Adopting a new furever family pet is not always the best choice for a busy family. That is O-KAY, Can’t Adopt a Pet? Then, Volunteer at A Shelter!
April is National Adopt a Shelter Pet month but for some of us, adopting a pet is just out of the question. Whether a family member suffers from allergies or you currently live in an apartment with a no pet policy, volunteering at your local animal shelter may be the perfect choice for you. Volunteering at a local shelter can give you the amazing benefits of pet ownership without the day to day commitment that having a pet in your life requires.
Why Does an Animal Shelter Need Volunteers?
Shelters across the area are in constant need of new volunteers. Volunteers fill a wide variety of roles at the shelters. They may interact with the animals by providing much needed socialization for dogs and cats, taking dogs on walks, and playing with young kittens. Volunteers are needed to help clean up after the animals and can often be found cleaning litter boxes and dog runs or washing bowls and bedding materials. Some volunteers may help with special events and community outreach functions. They can also provide much needed assistance with fundraising.
Who Can Volunteer at an Animal Shelter?
Almost anyone can volunteer at an animal shelter! Volunteering opportunities are available for both adults and children. Children normally require parental supervision and the ages allowed to volunteer can vary depending on the shelter. Normally, potential volunteers will fill out an application and go through an orientation to learn what will be required of them. Most shelters ask that volunteers commit anywhere from as little as two hours per month to as much as 3-4 hours per week for experienced volunteers that help in wellness clinics or special medical units within the shelter.
Where Can I Go to Volunteer?
If you are interested in volunteering at an animal shelter, you can contact one of the following animal shelters in the area. Please know that this is not an exhaustive list and that there may be many more shelters in your area that are looking for volunteers.
- Austin Pets Alive! In Austin, TX at (512) 961-6519. They are always searching for volunteers to help care for the over 500 animals housed at their main facility. They offer volunteering opportunities for children 12 and over, requiring parental supervision for those children aged 12-15, as well as volunteer opportunities for older teens and adults.
- Central Texas SPCA is also in need of volunteers and has volunteer opportunities for children as young as 10 with parental supervision. Central Texas SPCA is in Leander, TX and they can be reached at (512) 260-7722.
- Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter is looking for volunteers to walk/socialize dogs, clean, socialize cats, help with photography, and work offsite events. They also offer a fun program for young children who are too young to volunteer at the shelter known as the Wilco WRescuers. The Rescue Readers will meet at the shelter every Sunday from 1:00PM – 2:30PM to read to the animals. Wilco Wrescuers also help to organize donation drives and can help raise money for the animals by holding bake sales and other small events. For more information about volunteering at the shelter, or getting your young child involved in the Wilco Wrescuers, contact the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter located in Georgetown, TX at (512) 943-3322.