Volunteering at an animal shelter can be extremely rewarding, educational and fun – especially when it’s at your local Charlotte dog rescue. Giving up part of your day to take a dog for a walk or to give a pup a quality tummy scratch can have a large impact on the lives of shelter animals, and it will leave you feeling like the happiest of heroes.
Pats and walks are just the start to all of the ways you can volunteer at Charlotte animal shelters, dog rescues and humane societies. Check out this list of different ways to volunteer and you may be surprised to find a new, favorite way to help out those furry friends.
Play With Pups
Petting, hugging on, rolling around with and socializing animals is one small part of the huge job that is taking care of shelter dogs. Many animal rescues invite people in to play with dogs because socializing an animal is a key part in ensuring that they can live their best lives inside and out of a shelter. Volunteer to take a dog for an afternoon walk or run, or come to the
shelter to throw a ball for a while. Most dogs will love the affection and attention, while some dogs will benefit from the socialization and enrichment. Your local shelter may have prerequisites before you can play with their animals or certain visiting hours in place, so be sure to call before you plan your doggo-time.
Facility Care and Daily Tasks
In order for shelters and rescues to be fit for animals they need to be cleaned and maintained. If you don’t like to live in a dirty, unkempt house, then a dog most likely wouldn’t like to either. Some dog rescues use volunteers to clean up kennels and play areas to keep their facilities neat and tidy. You could even see if the shelter needs any outdoor grounds and yard maintenance and if you are lucky, the dogs might be out frolicking while you’re getting your hands dirty. Many places would be thrilled to have volunteers help with these dirty jobs, so let them know if you are able to help in this capacity.
Bring in Supplies
Donating goods and supplies can be a great way to serve local shelters. Most dog rescues have lists of items that they need donated to keep their dogs and facilities running. You can organize a supply drive in your neighborhood or at your work, or simply add items like peanut butter, rubber gloves, and dog toys to your weekly shopping list and you have instantly provided a shelter with necessities. If you don’t want to break the bank, try making a DIY dog toy! Call your local dog rescue in Charlotte to find out what supplies they are in need of at the time.
Help Out Around the Office
If you’re an organized person with administrative skills you could be a huge help to Charlotte dog rescues by volunteering to help with desk jobs such as grant writing, answering phones, filing paperwork or any other odd jobs around the office. Some shelters may even use volunteers to help with animal adoption counseling, animal training, or photography and videography work. If you have special talents in technical skills, call your local shelter and ask how you can use your gifts to help at their location.
Foster a Dog
Can’t commit to adopting a dog? Try fostering! Most Charlotte dog rescues and humane societies have a dog fostering program where people can take home animals, anywhere from geriatric doggos to teeny tiny puppies, for a week or two. Fostering can help dogs and shelters in many ways including nursing sick dogs back to health, introducing dogs to new environments, socializing dogs with different people and animals, and other forms of enrichment. Fostering a dog is a great way to give back to your local shelter and, who knows, you may end up with a fur-ever friend!
Most animal shelters and humane societies are non-profit organizations and rely largely on monetary donations. There are many ways that you can donate to your local shelters including in-kind donations, donations in honor or memory of someone, donations to a specific fund or event, tax-deductible donations through your employer’s payroll system, and you can even donate your car. If you are trying to find the perfect charity to donate to, stay local and donate to your local Charlotte dog rescue.
Too Young to Help? Think Again
Some places may have an age minimum for their volunteers. If you find yourself under that age and really want to make a difference at your favorite Charlotte animal shelter, there are still ways that you can help! Host a fundraiser or an event and donate the proceeds, organize a supply drive and drop the items off at the shelter, or ask your parents if they will go for a walk with you and a dog once a week. Many shelters have programs set in place for junior volunteers, so have your parents call or look online for ways you can get involved.
Now that you’ve discovered new ways to volunteer, you just need to determine which type of volunteering is right for you. How much time do you have in a week? What level of commitment are you willing to make? What do you want to gain out of volunteering? Are you looking for hands-on animal care or are you more of a behind-the-scenes person? What skills do you have to offer the shelter? Many places have a volunteer questionnaire with questions just like this that will help place you in the perfect volunteer role.
No matter where you volunteer or in what capacity, you will be making a difference in animals’ lives and in your community. And remember, some Charlotte dog rescues and animal shelters may have different rules and requirements, but guarantee you will always be the best volunteer you can possibly be: follow the rules, follow through, communicate effectively and have fun. Happy volunteering!