Animal Shelters Need Volunteers: How You Can Help

Whether your means are big or small, you CAN make a difference in the life of an animal.  Won’t you consider volunteering?

Ways You Can Contribute

  • Jump right in: Walking dogs, folding laundry, cleaning cages, and grooming animals are just a few of the many ways you can help our animal friends in need. Only occasionally have time to spare?  Volunteer a couple of hours for an adoption event; make flyers, set up tables or get an animal to/from the shelter.
  • Animal (and human) Enrichment: Getting your hands into fur is therapy for most of us, and spending a few minutes simply snuggled up to a purring kitty, or throwing a ball for a dog to chase will do wonders to relieve the boredom and anxiety all shelter animals face.  Have training skills, or want to develop some?  Bring a sack of treats and pick out a shelter dog or cat to work with.  It’s amazing what a treat and a little patience can do to help a unmannered animal learn a trick or two.
  • Going My Way? Headed to a nearby city, across the state or country? Call your local shelter with as little as a days notice and you may be able to transport an animal to a new foster/adoptive home, or meet up with another volunteer to help an animal on one leg of a longer journey.
  • Exercise Partner: Do you run or walk and want a bit of companionship?  Consider incorporating the shelter into part of your exercise routine.  Shelter life is stressful at best for all of the animals housed there.  There is always a dog there who would be suitable for teaming up with you, no matter your fitness level.  Stop by, grab a leash and you will help to enrich the life of a canine in need!
  • Temporary House Guest: Not ready to be a forever home, but still want an occasional animal to love?  Foster a grateful dog or cat while it waits for his/her forever home.
  • Break Open the Piggy Bank: If you are short on time, but have a few dollars to spare, there are always dogs and cats that require medical attention or training most animal shelters cannot afford. Improve the quality of life for a sick, injured or behavior challenged animal and increase its chances for being adopted.  Donate money earmarked for vaccinations, spay/neuter or training; or donate funds  to a volunteer run organization like Idaho ACTS (Idaho Animals in Crisis Transport and Support). They transport animals facing euthanasia due to overcrowded conditions to the safety of foster homes and rescues across the United States.
  • Join an Organization: Besides the shelter, there are many animal rescue groups you can work with on a local and national level.  Like certain breeds of dogs?  Consider joining a local rescue organization. For every breed there is a rescue, and a volunteer happy to help you find just the right place for you to get involved.

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