Giving back to the world does not always entail the need to donate money, because there are other forms of giving back such as volunteerism. Being a volunteer means signing up to work at charities for free, so it would be best to be prepared for the reality of the job. There are different types of charities that you can sign up at, and one of these would be animal charities. Of all the subtypes of animal charities, the most locally reachable would be the animal shelters for the strays, so finding them would be easier than the others. In case you are interested to sign up, be prepared for the reality of volunteerism in these organizations and institutions. Here are a few reminders about volunteering at animal shelters:
- It is a serious endeavor. Volunteering at an animal shelter will require you of your time, patience, strength, and it will need you to undergo training in handling the animals and equipment. Usually, the institution will be providing the schedule for you and not the other way around. Also, animals can be really cute and fluffy, but they have their wild and dangerous sides too, so assess yourself if you are really up for the task. Nevertheless, the provided training will teach volunteers how to handle different situations, so it will only be up to willpower if you want to volunteer or not.
- The tasks are not limited to being in contact with animals. Aside from taking care of the animals and cleaning the areas, there are other activities you can participate in such as passing out fliers and answering phone calls or guest inquiries. The institution will likely ask you the specific tasks you prefer to engage in during your application. But in case, ask them about what you can do to help out at the animal shelter.
- Be sure that you can handle the environment and the tasks. In case you opt to do outdoor tasks, prepare for the extreme weather conditions you have to endure while accomplishing these. Also, being allergic to cat or dog fur perhaps will take you at a disadvantage if you want to take care of them or clean their areas. In case of pest infestation, the institution usually hires professional exterminators to do the job of removing them. There are also pest control companies who give free service to charities such as the professional exterminators in Tampa, Florida.
- Taking care of animals will take a lot of patience. As said earlier, these animals are not always in their best behavior, so be prepared to handle them with all the patience you can muster. They may get scared, threatened, or angry at times, and they may scratch, bite, or trample you in the process. Also consider the noise you have to deal with during your schedule, particularly due to constant barking, meowing, or pacing. If you think you can handle these situations, feel free to sign up as a volunteer.
- Taking care of the animals can also cause you heartbreaks. Some animal shelters practice euthanasia with gravely sick pets, and sometimes due to extreme overpopulation in the shelter. Before signing up at a shelter, ask them if they practice euthanasia or not, then decide from there if you want to stay. Knowing that the animals you take care of and consider your family can pass away in these circumstances will surely break one’s heart. Another thing is that you may get touchy when the animals get adopted or transferred to other shelters. If you really want to volunteer for an animal shelter, do not forget these reminders so you can be prepared for its ups and downs.