black and white photo of kitten being petted through kennel bars

4 Reasons We Should Volunteer at Our Local Animal Shelters

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Are you looking for a volunteer opportunity? Are you thinking about adopting a new pet? Do you love getting attention and love from dogs and cats? There are many reasons we may want to volunteer at our local animal shelter, and all of them are great in my opinion.

Next week, April 10th to 16th 2016, is National Volunteer Week! I encourage everyone to take this week as an opportunity to start a volunteer relationship with your local shelter.

Here are a few of my favorite reasons we should volunteer at a shelter:

Volunteer Before Adopting

Thinking about adopting a dog? Volunteering at a shelter is a great way to introduce children to dogs and responsibility for the first time. Or if our family already has a dog or cat, volunteering at a shelter makes it much easier to find the perfect companion and introduce her to our current furry family member in a neutral location.

A family of 3 meeting a puppy at the shelter.

Kids and Dogs

If our child does not have any experience with dogs (whether or not we plan to adopt a dog), then it is important to make sure he knows the safety rules that he should always follow when encountering dogs. It is also important to teach any child to become aware of and learn to read the body language of dogs. Read more about safety when mixing kids and dogs here.

Ready for Responsibility?

Has your child been begging for a dog, but you’re not sure if he will really hold up his end of the bargain when it comes to training, walking, feeding and bathing? Tell him to volunteer at a shelter, learn how to do these things, and stick to a schedule. This will definitely help you see how dedicated to having a new pet he really is!

A kid petting a brindle dog at a shelter.

The Perfect Pick

While we’re volunteering, we get the chance to interact with a variety of dogs and cats of different ages and breeds. This will allow us to be able to pick out the perfect new addition to our family when we’re ready to adopt! Find out more about why shelter pets make the best pets here.

Make a Difference

A row of dogs in cages at the shelter.

It’s great to know we’re really making a difference when we commit time and energy to volunteering. At a shelter, we are part of helping unite dogs and cats with forever families. Just as importantly when we volunteer at a shelter, we help to train and socialize dogs and cats and keep them happy, healthy and clean while they are staying with us. Seeing animals that we’ve walked, fed or played with find a home is very rewarding. Also rewarding is knowing that we’ve helped socialize and leash train a dog so that he was ready for the perfect family to come along and adopt him.

Feel Good

Where else can we go volunteer our time and also get to play with and cuddle sweet dogs and cats? If we’ve had a bad day, then we can always count on one of our shelter pets to make us feel better. There is also the satisfaction of knowing that these animals need our love and attention in return, so we’re both able to help each other.

Volunteer Hours

I know many young children and teenagers need to meet volunteer hour requirements for school and church programs. Why not choose to volunteer at a shelter? Volunteering at a shelter is also a great way for kids to develop compassion and the drive to help those less fortunate than themselves, as well as be sensitive to the needs of other creatures besides themselves.

These are a few of my favorite reasons we should all volunteer at our local animal shelter, but what are some of yours? Let us know in the comment section.

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