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How and Why to Volunteer With Your Local Animal Shelter

Updated: Sep 6, 2023

Updated to include recycle old items section

Female volunteer at an animal shelter caring for a German Shepherd

Animal rescue involves the process of saving animals from environments where they are unable to survive on their own. This can include rescuing animals from abusive or neglectful situations, natural disasters, and abandonment.


Animal shelters are constantly in need of volunteers to help care for homeless pets and ensure they can find their forever homes. Unfortunately, many animal shelters lack the resources and support so desperately needed.


Luckily, there are many ways to volunteer at your local animal shelter, and every little bit helps. By getting involved, you can help make a difference in the lives of animals in need.


Some Ways You Can Volunteer at Animal Shelters


Animal rescue is important work that helps to save the lives of animals in need. There are many ways that people can get involved with their local animal shelters, from volunteering their time to fostering pets or informing others. Every little bit helps make a difference in the lives of animals in need. Here are a few ways you can volunteer with animal shelters in your community.

Volunteer at Your Local Animal Shelter


One way to get involved in animal rescue is to become a volunteer with an organization that shelters rescue pets. There are many organizations that focus on rescuing specific types of animals, such as dogs, cats, horses, and wildlife. There are also organizations that rescue all types of animals. Volunteering with an animal shelter can involve walking dogs, socializing cats, cleaning cages and kennels, doing laundry, or even helping with office work. It can also involve tasks such as transporting animals to and from shelters, fostering animals, helping with adoption events, and more.


There are also fantastic opportunities for teens as many animal shelters have youth programs. Highschoolers can get a hands on education in the field of animal rescue as well as earn volunteer points. If you're in the San Diego area, here is a short list of shelters with programs for younger animal lovers. Clicking the highlighted link will bring you to that animal shelter's youth program.



Become an Animal Foster Parent


Another way to get involved in animal rescue is to become a foster parent for animals in need. By becoming a foster parent, you can provide a temporary home for an animal while they wait to be adopted. This is a great way to help socialize animals and get them ready for their forever homes. It is also a great way if you are not able to commit to adopting an animal but still want to help out. Fostering can involve caring for animals until they are ready for adoption, socializing animals, and more.


Fostering can be a very rewarding experience, as it allows you to provide love and care to animals in need. It also enables you to play an important role in animal rescue efforts. Many shelters are always looking for foster families, so check with your local shelter for more information on how you can get involved.


Adopting From an Animal Shelter


Adopting an animal from an animal rescue is a great way to provide a forever home for an animal in need. When you adopt an animal from a shelter, you are also helping to make space for another animal that needs to be rescued. Adopting can be a great way to find your new best friend.


While intelligence may not be the sole factor in adopting a canine companion, it certainly plays an important role. Thankfully, there are plenty of pooches out there that excel at both thinking and loving! Check out this article from This Old House to discover some intelligent yet devoted dog breeds to best fit your family dynamic.


Spread the Word


You can also help spread the word about animal rescue by talking to friends and family about the importance of getting involved. You can also share information about animal shelters and how people can help. One way to raise awareness is to write letters to local newspapers or elected officials urging them to support animal rescue efforts in your community.


You can also create a social media account dedicated to spreading the word about animal rescue. Post pictures and stories of animals in need, share information about adoptable pets, and talk about why it's important to get involved in animal rescue efforts. You may even be able to network with other people in your area who are passionate about animal rescue. It's also a great way to spread the word about upcoming adoption events or fundraisers for your local animal shelter.


Clear Out Old Items


You can also get involved in animal rescue efforts by donating items around the house that you may no longer need. Donations of bedding, blankets, towels, and toys can go a long way in helping shelters provide the best possible care for their animals. It's a win-win-win! You can reduce unwanted clutter, a rescue pup will love their new blanket, and your old stuff won't take up room in a landfill! Check out our blog on eco-friendly tips for pet owners to learn more.


A Rewarding Experience That Makes a Difference


Volunteering your time at an animal shelter is a great way to help both pets and people. Whenever you take the time to volunteer, foster an animal, adopt a pet from a rescue facility, or even simply share information about animal rescue on social media, you are making a difference in the lives of animals in need. Every little bit helps, and by getting involved with animal rescue efforts in your community you can help make a difference in the lives of animals in need. So get out there and start making an impact!

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