Lend a paw with these puppy-approved volunteer opps
Dogs really are our best friends. They cheer us up when we're feeling sad and are the best for early morning snuggles. But sadly, while it’s hard to understand why people would *ever* abandon their pup, there are a lot of dogs that are homeless, and a lot of those dogs end up in the pound or at an adoption center. It can be a daunting task to try and figure out how exactly to help our furry friends, but fear not—we’re here to help so that you can, too.
The first thing the Humane Society wants you to know is that you should get familiar with your local shelters and rescue groups. By familiarizing yourself with these groups you'll learn how they work, who they are looking for in a volunteer and what opportunities are available. It's an exciting process knowing that you will be playing a very important role in a dog’s life if you decide to continue and volunteer.
You can also look for volunteer opps online. One website we recommend is VolunteerMatch. Once you're there, you can put in what you care about (ex. dogs), and your location (ex. Baltimore). It'll then list all the closest spots to volunteer with dogs in the Baltimore area. Be prepared to see a lot of results that are asking for volunteers willing to help with other animals as well.
If that doesn’t work for you, try calling your local pet store. If your pet store has an adoption center, there is a good chance they need volunteers to help exercise the dogs. Many Petco or Petsmart locations accept volunteers for help with their cat adoptions, too. Another thing you can do is call your local vet and ask if they have any opportunities for volunteering (keep in mind that they may have a minimum age requirement, though). Prepare to work hard and participate in all aspects of animal care, from the good to the bad. If anything ever makes you uncomfortable, or you don’t understand, don't hesitate to ask your supervisor questions. They are there to help, and they want you to be comfortable.
What if you're allergic to dogs or can't get to a shelter...but you still want to help? Contact your local rescue or adoption group and ask if there is anything you can do as an off-site volunteer like organize a drive or a bake sale to raise money. Have your mom or dad help you put it together and get all your buds involved, too!
Volunteering can be scary, sure, but it's *totally* worth it.
Have you volunteered with dogs before? Do you have any other suggestions for girls who want to get started? Leave them in the comments!
Photo credit: Instagram.