Local Animal Charities Need Volunteers
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Local Animal Charities Need Volunteers

Guide to offering your time and talent to help non-profit animal groups.

Do you have a few extra hours in your week?  Do you have a soft spot for helping animals?  Do you have skills that need an outlet?  Do you spend too much time on the couch?  Do you want a pet, but are not able to make a commitment yet?

Well, you may be able to find great satisfaction in helping out at a local animal related organization that could use your time and talents.  You are likely to develop new skills and interests you may not have known were lurking under your surface.  In this tightened economy, many non-profit organizations have budget issues because of dwindling donations and they need volunteers to help bridge the budget gaps.  You may be someone affected by downsizing who now some more time in their schedule.  Consider using that extra time to help out and you may be surprised at how good volunteering can look on a resume.

Where to start?  These days, finding volunteer opportunities is as close as your computer.  Search for local animal charities and their websites will include information for volunteering and donations.  Pick your favorite animal or breed and you will find an organization dedicated to its welfare.  If you like exotic animals, start looking to your local zoo or wildlife refuge.

Because taking care of animals and working in facilities has an inherent amount of risk, you will likely be directed to a volunteer orientation meeting where they will outline their needs and describe the training requirements to be able to safely and confidently perform duties.  Walking dogs, bathing pets, grooming horses and feeding newborn kittens require some instruction.   Many organizations need help with clerical and office work that does not involve working with animals, but you are still involved.  Without dedicated volunteers, these non-profit organizations could not operate.

But beware, volunteerism is contagious and addicting.  There will be challenges, but you will get so much out of your time spent and new skills developed that you will likely start putting your hand up for more.  And, who knows, you may be working with animals that have special needs who warm your heart enough to take them home. 

So, check out your local SPCA, animal shelter, wildlife rescue or zoo's website and see what they need.  If you have a penchant for poodles or are crazy for cats, there are groups who would love to hear from you too.  Give a little and get a lot out of offering your help.

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Comments (1)

I started as a volunteer and later got a job at a shetler. Volunteering also looks good on a job resume no matter what kind of job you want.. and it really helps the pets... people who like exotic pets should be aware that some SPCAs do get exotic pets (technically even rabbits are exotic pets)