Volunteering for Animal Rescue

Volunteering for Animal Rescue
Animal rescue volunteers bring fortitude along with lifesaving shelter and care for animal victims of neglect, cruelty, and those displaced by natural disasters and other crises, such as puppy mills, hoarding cases, and criminal seizures. While volunteers come from all areas and backgrounds, they have one common goal: a dedication to helping animals in crisis.

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What experience or skills do I need
Volunteers with any level of experience are welcome, from the average pet-lover to the professional shelter worker. However, all volunteers must meet essential physical, mental, and emotional capabilities, including the ability to cope with a highly emotional environment containing animals that are injured, homeless, abused, or abandoned.

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What tasks are required as a volunteer
It will vary on where you volunteer but some of the duties volunteers may perform include:

  • Organizing supply contributions
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  • Reuniting caregivers with animals
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  • Taking notes during veterinary care
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  • Cleaning kennels and feeding animals
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  • Help gathering evidence in cruelty cases
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  • Grooming, walking, and socializing the animals
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  • Transporting animals to and from their kennels

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How do I get started
Animal rescue volunteers are expected to complete several FEMA courses, in addition to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) training on emergency management, safety, and other critical aspects of emergency animal care. Volunteers also need to have a tetanus immunization shot and must be at least 18 years old.

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What organizations help rescue animals
To find volunteer opportunities for animal rescues in your area, visit any of the following links:

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Contact each organization to determine what opportunities exist in your community. If you still cannot find something convenient, contact your local animal shelter, animal rescue groups, or humane society to offer your services. To locate any of these local groups, visit the Shelter Pet Project and search by zip code.

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