Making Time to Volunteer with Pets in Need

The perfect way to show your love is to volunteer with a local animal rescue organization or shelter.

You love animals, whether or not you actually co-habitat with any at the present moment. Incredibly fulfilling and satisfying, you’re making an animal’s life better.

There are plenty of ways to include volunteer work into your balanced life. Here are some ways you can fit in time to volunteer during your busy schedule.

Tips for Finding Time

Is there anyone out there who isn’t super busy? But if it’s important to you, you find the time for it. That’s all it takes to find time to volunteer. Don’t think that you have to spend your entire weekend scooping poop or fostering a slew of homeless pets. All you need to do is give a bit of time—that’s enough to make a difference.

If you’re still trying to wrap your head around it, think about it this way. Most volunteer shifts at shelters last two or three hours. If you weren’t volunteering, how would you be spending that time? Volunteering two hours of your time a week might mean less time watching TV or exercising during your lunch break to open up some time after work. It’s all about perspective. You have more free time than you think, and these are just a couple of simple things you can do to open up some additional time for volunteering.

dog volunteer

Ways You Can Help Animals in Need

Now that you’ve carved out some time for volunteering, think about how you want to spend that time. If you don’t want to take on a lot of responsibility, volunteering at a local shelter or rescue might be a good option. You simply show up for your shift and do whatever is needed at the time. That may include walking dogs, playing with cats, bottle-feeding kittens, or doing some basic training.

Do you have some extra room in your heart—and your home? This would be the perfect opportunity to foster. Shelters have a limited amount of space, and if they have more animals coming in than being rescued, there will be some pets that are left in the cold. When you foster an animal, not only are you giving them a roof over their head, but you’re also giving them a little extra time and socialization before they are adopted out.

If you aren’t particularly gifted in working with animals but you still want to do your part to help them, you may be able to volunteer your services to the shelter itself. Some organizations use volunteers to do marketing projects or to complete administrative tasks. You can also do your part to raise money for the shelter by sponsoring a fundraising event or by collecting donations of food, money, and supplies from your community. You can also donate money or supplies, too.

Thousands of animals enter the shelter system each year. Most shelters have neither the time nor the money to give every pet the care they deserve. That’s where you come in. Find it in your heart—and in your schedule—to do little volunteering, because even an hour a week can make a difference!

Meet the Author: Amy Tokic

Amy Tokic is the Editor of, the flagship site to over 70 different pet communities, which offers pet parents a one-stop-info-shop for all things dog and cat related. Amy's been with PetGuide since the beginning, guided by the wisdom of her Shih Tzu mix and furry roommate, Oscar. Together, this pet power couple has their paw on the pulse of the pet industry, sniffing out trends, advice, news, tasty treat recipes and other tail-wagging stories.

Yogurt is a Great Food and a Wonderful Treat
Caring For a Dog With a Chronic or Debilitating Illness