10 Ways You Can Volunteer to Help Animals: Pet ‘Net 2012

This article was written to promote the Pet ‘Net 2012 Event, a way in which we bloggers come together with NBC Universal to endorse and promote a certain issue dealing with pet and animal awareness. This year, we are working on promoting pet adoption and helping animal shelters.

If you visit the hub page, you can help raise money for shelter pets in your community! Enter your zip code and they’ll donate $5,000 to an animal shelter in the town with the most votes. Spread the word and remember you can vote once per day for your town until November 30th

Bloggers from around the country have come together for the next five days at this hub page on Pet ‘Net 2012. Here you can read about fostering, finding a pet, bringing your new pet home, what to be aware of before you adopt, and more.

I’ll be writing about (today) what you can do to help animals as a volunteer.

I highly encourage you to check out the Pet ‘Net Hub Page and see what else NBC has in store for you!


Are you an animal lover? Do you have spare time on your hands?

Do you love to volunteer or are you new to the whole concept?

Regardless of where you are, if you love animals – if you’re an “animaniac” like me or if you’re looking to spend some time volunteering somewhere, there are many things you can do to help animals as a volunteer. And this includes everything from donating money to donating time and love…

When you volunteer, the affect you can have on an animal is immeasurable. Animals are not in shelters by choice. Think about it – most of the animals that come to a shelter or rescue have never had an attentive family. And others have lost their comfortable loving homes due to death or illness in the family, transfers, deployment, allergies, moves, the economy, or a multitude of other misfortunes. The sadness and confusion they feel is greatly reduced when they receive a little affection, a little reassurance that they are still loved and appreciated.  So this is what you can do as a volunteer to help animals:

  1. Clean up the Feces. Whether you are poop-scooping for dogs or cleaning litter boxes for cats, or cleaning up after rabbits, picking up the poop is a huge help to the staff and the animals. Someone has to do it – and the animals appreciate a clean area to walk around, lie down (cats) and relax. This, of course, also helps to ensure that the animals who are new, scared, sick or unhealthy will actually go potty.
  2. Feed the animals. Feeding time is generally a pet’s favorite time of day! So prepping, arranging for mass feedings and carrying them out is greatly appreciated by the administrators at the rescue/shelter and by the fur-babies, too! Trust me; pets learn quickly where their bread is buttered!
  3. Read to the animals. Yes, read to them. When I went to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary this past June and volunteered, that was one of the most popularly requested activities the caregivers requested of the volunteers. Why did they request it? Because reading to the animals in a rescue or shelter helps the pets get adjusted to a human’s voice, and thus, a human’s presence. It’s particularly helpful for hard-to-place animals who aren’t adjusted well, who aren’t used to being around people because they’re so neglected, and for abused animals that just need to know that a calm human is around again and on a somewhat regular pattern.
  4. Donate supplies. Whether it is cat toys, dog bones, shovels, towels, blankets or other pet supplies, rescues and shelters can always use items like dog and cat beds, paper towels, cleaning products, bleach wipes, litter, food, treats, toys, etc. Remember, ultimately your donation goes to the animal (or his welfare) so you are helping him by donating supplies.
  5. Donate money. Good will giving is so kind; there is so much the places can do with your funds – they can use it however it’s needed most. Some will use it to pay vet bills, some on construction or carpentry, some will use it for supplies, you just never know. Always give money to local shelters as that money has the best chance of going directly to the animals.
  6. Become a Foster Parent.  This may be the most rewarding volunteer activity you will ever experience. There is a special satisfaction that comes with rehabilitating an injured or frightened animal or socializing an “unadoptable” dog or cat to make it ready for a permanent family. And don’t worry about becoming attached. Most people are surprised to find how easy it is to see one of their little wards go off to a permanent home where it will have even more attention. If you feel you wouldn’t be able to handle the good-byes, perhaps be sure you have someone there with you to do it or find another way to volunteer.
  7. Exercise Animals. This is an awesome way to have fun with them and get a few laughs while also helping shelter pets. Playing with cats and dogs or running/walking the dogs is a fantastic way to help shelter pets. They need exercise every day and so do you! So why not do it together?
  8. Bathe and Groom Animals. This is of great help to the shelters if you know how to do it. If you don’t, it isn’t hard to learn. Bathing and grooming helps immensely because it makes the animals more adoptable by making them clean and gleaming – particularly if photo day is approaching.  Bathing and grooming animals at shelters is a wonderful way to volunteer and give back to them and they will love you for it – it feels good to them!
  9. Help with Transport. Transporting animals from one place to another, from the shelter to an adoption event, from a foster home to a new home, from a rescue to a foster home, etc., is a great way to volunteer and give back to animals in shelters. Rescues need volunteers to do this, particularly ones with SUVs that can fit multiple cages in them.
  10. Office Support. Whether you are answering phones, doing some always-needed accounting, doing administrative paperwork or something else, office support is always greatly needed at local rescues and shelters.

As you can see, there are at least ten ways you can help animals by helping at your local shelters and rescues. I guarantee, your hours put-forth will be well-received and the owners will be grateful for anything you can do or give.  You can also do some other types of in-kind giving like helping with the group’s website if you know we design or SEO; donating your photography skills if you have them to take great shots for the web of the furry friends there, or donating, like we said above, office help.

It’s obvious that you don’t have to be an animal expert or work in animal services fields to help at your community’s rescue or shelter. You only need to have the time and desire to lend a helping hand, a kind, giving heart, and the panache and passion of a pet person at heart.

One Response to “10 Ways You Can Volunteer to Help Animals: Pet ‘Net 2012”

  1. Jessica Sala says:

    As a social media manager that oversee’s the pages of quite a few rescue pages one of the easiest things you can do is share photos on Facebook and other social channels of pets that are up for adoption. With some folks with networks with hundreds or thousands of people you really never know who is looking for a pet or knows someone that is looking for a pet 🙂 A great way to help from home!

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