I occasionally get asked the question “why do you volunteer with animal rescue?”. The answer to that is simple, I love animals and want to help any way I can.
I’ve always had a bond with animals (specifically dogs in my case), that I can’t describe. I’ve always been a dog over people person and find as I get older, the more time I would rather spend with dogs over people. Maybe it’s because I know no matter what, animals will always love you regardless of who you are, what you say or what you do. They provide unconditional love and support and are always there for you. They never judge (ok, maybe a little bit). They never criticize and they will never intentionally hurt you.
I choose to volunteer with animal rescue because I find it rewarding and bring me happiness. Is it always sunshine and rainbows? No.
Animal rescue is hard. It breaks your heart, makes you angry, frustrates you and really makes you hate some people. But, it’s worth giving back and helping out a cause I feel so deeply passionate about. Maybe so passionate people may find it annoying, but everyone has their own quirks.
There’s also no rule stating that if you volunteer with animal rescue, you can’t volunteer with another cause (ie. poverty, kids, the environment, social justice, cancer, ect.). There’s no such thing as a “more deserving cause”, and that’s true when it comes to both volunteering and financially donating to. It’s an argument that I have heard and have read for years and it’s something that frustrates me to no end. If you feel passionately about a cause, get involved and don’t let anyone tell you it’s not a worthy cause.
So how do you go about becoming a volunteer? Contact a local rescue group or shelter in your area and ask them if they are looking for volunteers. Most rescue groups will also post volunteer opportunities on their website and have an online volunteer application form to fill out. If there is a specific area you want to help with (ie. home checks, website or social media, photography, event coordination, fundraising) make sure to list that on the application form. You can also specify how many hours a week you want to volunteer for (as most rescue organizations don’t list a minimum or maximum number of hours required). You can also volunteer with as many rescue groups as you want. I currently volunteer with two and plan to put in more volunteer hours in the fall. I may also start volunteering with a third local rescue as well.
So find your cause (even if it’s not animal rescue), follow your passion and give back. I guarantee you will find as rewarding as I do.