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A Beginners’ Guide on Animal Volunteering

Animals are nature’s powerful medium of peace and love. It is really hard to find any human who doesn’t love animals and does not enjoy spending time with animals. Being with the animals makes us happy and relaxed. They give us comfort and company while we are going through our hard times and sufferings. This is the ultimate goal for every animal lover to volunteer on animals. Plus, volunteering animals does some magical benefits for the animals as well. The Animals can be taken good care of, properly groomed and can fully live their lives. This is an act of kindness and love. Our blog is all about some wonderful guidelines on animal volunteering.  

Suppose you are looking for an authentic animal volunteering guideline to work on an animal shelter or create your own animal volunteering shelter. In that case, this is an excellent approach for you. Although you might find it challenging to start your journey towards your passion for animal caring, let us help you make a great start. In this blog, you will find numerous opportunities to avail yourself of as a beginner, starting from local shelter from international animal volunteering policies and scops.  

Whether you are a canine person or a feline lover, you might want to spend time with them. This practice takes you away from your worries and anxieties. Besides, it gives the animals a good quality time in a homely environment. Before deciding to volunteer animals, you must know that there is a minimum age required to do that. If you are an adult and wish to spend time in animal volunteering, start it right away. 

General ways to volunteer with animals

At the very beginning of starting your helping activities, you have to know all the possible ways. For example, you can directly work with the animals and take care of them, or you can also indirectly volunteer them, such as providing for their needs and all other things. Here you will learn about the most popular ways of animal volunteering. Let’s find out more!

1.Shelter based Animal Volunteering

There are millions of animals entering shelters each year. For their caring and homing shelter, many volunteers are needed. You can work in shelter homes in your leisure time. This is the best way that anyone can utilise if he wishes to spend time with animals. You can ask any of your local shelters if they need volunteers. To work in a shelter, you have to be at least 16-18 years old, and you must be capable of committing to a consistent volunteer schedule. Besides you should enjoy hands-on work, you have to be responsible. In a shelter, you get to work on different tasks such as: 

  • Walking, running, playing with dogs
  • Socialising cats
  • Bathing and grooming dogs and cats
  • Transporting animals to vet appointments and adoption events
  • Administrative and office work
  • Teaching the animals basic behavioural skills
  • Feeding dogs and cats
  • Arranging animal awareness programs
  • Providing healthy guidelines for animals to the pet owners and much more

2.Bring up Pets in your home

Foster parents are a blessing in the life of animals. They bring the animals home when there is no sufficient place in any shelter or when they see certain animals need special treatment while being in a home rather than in a shelter. You can talk to the shelter and take any animal in your home. But you have to make sure you will take care of that animal properly and do not forget to take care of yourself along with it. This act helps the animal to showcase their original behaviour. Some animals feel super suffocated while being in a shelter. But right after moving to a homely environment, they change, and they become the nicest thing to be with. Only if you are flexible, patient and empathetic, take this type of volunteering. Most commonly, people act as foster parents when they are confident that they will be able to take care of them for the rest of their lives. That’s why they keep the animals until they get adopted, or the shelter takes them back. You will find numerous things to do while acting as a foster parent; for example:

  • Provide basic care such as feeding, bathing, nursing, walking playing around with the animal
  • Try to understand what your pet needs and try to fulfil that
  • Keep them in contact with other animals, it will make them social
  • Provide training to behave, act politely; further, they will get adopted real soon
  • Spend time with your pet, click pictures of them. 
  • You can talk to possible adopters for them

3.Volunteering with a Therapy pet

Now comes volunteering with a therapy pet opportunity. This is a different type of animal volunteering apart from the regular type where you would work with homeless animals. While volunteering with a therapy pet, the pet owners use their pets to do many social helping activities such as reducing stress from students. You can take your pet to an eldercare home also where those people will find calmness by spending time with your pets. This is a pure pet calming way to do some volunteering for others. Before starting doing this, you should be a pro in handling your pet in any situation. Another very important thing is, you must take it easy if others touch or adore your pet. After checking all these, you can think about volunteering with a therapy pet. Here you will need to perform several tasks, including:

  • Visit hospitals, schools, assisted living facilities, airports and other participating locations with your pet
  • Get the handler training
  • Communicate with visiting people and keep good attention to your pet
  • Ensure both the people and animals are safe and in need, do some double-check on criminal background
  • Attend therapy pet training

4. Volunteering with Animals in Agricultural Settings

In the rural areas, you will see several farm sanctuaries that let the animals live in a very natural way. You can visit there and see their regular activities. If you like to work there as a volunteer, you can proceed further. They basically keep it open for people to teach them or to provide them pure nature to enjoy for the time being. They basically rescued those animals from various events, and now they are taking care of them. This is volunteering filled with tasks, and you might not get any time to feel bored or laid back. You must be physically fit in order to work there. In there, every volunteer is busy doing numerous functions: 

  • Barn cleaning
  • Grounds maintenance and minor repairs
  • Feeding, cleaning and providing other care for animals in the shelter’s hospital
  • Hospital chores, like cleaning and laundry
  • Feeding barn animals and cleaning troughs and food dishes
  • Assisting with special events
  • Answering visitor questions

5. Volunteering in Wildlife Conservation

Wildlife conservation is the most common practice of protecting animal species and their habitats. People work really hard to ensure wildlife survival and to educate people about living sustainably with other animals. According to a recent study, 85% of threatened animals are caused due to habitat destruction. These animals badly need human help. Anyone can work as a volunteer with the wildlife conservation teams. You need to find out the closest wildlife conservation and contact them with proper papers of your identification and skills. We all need to work together to save our wildlife to save our mother nature. The common tasks that you might need to work on while doing the volunteering are:

  • Visitor education
  • Working in the retail shop or visitor centre
  • Grounds maintenance and restoration
  • Feeding and food preparation
  • Cleaning enclosures
  • Answering visitor questions
  • Community outreach
  • Grant writing and fundraising
  • Observation and data gathering
  • Rehabilitation and medical care
  • Preparing animals and facilities for seasonal changes

6.Volunteering with Animals Abroad

If you are an adventurous soul and an animal lover, volunteering abroad could be an exciting option for you. There are opportunities to work abroad. You will be responsible for doing lots of awareness-raising activities. You can educate people about global warming and its impact on wildlife animals. You can make movements for abused animals worldwide. For that, you must be 18 plus and do have a passport. You should be flexible to travel and enthusiastic enough to work passionately. 

How and where to find Animal Volunteering Opportunities

After making the farm decision of working in animal volunteering, you need an authentic link to start your kind work. But there comes the tricky question, How? This blog is suggesting you a few options that you can surely look for. 

Search online

You can search for recognised organisations that are working with animal shelters.  Then you can check if they are in need of any volunteers. If you are lucky enough you will get the opportunity right away. You can also apply to organisations that are from other countries. For that, you must have a passport and the flexibility to move there.

Search for Local Shelters

If you do not want to go through the hassle of online searching and application and all that, you can just simply inquire in person at your local stores, known animal volunteers or even the pet owners. You might find a link to get it through. You must consider asking about opportunities by visiting a variety of places within your community. Those places could be:

  • Animal shelters
  • Wildlife sanctuaries and refuges
  • Veterinary offices
  • Conservation organisations
  • Farm sanctuaries
  • Animal rehabilitation centres
  • Local fish and wildlife department or parks and recreation department
  • Hospitals

Animal Volunteering Checklist

Are you ready to start your animal volunteering? If not, let’s get ready. 

  • Research the voluntary responsibilities very well
  • Fill out a volunteer application form
  • Keep your necessary personal things with you 
  • Don’t forget to keep your identity card and emergency medic with you
  • Pay your volunteer fees
  • Do a background check about the organisation you are going to work with
  • If you think needed, attend training required for your animal volunteering 
  • Get ready to volunteer

Animal volunteering is a great way to improve human-animal bonding. It has numerous benefits to humans and animals as well. Animals are not able to speak up for their needs and rights. So, we must make sure that they are living a very healthy and safe life. Many organisations are working to maintain their healthy living, and you can also contribute with your direct or indirect work. Without your help, it will be impossible to save our wildlife environment. Start your animal volunteering right now with the guideline you just got from here! Enjoy your days with the animals and create a world of friendship and joy. 

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July 13, 2023

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