Volunteering at Animal Shelters

Volunteering at Animal Shelters
One way to make a difference in your community and to homeless animals is to volunteer at your local animal shelter. The satisfaction you get from helping animals that are without a family to care for and love them is indescribable. Whether you stuff envelopes for an educational mailing, assist with a fundraising event, or just walk and socialize the dogs, you will make a significant difference in the lives of animals.

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What does an animal shelter volunteer do
There are a diverse blend of responsibilities, tasks, and jobs assigned to volunteers, some of which include working with the animals while others do not. Whether you’re answering phones, managing meet-and-greet sessions with possible owners, or grooming, you are gaining expertise in many areas that can have numerous advantages in other areas of your life. A few examples of volunteer jobs include:

  • Walking dogs
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  • Socializing cats
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  • Cleaning cages
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  • Bathing animals
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  • In-home foster care
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  • Adoption counseling
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  • Administrative tasks
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  • Adoption preparation
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  • Feeding and watering animals

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How old do I need to be to volunteer
Most shelters require volunteers to be at least 16 years old, but each one has its own unique set of rules. Teens benefit from the Summer Animal Volunteer Experience offered by the Animal Humane Society, which is designed for 16 to 18-year-olds and lasts over the course of the summer.

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Do I need special skills to volunteer
You don’t need to have any animal expertise to volunteer at an animal shelter. In fact, you probably already have talents and skills your local shelter can appreciate. All that's required is the time and desire to help out when and where it's needed. It doesn't have to be a significant amount of time, either.

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How do I get started
To find out more about other volunteer opportunities in your community, visit one of the following:

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