Do You Have A Big Heart for Animals? Volunteering at an Animal Shelter

Why volunteer at an animal shelter?

Volunteering at an animal shelter is one of the most rewarding things you can do for your community. As a volunteer, you will be able to help animals that are waiting for their forever home. The shelter and the animals will be grateful for your help.

Volunteers have a positive impact on the lives of animals in their communities by:

  • Giving them more time with humans
  • Helping them stay clean and healthy
  • Walking dogs and playing with cats – helping them become socialized so they’re ready for adoption

Building trust and friendship

The first thing to remember when you are volunteering at an animal shelter is to be patient. Your instincts may tell you that all animals want a warm, loving home right this minute, but really it’s the opposite. Many of these animals have been through some tough times, and they need some time to trust us before they can find their forever home. Most shelters will allow you to spend some time with the animal before adopting them out, so use this time wisely!

When I volunteer at the local animal shelter I always start by getting to know the dog or cat I’m working with. I try not to make any sudden movements around them, and instead move slowly and gently around them so that they get used to my presence. This helps build the trust between us so that when it comes time for adoption day then we can show off just how great it would be if someone took this beautiful animal home.

Walking, holding, and petting.

If you have decided that volunteering at an animal shelter sounds like something you would like to do, there are some things you need to know. One of the most important aspects of volunteering at an animal shelter is the interaction with animals. Most people think that spending time with cuddly cats and sweet dogs for a few hours a week sounds like fun, but it can be quite challenging. You may not realize this, but dogs and cats are not always as docile as they look!

Dogs need to be walked several times a day and cats need attention as well. If they have been sitting in their cages all day long without any human interaction, they can get quite excited when someone finally comes into view. It is great if you want to come into work just to hold and pet the animals, but if you want to try walking them or letting them out of their cages for some exercise, you should make sure that it is okay with the manager of the shelter first.

How to be an animal shelter volunteer!

Do You Have A Big Heart for Animals? Volunteering at an Animal Shelter is all about volunteering at animal shelters and other animal related topics. The basic requirements to volunteer at a shelter are that you have to be over 16 years of age, show up on time, be able to work independently and with a group, hav e a passion for animals, and lastly be passionate about helping others in need.

There are also many types of animal shelters; there are open admission facilities that take any type of animal in need regardless their circumstances and there are limited admission facilities which take only healthy and adoptable pets from owners who can no longer care for them.

Another type of shelter is the no-kill shelter which does not euthanize animals unless they have health issues or behavioral problems that make them unadoptable.

Then there’s the county or city pound which takes in stray animals, owner surrenders and any other type of animal needing help but typically has a limit on how long they can house an animal before it is euthanized if not adopted or rescued.

How old do you have to be?

If you want to volunteer at an animal shelter, then kudos to you! It’s important to understand that there are a few things you need to take into consideration before you can start volunteering. The most important thing to think about is how old you have to be in order to volunteer.

When it comes down to the age requirement, it all depends on the animal shelter itself. There are some shelters that will accept volunteers as young as 12 years old but they may require that they work alongside their parents or another adult guardian.

There are also shelters that only accept volunteers 16 years or older and yet there are others who require their volunteers be 18 years or older. Some of these shelters don’t have an age limit but require a criminal background check for anyone who is over the age of 18.


The time commitment is up to you. Some people have a few hours a week or even just a couple of hours a month, and some people are able to volunteer every day. It’s important to be realistic about what you can commit to. If you tell the shelter that you can donate a lot of time, but end up having less time than expected, the shelter could end up depending on your time, and they may have fewer resources without your help. If you aren’t sure how much time you have available or if your schedule varies from week to week it is best to let them know as soon as possible so that they understand that not seeing you every week does not mean that you are no longer interested in volunteering.

Authorization forms.

All volunteers are asked to fill out an authorization form. This can be done in person or online. The form asks for basic information, including name, address and phone number, as well as some questions relating to health history and any allergies you may have. The purpose of this is so that the animal shelter staff is aware of any risks that might arise during your time volunteering with them.


Even experienced animal handlers should always keep up with their training.

After you’ve learned how to behave around the animals, it’s a good idea to learn some basic animal first aid. This could come in handy if something unexpected happens at the shelter. Have a plan in place for what you and your coworkers can do in case of an emergency.

While working at the shelter, you may develop a relationship with one particular dog or cat that you enjoy spending time with. Your favorite animal’s personality will inform how you interact with him or her.

Volunteering at a local animal shelter can be a very rewarding experience for both you and the animals in your community!

Volunteering at a local animal shelter can be a very rewarding experience for both you and the animals in your community!

It’s important to remember that animals need help too, and volunteering is a great way to give back. But if you’re still on the fence about volunteering, here are some of the benefits involved.

You’ll get to spend time with animals

Most people have pets of their own, but depending on your work schedule, it can be hard to find time to spend with them. By volunteering at an animal shelter, you’ll get plenty of quality time with the animals there—and even if it isn’t quite as good as hanging out with your own furbabies at home, it’s still a great chance to connect with some furry friends!

You’ll meet new people

Animal lovers from all walks of life volunteer at shelters. It’s a great way to meet likeminded people and make new friends in your area. You never know—you might meet future neighbors or business contacts!

You’ll learn more about animal care

Shelter workers will teach you everything you need to know about taking care of cats or dogs that are kept in cages for long periods of time. This knowledge will come in handy if you ever decide it’s time to expand your family and bring home one (or many) more four-legged friends.

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