Volunteering at animal shelters is a fulfilling and rewarding experience that can have a profound impact on one’s soul. It can be an incredibly rewarding experience for both the animals and the volunteer. Not only does it provide much-needed support for the shelter, but it also has a positive impact on the volunteer’s mental and emotional well-being. Here are just a few reasons why volunteering at animal shelters is good for your soul.
You feel good knowing you’re making a difference. By volunteering your time, you’re helping to care for animals in need. Whether you’re walking dogs, playing with cats, or cleaning cages, you know that your efforts are making a tangible difference in the lives of animals.
Provides a sense of purpose. Most volunteers are dissatisfied with how stray animals are treated, so they want to help out as much as they can and try to make a change. Volunteering at an animal shelter gives these compassionate people a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
Reduces Stress and Anxiety: Bonding with furry friends can be a calming and soothing experience, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed. Whether it’s petting a cat, walking a dog, or simply playing with puppies, volunteering at an animal shelter is a great way to de-stress and relax.
You get to be around animals. Spending time with animals has been shown to have a positive impact on mental and emotional well-being. Animals are non-judgmental, provide unconditional love, and have a calming effect on people. Volunteering at an animal shelter allows you to enjoy this therapeutic experience on a regular basis. Additionally, spending time with animals can release endorphins, the feel-good chemicals in the brain, and help to reduce stress and anxiety levels. Furthermore, volunteers can have a positive effect on the animal’s well-being. The majority of rescued animals have been abused or neglected. These poor souls are longing to feel warmth and compassion from somebody. Spending time with compassionate and caring people will give them comfort and will enable them to trust humans again.
Improve your social skills. Volunteering provides opportunities to meet new people who share your love of animals. Whether you’re working alongside other volunteers or interacting with people who come to the shelter to adopt a pet, you’ll have the chance to expand your social circle and improve your communication skills.
Boosts self-esteem. Volunteering at an animal shelter can help individuals feel good about themselves and their contributions to the world. Seeing the positive impact they have on the animals and the shelter can increase a person’s confidence and self-esteem.
Creates a sense of community. Volunteering at an animal shelter can provide a sense of community and camaraderie among volunteers. It can be a great opportunity to meet new people who share similar interests and passions.
What are the duties of an animal shelter volunteer?
If you’re afraid to handle feral cats, as most people understandably are, fear not because unsocialized or untamed rescues are usually handled by the shelter staff themselves. Animal shelter volunteer duties can vary depending on the shelter, but some common tasks may include: feeding, grooming, cleaning and sanitizing kennels, cleaning litter boxes, and providing exercise and socialization to the animals. These are just a few examples of what a volunteer might be asked to do at an animal shelter.
Can’t commit to long-term volunteer work? No problem, you can still help by participating in a shelter’s outreach programs, adoption events, and fundraising projects. If you have no time to go to an animal shelter to volunteer, you can still help by promoting the animal shelter’s adoptables and educating the public about responsible pet ownership.
Liking an animal welfare group‘s page and posts, and sharing posts on rescues, adoption, and events also help.
Volunteering at an animal shelter is a rewarding experience that can have a positive impact on the volunteer’s mental and emotional well-being. Whether it’s spending time with animals, developing compassion and empathy, or feeling a sense of purpose and community, volunteering at an animal shelter is an experience that can truly enrich the soul.
Volunteering at animal shelters is an excellent way to give back to your community and experience the many benefits that come with spending time with animals. Whether you’re looking to improve your mental and emotional well-being, expand your social circle, or boost your self-esteem, volunteering at an animal shelter is a great way to do so.
About the author: Rowena David is faculty member at College of Computer Science in the University of Makati, is a freelance writer (Tagalog short novels), admin of Philippine Pet Lovers Society Facebook page, an animal rescuer and animal welfare advocate.