Rescue centers and animal shelters run by charities such as the RSPCA could not function without the help of an army of volunteers. If you are considering doing some voluntary work then you will find that your offer of help will be much appreciated and work will be found to fit your skills and the time that you have to offer.
Most people who are interested in doing voluntary work for an animal charity want to work with dogs and cats. Those species make up the majority of animals being cared for in animal shelters and rescue centers but there are also small mammals, horses and exotic animals that need to be cared for – so do consider this if you are unsure of what type of voluntary work you would like to engage in and feel free to talk over your options with staff at the RSPCA before deciding what to do.
If you really want to work with dogs then you will no doubt already be aware that much of the RSPCA’s work is centered on re-homing dogs and caring for them until a permanent home can be found. To help with this you could volunteer your services as a driver to transport dogs for re-homing.
Training can be given in handling dogs if necessary, so don’t be afraid to ask what you can do to help – you will already have many skills that will be useful in re-homing dogs and any skill you may be lacking can be made up for. For instance, you may have a clean driving license and access to your own transport but you may not have had much experience in handling dogs – that can be given to you in other roles for the charity before you can start working to transport dogs to their new homes.
Re-homing dogs can be a fairly long process, starting with a prospective adopter’s initial enquiry and ending with the dog being taken to its new home. Between those two steps, there needs to be an application form completed and pre-adoption interviews carried out. It may also be necessary for the RSPCA to visit a prospective adopter’s home to check its suitability for re-homing dogs.
You could be involved in any step of the process and whatever role you had you would play an important part in helping to secure the future of the dogs being rehomed.
You could also volunteer to foster dogs to free up much-needed space in the rescue centres or shelters. Some smaller centres just don’t have the space to keep dogs and rely on foster carers – this can prove better for the dogs, who are then accustomed to living in a home rather than in a rescue centre and it makes it easier for prospective adopters to see their true characters.
There is a large range of types of voluntary work that you could undertake if you are interested in working with dogs. Some is hands-on, some is done less directly. Contact the RSPCA by going on their website to search for voluntary positions in your local area and see what work will fit in with the time that you have to offer. Your time is very precious, so please give some of it to the RSPCA.