Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Become A Volunteer At An Animal Shelter

Many animal shelters house only one particular animal, such as cats.

Volunteering in any capacity can be a very beneficial experience. According to a study published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, volunteering is positively related to psychological well-being and self reported health. Animal shelters are a great place to volunteer because many of these facilities are non-profit and rely on volunteers to perform basic functions to keep the organization open. The need for assistance at most animal shelters makes the process of volunteering quite simple.


Volunteer at an Animal Shelter

1. Research local animal shelters. Most communities have at least one, if not several, animal shelters. These may be animal control centers, humane societies or any other organization designed to assist, house and relocate stray or abandoned animals. Visit AnimalShelter.org to view listings of animal shelters by state. Another place to look for shelters is in the phone book yellow pages, often under animal control or animal shelter.

2. Consider the volunteer options. After finding local shelters, check their websites or call the facility to find out what volunteer opportunities they offer. Some shelters need fundraising and others need dog walkers. A volunteer hopeful needs to consider their personal capabilities and the needs of the shelter when choosing where to volunteer. Other factors to contemplate are the shelter's hours, their volunteer expectations and what types of animals they board.

3. Visit the shelter. Generally shelters have a system for new volunteers. For instance, the Michigan Humane Society requires that volunteers attend mandatory Volunteer Recruitment Fairs where they learn about volunteer requirements and specific training classes. During these orientations, volunteers usually choose what role they will play in the shelter and what training they need to complete.

4. Take the necessary classes. After visiting a shelter and completing orientation requirements, return to attend any classes or training needed. For example, volunteer animal care technicians may need to learn socialize the animals, feed and water them and keep their cages clean.

5. Start volunteering. The final step in the volunteer process is to return to the shelter and perform the volunteer functions. Remember to dress appropriately for handling and interacting with animals. Volunteers may also need to wear name tags and become familiar with the staff and the shelter since they are new to the facility.

Tags: animal shelters, animal control, animal shelters, Volunteer Animal, Volunteer Animal Shelter