If you are coming back from my previous blog post, thank you! My journey getting involved in fostering came with trying out all types of volunteering activities that I could, to find what spoke to me. After internal shelter volunteering activities, the next activities that truly got me the most involved at NHS, were Hiking Buddies and Pets on Tour. Both of these programs were turning points into realizing how close animal rescue was to me and how much further I could go.
Hiking Buddies is a program where volunteers can take approved dogs out for a whole day and return them by dinner. I would take dogs on hikes, walk downtown, and even just hang out and relax at my apartment. Any time out of the shelter for these animals is a great way to show them off to potential adopters, take good photos, and be able to give information on their personality! I really liked this program because I felt like I was truly helping the animal relieve some stress outside of the shelter setting. It is a great program that I would especially recommend to college students who want to get a pet, as it can give a realistic understanding to taking on an animal.
The other program that I was widely involved in was Pets on Tour. These are events around the community where we bring adoptive animals and try to help them find homes in our community. These events can be at pet stores, shopping malls, car dealerships – anywhere! Some people will fall in love with an animal and just have to take them home that day; and some come to our events every week trying to find the perfect pet. This opportunity helped me understand the full process of rescuing an animal as I was able to be a ‘lead’ and conduct adoption interviews and process applications.
I would like to shed light on the fact that an hour of your week can truly help the staff and animals at your local shelter SO much. Whether you want to directly work with animals, you like talking to people who are interested in adopting, are very organized, and much more, there is a place for you to help. Consider using your strengths to help your local animal shelter! If you have any questions or don’t know where to start, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be more than happy to help. Please leave a comment on what your thoughts are on your local shelters’ volunteer programs!