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10 Reasons to Volunteer at an Animal Shelter

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Are you looking for a way to give back? You might want to consider volunteering at your local animal shelter. Not only will you be giving back to an animal in need, you will discover other benefits, too.

1.Boost your mood and reduce stress: Naturally, volunteering produces good feelings about serving someone in need. Volunteering at a shelter has the added benefit of being around animals, which has shown to lower stress and blood pressure. Cuddling and petting animals also help boost your serotonin and dopamine levels, which in turn helps you relax and feel happy.

2. You are making a difference:As an animal shelter volunteer, your primary goal is to help make the animal adoptable. This involves feeding the animals so they can be a healthy weight, bathing and grooming them and helping abused or stray animals become accustomed to human interaction. All these tasks help the animal find a happy home and better life filled will love.

3. There is a big need for volunteers: Animal shelters can’t function without the help from volunteers. There are so many animals constantly being brought in and lots of tasks need to be done. Volunteering a couple of hours of your time every week can help give animals another chance.

4. Make new friends and become a team player: If you are an animal lover, chances are the other volunteers will be animal lovers too. You will be able to meet other like-minded individuals who are just as passionate about rescuing animal as well. Volunteering will also teach you how to work as a team to get major tasks done.

5. Gain work experience or service hours: Volunteering is a great way to get work experience or boost your resume. It is also a great way for high schoolers or young adults to get service hours. Just because you are volunteering doesn’t mean you aren’t developing new skills that will help you along your career.

6. Help develop a sense of responsibility and selflessness: Helping at an animal shelter can be a big responsibility. Not only are the animals depending on you, but the entire organization is also depending on you. You might think dog walking or socializing with cats isn’t making a difference, but it has a bigger impact than you know. Volunteering also helps you become selfless by giving your time to your community. All these skills help make a leader.

7. Something new and fun:If you need a change of pace, volunteering at your local animal shelter can give you something new to do. Invite your friends and make a day out of it. You will be able to bond with them and your new furry friends.

8. Not a people person? No problem: Let’s face it, not everyone is a people person and that’s OK. You will mostly be in contact with animals and focused on their care. This is perfect if you are shy or prefer keeping to yourself.

9. Stay active: Dog walking is one of the main tasks at shelters. Dog walking will help you get some fresh air and burn calories. Other tasks may involve a lot of cleaning which can also give you a small workout.

10. You get be around animals who need you: The best part about volunteering at a shelter are the animals! You get to play and care for cats and dogs while helping them get adopted. You will build bonds and see your new furry friend’s personalities develop. In turn you will experience the unconditional love only a dog or cat can give.

Are you experiencing depression or anxiety? Visit our Psychiatry & Behavioral Health Service page for more information.

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