5 Ways to Help Homeless Animals
Volunteering provides individuals the opportunity to be a part of the solution to any problem they identify. Those who choose to donate their time to their local animal shelter are also joining a network of people who are working to make the world safe and humane for the living creatures they share it with. Just a few hours each month at the Animal Rescue League of Iowa can make the life of a homeless pet easier, and you will never find a more grateful and accepting friend than a homeless animal with whom you have provided comfort and love.
ARL volunteers have the opportunity to directly or indirectly affect the lives of homeless animals.
- Be a friend and companion to the animals while they wait for their forever homes. This helps them to maintain their acceptance and appreciation of social interaction. This is just as important to the pet, and as necessary, as food and water.
- Keep ‘em fit! Take an hour to walk or run a few dogs around the building for the physical exercise. It’s also nice for them to be able to see some fresh scenery now and then. Dogs appreciate new smells and the opportunity to stretch their legs!
- Sell raffle tickets or help with registration at one of our events. This helps us raise the money needed to feed and shelter the animals for an entire month. We shelter quite a few animals each month, and it would be tough to keep them healthy and happy without your support and donations.
- Help us educate the community about overpopulation. It’s a pretty big issue and one that we’re trying to overcome. We also offer help to those who do not know how to care for their pets or do not have the resources for lasting change.
- Give our shelter pets the red carpet treatment and help them get adopted by taking their photos. A picture is worth a thousand words, and few people can resist a furry pal enjoying the company of a volunteer!
Did You Know?
The animals are not the only ones to benefit from a volunteer relationship. Research shows that giving your time to a cause you care about provides a sense of belonging and boosts overall well-being while reducing stress levels. Volunteers have the opportunity to impact their community and physically see their accomplishments in a wagging tail or a purring pal. Time spent at a shelter will lead to learning opportunities that will translate to all other areas of your life. You will discover skills you didn’t even know you had, and you may even surprise yourself with the new goals you set and achieve. All of this can be done alongside your new friends (…and not just the four-legged kind).
So put down the remote, turn off your cell phone, and explore a new volunteer community!
For more information on how to get started as a volunteer with the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, visit ARL-Iowa.org.
Michaela Devaney, ARL Volunteer Coordinator