How Kids Can Volunteer at Animal Shelters

Help the kids in your life improve the lives of homeless pets. Following are some ideas.

Donate to Pet Food Banks

Does your community have a pet food bank? If it does, encourage your child to donate.

Meals on Wheels programs often deliver pet food to their clients. Find out what group(s) in your community have a food bank for people and partner with them for setting up a pet food bank if one isn’t already established.

Start a tradition in your family of giving to a pet food bank . . . not just at Christmas or the holidays, but frequently throughout the year.

Volunteer for Animals as a Family

Shelters use volunteers to walk dogs and play with cats. Take your small children to your local shelter to participate. These pets need lots of human interaction to make them more sociable and adaptable.

Sponsor a Contest at School

Which class can bring the most pet food or other items for your shelter’s wish list? Offer the winning class a fun activity, such as a pizza party.

Include Animals at Holiday Parties or Special Events

  • For Valentine’s Day at school, bring “valentines” for the animals at the local shelter. Ask for the shelter’s wish list, and ask each child to bring an item. Have a field trip to the shelter to deliver these valentines.
  • Plan your children’s birthday parties to include a visit to the animal shelter. Ask guests to bring items from your shelter’s wish list or pet food (specify the brands they ask for).
  • Ask kids to contribute to the local pet food bank for Christmas, birthdays, etc.

Involve Kids in the Pet Adoption Process

Partner with your local shelter to organize a sidewalk pet adoption at a mall or other high-traffic area. Ask the shelter to let kids participate in the adoption process at community events, fairs, etc.

Help Kids Raise Money for Shelters

Kids can have a bake sale or set up lemonade stands to raise money for the local shelter in conjunction with community events.

Ask art galleries to sponsor an art contest for kids. The winning “artists” will present a check to the local shelter.

Think of activities that are appropriate for your community. Ask your shelter for ideas. Better yet, ask kids what they’d like to do.

Participate in Education Programs for Local Schools

If your shelter and school aren’t offering humane education at school, help your child and his / her friends to get a program started. Help them make the right contacts at the shelter and at school and make suggestions on what kids need to know about homeless animals.

Could you be a “chaperone” for animal visits to your child’s school?

Local Boy Scout or Girl Scout Troops Can Earn Badges

Help your local troop earn a badge by helping animals. Get the scouts’ input on what they’d like to do and coordinate with your shelter. Send a press release to your local paper to get community support.

Leave a Reply