How To Volunteer at the Animal Shelter

Love animals? Why not channel this towards volunteer work? You’d be able to spend time with animals that you love, and you’d be using your time and energy for a good cause too! There is always a great need for volunteers for different causes, and organizations that look out for animal welfare is no exception. So if you’re interested in volunteering at the animal shelter, here are steps that would help you out:

  1. Contact local animal shelters. There are typically a whole range of animal welfare organizations in average towns and cities; the different types of these organizations include the Humane Society, the Animal Protective League, the Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), and many other private and government entities. To find listings of animal shelters that you could volunteer for, you could look up websites such as Pets911 and You could also call up your local government and inquire about government-run animal shelters near your area. It’s always a good idea to volunteer someplace that’s convenient for you, for practical reasons.
  2. Find out the volunteer regulations on how to get started. Different animal shelters have different requirements for volunteering. The general requirements would  be for you to fill out an application form, and for you to attend an orientation session. Some organizations would also need you to commit to volunteering for a specific time frame, such as at least once a week for a period of six months (some other organizations will only require you to commit for two weeks).
  3. Find out the other guidelines. For example, some animal shelters would require you to give a minimum fee (about $5) as a contribution towards the maintenance of the shelter facility. Many animal shelters will also require volunteers to be 16 years old or older; those younger than 16 will need to be accompanied by a guardian during their volunteer sessions.
  4. 4.    Find out the different tasks that you could be assigned to. Some animal shelters would assign office-related tasks (such as maintaining files and answering phone calls) or simple manual tasks (such as cleaning and handing out fliers) to new volunteers. However, some animal shelters give a wider range of job options to its volunteers. Some examples of these options include dog walking, giving general animal care, photographing animals, and training animals. Some animal shelters provide training to their volunteers to fulfill the specialized tasks  assigned to them.
  5. Know how you can volunteer from home. There are so many ways that you could volunteer even while you stay at home. For example, you could provide care and shelter to an animal until they are officially adopted. You could also give contribution in the form of pet food, grooming supplies and of course, money. In addition, you could volunteer to blog about an animal shelter’s activities, to raise awareness and for fund-raising purposes as well.

There you have it! These are just some pointers to follow if you’re looking to volunteer at an animal shelter. Just remember that the minimum requirement for  you to be successful in this endeavor is to have a genuine love and care for animals. Though you won’t get paid for caring for the animals, the mere thought that you are contributing towards their welfare – and possibly saving one or two animals’ lives as well – should be more than enough reward. Good luck!


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