10. Gets animals adopted

You help prepare animals for adoption by socializing a shy or scared cat, showing a shy dog how to play with toys or teaching a young pup some new tricks. The animals gain more exposure within the community when you’re walking them and sharing photos on social media – their future family could be driving by on your next walk!

9. Teaches you new skills

You become more familiar with animal behaviours and recognize the steps needed to properly train them. Shelter workers advise volunteers of behaviours associated with under socialization or nervousness and explain how to work to improve them.

8. Gives back to the community

Many shelters and rescues are donation-based groups and need two things to keep running: money and people. By giving your time to a shelter, you contribute to the welfare of your community, advocate for animals in need and give a shelter animal a second chance.

7. Adds volunteer experience

Employers like to see well-rounded job applicants with volunteer experience on their resume. Volunteering can be done on your own terms and could even lead you to discover a new career path.

6. Builds friendships

The people surrounding you are all there for the same reason: they love giving back to the animals. You develop relationships with other volunteers and the staff, hear their stories about why they do what they do and create networking opportunities for each other.

5. Boosts mood and de-stresses

Volunteering just feels good! Time spent with animals is never wasted; it’s a proven de-stressor that enhances your lifestyle and emotional health. You also cheer up the kitties and pups who are excited to meet you!

4. Increases physical activity

Dog walking at your local shelter is a great way to stay active, in addition to giving the dogs a break from their kennels. It provides you and the dog with physical and mental stimulation and releases hormones that just make you feel good (see above)!

3. Brings groups together

Volunteering isn’t just fun, it’s a free group outing! Grab your friends or coworkers and spend an hour or two playing with cats and walking the dogs. It’s a great bonding activity that inspires others to begin volunteering on their own.

2. Prepares you to adopt

Are you considering adopting? Volunteering helps you decide if it’s the right time for you to adopt a shelter pet and can lead you to your new best friend. You’ll learn quickly which behaviours you are willing to work with and what type of pet is the best fit for your family.

1. Reveals unconditional love!

Shelter animals have a lot of love to give. Even if you are not in a position to adopt, you can still get your daily or weekly dose of furry love by spending time with some very lucky critters with no shortage of appreciation.