There are over one billion pet owners around the world. So, it pretty much goes without saying that pet charities are a form of philanthropy that many could hold near and dear to their hearts.
But not all pet charities are the same.
And while you can donate in different ways (usually fiscally or with your time) it is important for you to know how to approach volunteering. It is also important to know the best pet charities available for you to work with.
Let’s take a look.
First Things First: Do Your Homework
Most pet lovers tend to have an animal that they prefer working with. Whether this is cats or dogs, or even just fish, there are plenty of pet charities for you to go out to and volunteer.
Maybe you have a soft spot for Pitbulls, or maybe you are terrified of them: either way, you can still have your pick of the litter.
Begin by doing a basic search online, and make sure to check out charity navigators.
These will not only tell you the most ethical places to work for, but can also help you advance your search methods so that you can find the pet charities within the specificities you desire.
We All Have Our Strengths and Weaknesses: Use Them to Yours, and the Pet Charities’, Advantage
Maybe you adore Cocker Spaniels, but your talents lie with technology. Perchance you want to help a save the parakeets charity, yet, you are so busy with your event planning events, you cannot conceive how there is any time to do as such.
Just like in your day to day job: use your strengths to your advantage. Several pet nonprofit organizations need people to do an array of tasks, and chances are if you have a talent to offer, they have a niche you can fill.
Volunteering: Everybody Wants to Do it
Research has shown that over 90% of people want to volunteer, but only about 25% of people do as such. The main reasons not to do as such? Lack of time, lack of information, never being asked to, and never finding an opportunity that is interesting enough.
Lack of time can be tricky (although there are several things you can do online to help organizations).
But lack of information is not an excuse in this day and age.
With us being able to use the Internet to find the lyrics to jingles from 1980s Wendy’s commercials; lack of information is no longer an excuse. The internet is this vast universe with billions, if not trillions, of answers.
And when it comes to interesting opportunities? Why they are always right around the corner: there are pet charities now that allow you to go and volunteer internationally, such as Involvement Volunteers International.
Finding Your Sweet Spot: How to Choose the Perfect Pet Charity to Volunteer For
Animals can touch our lives in many different ways. For several people, they are their best friend, their aid, and [in a non-cliche way] their best friend.
If you are looking for a pet charity to volunteer at, here are some of our top picks:
Not only are there over 1500 locations (about 30 per state), but PetSmart Charities has an A+ according to Charity Watch and is a great choice to donate both your time or other gifts that animals could use and need.
Canine Companion for Independence (CCFI):
Want to help people and animals?
Then this is the pet charity for you! CCFI is more of a time commitment than other volunteer organizations listed, but by becoming an active role in it, you can help train pets that will become service, therapy, or stress relief dogs for people in need.
According to Charity Navigator and Charity Watch, CCFI has been known for its 100% transparency and has had about an 87% score since its debut 43 years ago.
American Bird Conservatory:
The American Bird Conservatory is one of the highest ranked pet charities in the field and has over 80 affiliates around the world.
While you have to live in Virginia to volunteer there (sorry), there are several of their associates, such as the World Bird Sanctuary, who need volunteers on a constant basis.
The International Marine Project (IMP):
For all of you fish, octopi, and ocean lovers out there [and with all the plastic islands out there, we really can’t get enough of you], this is the volunteer opportunity for you.
The IMMP goes by many aliases, but chances are, if you live by any form of coastline, there is a volunteer opportunity waiting in your mists.
American Humane Society:
With over 65 years of experience, The American Humane Society is a great place to start as a volunteer with pets.
Not only do they work with pets internationally, but they are always taking in volunteers.
There are also rated as an A by Charity Watch and save over 90% of the animals that they have walking through their doors on a day-to-day basis.
They need volunteers of all sorts and have their hands in an array of charity work. From stopping puppy mills to deterring poachers, to teaching obedience courses: The American Humane Society has something that all of us can help with.
African Wildlife Foundation:
Looking to help animals that are endangered and maybe a little bit more on the wild side? Then look no further than the African Wildlife Foundation. From monkeys to elephants to rhinoceroses: this A+ five star rated charity is known for helping the larger parts of the animal kingdom.
They also have a volunteer base camp in Tanzania for those feeling extra adventurous.
And before you argue that “these are not pets”: you would be surprised how many people I met in my travels whose best friends were animals I thought I’d only see on a safari.
Animals Are Such Agreeable Friends
No matter what type of animals you find yourself enamored with, no matter what pet crawls up on your lap when you read a book, or whatever one you have painted on your throw pillows: there is more you can do to help them and their kind.
So what if you are a hairdresser or are in marketing? Animals don’t judge the jobs you are in, and no matter what you do for a living, there is a space for you to help in some pet charity.
Our pets give so much to us, and with a little time and research, we can give back so much to them, their brothers, and sisters.
So stop making excuses, go out there, and find a place to give just a couple hours of your week to.
Whether it is driving 15 minutes to your local PetSmart or traveling halfway around the world to help pets of a much larger stature: I promise you that won’t regret adding volunteering to your everyday life.