Woof! Meow! We Need Animal Volunteers

Posted on May 7, 2012. Filed under: Volunteering is Hot! |

From the HandsOn Network Blog

Woof woof, we’re excited! Why? May 6-12 is National Pet Week. For us animal lovers, this week is dedicated to celebrating our four-legged friends and veterinarians for the joy they provide for us daily!

Celebrate your favorite animals by volunteering for them! Whether you have a pet or not, this is an excellent way to get out and provide happiness to animals in need.

  • Volunteer at your local animal shelter: 5 to 7 million companion animals enter shelters every year. These shelters constantly need volunteer support to care for their current residents. If you cannot adopt an animal, volunteer at a shelter for a couple hours. It will not only make you feel happy, but it will spread happiness to these animals that need companionship! The Humane Society and ASPCA are great places to start your search.  Click here to see opportunities with Willamette Humane Society.
  • Volunteer at the zoo: Zoos accept all types of volunteers from adults to youth; the zoo is a great place to volunteer with animals! Zoos have many different volunteer opportunities. Contact one today to find out their current needs and opportunities.
  • Train a service/ seeing eye dog: Many nonprofit organizations deal directly with training canine assistants. Find one in your area today to see how you can get started. You will not only feel rewarded for the service, but you will provide a wonderful service to someone in need!
  • Make collars: Many pets in shelters do not have collars. Get your kids involved in volunteering by helping them design and make collars for your local shelter dogs.  Also check out HandsOn Mid-Willamette Valley’s Service to Go page for directions on how to make your own cat toys for Willamette Humane Society and Salem Friends of Felines.
  • Donate animal food: Many shelters are short on dog and cat food and would greatly benefit from your donation. Next time you are at the store, buy an extra bag of food for your local shelter.
  • Hold a fundraiser: Know an animal nonprofit that could use some extra funding? Hold a fundraiser with your community. Guests can make monetary donations, toy donations, or food donations.
  • Volunteer your animal: Train your animal to be a member of a dog therapy program. Research shows that interaction with an animal can greatly improve the spirits of resident hospital patients.
  • Volunteer with horses: Does your community have an equestrian therapy program? Horses have been proven to be very helpful to children and adults with learning disabilities. Find a ranch that supports this type of work and volunteer with them.  The Mid-Willamette Valley has a program like this!  Check out opportunities with the Adaptive Riding Institute.
  • Help the rainforest: Foster a wild animal. Rainforest devastation and changing climates are greatly affecting our wildlife. You can help save an animal habitat by teaming up with organizations such as World Land Trust, World Vision, or Rainforest Alliance.
  • Clean up: Your litter affects our ecosystem including your community’s wildlife. Stop littering! Trash pollutes oceans and kills vital plants causing animals to be unable to eat and live in unsafe environments. Volunteer to clean up your local parks, highways, forests, or bodies of water. Every little thing counts!
  • Get your pet spayed or neutered: This step is vital. As mentioned earlier, many animals go to shelters because they are overpopulated. End the cycle by fixing your animal.
  • Put a tag on your furry friend: By giving your animal an identification tag, he or she will be less likely to get lost or end up in a shelter.

By volunteering with animals you are working to greatly improve the well-being of your community! Animals are a vital part of the ,ecosystem; they must be protected and cared for. Celebrate animals this week and year round by volunteering in your community




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