While volunteering to help out at your local shelter or rescue organisation is obviously a great way to contribute, there are other ways you can contribute to the ongoing efforts of these worthwhile organisations if you are time poor. We spoke to the Faith from the Sydney Dogs and Cats Home about the needs of most shelters across Australia, and how you can help.
Become a foster parent
Fostering kittens, puppies, dogs and cats is a wonderful way you can help out a shelter. It gives baby animals the opportunity to become well socialised, while giving older animals respite from a shelter environment. Speak to your local rescue organization or RSPCA to find out what you need to do to become a foster parent. “The Sydney Dogs and Cats Home provide our foster carers with food, bedding, litter, enrichment toys and other necessities,” says Faith
Volunteer to be a kennel or cattery hand
For those looking to get their hands dirty, you can volunteer to help clean the dog kennels, change litter trays, provide enrichment and exercise for the pets in care, and there is always loads of laundry to be washed, dried and sorted as well as cleaning food and water bowls.
“We ask that individuals who volunteer to be a Kennel or Cattery Hand committee to four hours a week or every second week for a minimum of 6 months,” says Faith.
“The phones at shelters are typically very busy with a range of calls, from ‘how do I surrender a cat?’ to ‘how do I adopt a dog from you?’. You can help answer phone calls and perform minor administrative task by volunteering your time.
Offer your skills
“Volunteer your photography or videography skills,” says Faith. “The images taken of shelter residents goes a long way to helping with their rehoming. We often have people applying for specific animals based on the photos or videos posted to our website.”
Be a driver
“Sydney Dogs and Cats Home has a range of adoptions partners, and we always need people to transport the pets from the shelter to our array of adoption partners.”
Offer to groom the animals
“Many of the dogs coming into the home aren’t always in the best condition, so we have a team of volunteer groomers who come into the shelter once a week to give these pups makeovers.”
Donate items to the shelter
According to the RSPCA, animal shelters always need towels, flat sheets, fitted sheets, pillow cases, blankets (not feather duvets), in either new or used condition, and pet beds, to help look after the animals. RSPCA shelters even have wish lists on their websites sometimes.
Where to find volunteer opportunities
Faith says that many animal shelters in Australia will publish volunteer opportunities on their websites and share them on facebook, so if you’re looking to help furry friends in need, the best place to start looking is online.
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