Many of us get joy out of giving back to our community. How much more fun would it be if you could do volunteer work with animals? Here are 8 ways your volunteer work can go to the dogs.
1. Volunteer at a shelter.
Walking and feeding dogs, cleaning, helping dogs look and act their best so they can find their forever home. It’s not easy, especially if you get attached easily, but it’s a very important job.
2. Start a meet-up.
If you’re good at organizing social events you can help dog lovers connect with each other. Check out Meetup.com and start a group for your community – big dog lovers, breed-specific groups, hiking dogs, walks for a cause, etc. The only limit is your creativity.
Many rescue groups do not have the money for a facility and rely on foster homes to keep dogs until they are adopted. Fosters play a very important role: they help dogs who may not have had much training learn how to behave in a home, get socialized, and adjust to their new situations. Read More: Ever Wanted To Foster Dogs? What To Expect
4. Be a breed ambassador.
If your dog is a breed that is blamed as being aggressive or dangerous, be a breed ambassador. Wherever you go with your well-behaved dog, use it as an opportunity to dispel those myths and to educate others on the truth about how great your dog’s breed is.
5. Volunteer with your dog as a therapy team.
Therapy teams visit hospitals, nursing homes, domestic violence shelters, schools and more. One example: kids having a hard time learning to read can read aloud to a therapy dog – the most non-judgmental audience anywhere. This builds kids’ confidence, encourages them to practice and improves their reading skills. You can also be a support volunteer to therapy teams in the field if your own dog isn’t certified. Read More: The Power Of A Dog To Help Young Domestic Violence Victims
6. Use your social media savvy.
If you’re already using social media, use it to help a dog cause. Participate in blog campaigns that raise money and food for shelters; spread the word about a great adoptable dog on Twitter through #TweetAPetTuesday; invite your friends on Facebook to adopt-a-thons and rescue groups’ fundraising events.
7. Use your special skills to support a dog group.
Nonprofit dog groups often need support that is not directly related to the dogs. Andrea from Modern Pet Furtography uses her talents to photograph adoptable dogs for Mayday Pit Bull Rescue; her photos make up a calendar that is sold to raise funds. It’s a great way of using her specialized skills to help the group. Bookkeeping, graphic design, event planning – you never know what they might need.
8. Organize a supplies drive.
Anything that is donated to a shelter or rescue is something they don’t have to pay for, leaving more money for other costs like vet bills. Organize a drive to collect dog food, blankets or dog toys. Check with your favorite rescue to find out what they need and get collecting.
Volunteer work with animals is very rewarding, and the variety of ways you can help is endless. Will you join me in volunteering with dogs?
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Photo credit: bossco. Puppy at a Thousand Palms, CA shelter