point during their life but have been nursed back to health—the list goes on!
There are also many different opportunities when it comes to fostering pets. Some shelters require you to stay overnight at your house with your foster pet(s) while others allow you to bring your foster pets into work with you so they can socialize during normal hours without leaving anyone behind at home without supervision!
Serve on the board of directors or hold another leadership position at the shelter.
If you are passionate about the work, have time to commit and believe that you can make a difference, then serving on the board of directors or holding another leadership position at the shelter may be right for you. It’s important to note that if this is something that interests you, it’s best to discuss your interest in volunteering with staff members before applying.
Some qualities needed as part of this role include being able to: manage people; manage money; manage projects/events; network effectively (both within the community and outside of it).
Organize a fundraising event.
You’ve likely been to plenty of fundraisers in your day, whether it’s for a school charity or local animal shelter. You know how they work: someone sets up a physical location where people can buy tickets and food or drink, and then everyone gets together to celebrate their support for the cause at hand.
If you’re interested in organizing an event like this—or if you already have experience with them—you might be wondering where to start. Here are some tips:
- Set goals and timelines. Before you do anything else, think about what kind of event would benefit your chosen cause most efficiently by meeting its monetary needs. Then decide on how much money is needed within what timeframe; this will help determine how much food/drink/decorations etceteras are required for the event (and how far in advance you’ll need those). The more specific these numbers are when planning out your fundraiser, the easier it will be to organize everything from start to finish!
- Get sponsorships from businesses willing to donate products or services at little-to-no cost; these could include venues such as parks where we can hold our events free-of-charge (if possible). If not free space then try negotiating reduced rates with nearby hotels just outside our city limits since they may have unoccupied rooms during off seasons such as winter months.
Offer your professional services by becoming a veterinary assistant, dog walker, dog trainer, groomer or kennel cleaner.
There are a variety of ways you can volunteer for your local shelters, but one of the best places to start is with your professional services. If you’re a veterinarian assistant, groomer or dog walker, offer your services at the shelter!
Donate money and supplies to support the animals and staff.
There are several ways you can donate money, supplies or your time to your local animal shelter.
- Donate money online or in person at the shelter. You can give directly to the organization via its website, or if you prefer paying by check make it payable to “Animal Shelter” and mail it to their address.
- Donate supplies like food, toys, cleaning products and more. Many shelters will happily accept donations from people who would like to help out but don’t have a lot of extra cash lying around. It’s always good idea to call before dropping off anything though just so they can be sure they’ll be able to use what you’re offering them right away!
We hope you give some of these volunteer opportunities at the shelter a try, and we’d love to hear about your experiences. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments about volunteering, and if you have any other ideas for ways to help out at shelters.