The gift of your time is one of the greatest gifts you could ever give.

I think finding a place to commit your volunteer time, energy and possibly financial resources could be a difficult one but it also doesn’t have to be. Whether you commit to weekly service or once yearly you can make a valuable and rewarding difference.

There are a million ways you can volunteer your time helping animals at a shelter, with a rescue group or welfare organization. Typical responsibilities include: care and socialization of animals (walking dogs, petting cats, cleaning) educational outreach (camps, classes and hosting birthday parties for children), adoption aids (at shelters and at events), owner assistance (food banks, spay and neuter programs), and operations support (clerical and technical help). Most organizations are also in need of foster parents who can temporarily take care of animals in transition. If interested in fostering, (click here).

The most beneficial relationship (helpful and rewarding for you) is one that is on-going and regular so most volunteer opportunities lend themselves to regular weekly or monthly commitments. However, if you are unable to commit to weekly or monthly responsibilities there are always one time events throughout the year that most organizations need extra help with.

If you do have the time to commit to a regular volunteer position then I would recommend looking through the decriptions of the animal organizations listed on the site or searching for local animal organizations in your area. If any of those organizations seems to pull at your heart strings then explore the opportunities for volunterism on their website. If they don’t list specific jobs or responsibilites that fit your skill set I would still contact their volunteer coordinator to explore other possibilities if you have additional areas of interest or skills you could offer.

Utilize your gifts
Everyone has special skills and abilities you could offer a group and most organizations are very willing to discuss the possibilities of how you could work with them. If you aren’t sure about your interests or skillset, take a personal inventory to find out like: StrengthsQuest (talents), Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (personality), Strong Interest Inventory (interests).

Additional Resources:
List of Animal Shelters, list_animal_shelters
List of Animal Rescue Groups, list_rescue_groups
List of Animal Welfare Agencies/Organizations, list_welfare_groups

Thank you in advance for volunteering your precious time to help others!