Volunteering at an Animal Rescue Shelter
7 Benefits of Being an Animal Shelter Volunteer
Being a volunteer at any of the many Animal Rescue Centres in Cyprus benefits you just as much as it benefits the Shelter.
Besides getting to work with animals and dedicated staff members, here are 7 other benefits of being an animal shelter volunteer.
Why Become an Animal Shelter Volunteer
- It’s a feel good thing. Being an animal shelter volunteer makes you feel like you are doing the right thing. You are contributing to the solution, which makes you feel good about the work you are doing. Part of the job as a volunteer is that you work with the animals so they can become adoptable. Most of the animals in the various Cyprus Shelters are strays or abandoned and have had little to no human interaction. By working with them on a semi-regular basis, they begin to trust you and other humans in extension. This helps them come out of their shell, stop being so timid, and become desirable to adopters.
- You instantly see the results of your labor. As you begin to work with an animal, you can see a change in their personality almost instantly. As mentioned earlier, most of the Animal Center’s pets are strays and have had limited interactions with humans. After spending time with the animals, whether it’s taking them for a walk, giving them a bath or just showing them some love, their personalities come out and they start to shine. You can almost see the change in their behavior instantly. Now, that is something entirely rewarding.
- Animal shelter volunteers are needed! We have a constant intake of animals. Each one of these animals needs your love and care. Your help will never go unnoticed and you will never feel like you aren’t helping in some way. There will always be a dog to walk, a cat to groom or some animal to give your love to. The most important volunteer job at the Shelter is dog walking. Walking dogs is the easiest cure for kennel stress. Kennel stress is the behavior dogs have when transitioned to a kennel. Signs of kennel stress include hiding in the back of the kennel, be less active or stop eating. Some dogs may behave aggressively in response to stress, while other dogs will begin to perform repetitive behaviors, increase their frequency of barking/vocalization, become destructive, and start to urinate and defecate in their kennel. Stress may also affect a shelter dog’s physical health, causing increased susceptibility to diseases and a longer recovery time from illness. If dogs can get out of the kennel to take a walk on a regular basis, this helps relieve the stressors of the kennel and will in turn begin to act happy and healthy.
- Being an animal shelter volunteer is good for your emotional, physical, and mental health. It is scientifically proven that spending time with animals helps lower your stress levels and blood pressure. It will also keep you active, especially if you prefer to walk dogs. You get to create a unique bond with the animals, which helps your emotional health. Caring for pets can help you deal with depression, anxiety, and stress. Playing with a dog or cat can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which helps you be calm and relaxed.
- You gain professional and life experiences. Volunteering is a great way to try out a new career or to try something new. This is a prime opportunity to explore a new area of interest. Some of the activities include Adoption/Rescue/ Foster Services Assistant, Dog Socialization and Walking, Feline Friend, and Bathing Assistant. By volunteering, you develop new skills as well as building upon your own strengths. This also helps with resume building! The more skills and job experience you have on your resume, the more desirable you are to an employer. Along the same lines as your resume, being a volunteer also builds your list of references.
- Volunteering encourages civic responsibility. By volunteering you get to contribute to a cause you care about. So, if you are passionate about saving animals, volunteering at ANY SHELTER would be right up your alley. Volunteering also makes you feel like you are involved with your community and making a difference. It gives you a chance to give back to your community as well.
- You learn responsibility and time management.
If you are interested in becoming an animal shelter volunteer, please visit ANY SHELTER in your AREA and they will be more than happy to give your further Information and Assistance.
A (non comprehensive) List of Animal Shelters who might need or appreciate YOUR Help can be found here.
If you know of any Shelters NOT listed there feel free to add it or email me the Details and I will gladly add it.