*Covid Update: If your local shelters are not offering at-shelter volunteering, ask what donations or funds they need, see if you can market dogs on social media, or look into dog day outs.*

Volunteers offer a kind touch, a loving word, and a yummy treat in a scary, loud, and lonely place. They change the lives of shelter dogs every day. If you want to make a difference in the life of a dog who really needs it, volunteer with shelter dogs.

Volunteers provide enrichment, market individual dogs to the public, and even help with housekeeping tasks like laundry, feeding, and cleaning.

Playing with dogs in the yard is one of the most important things volunteers do for them. Here’s a moment in my day taking dogs out at my local shelter. Read the rest.

“We play until he is panting and his wild energy is spent. He jumps on the bench, a signal to me that he’d like cuddles now. I sit with him and he leans against me. He breathes deeply and sighs as he closes his eyes, pushing his head into my chest. We sit like that for a little while, my arm around his back, his head on my chest…”

Why I volunteer

Ready to get started? Here are a few ways that you can volunteer with shelter dogs:

Have you ever worried that taking a dog out for the day is stressful for the dog? Research finds that dogs benefit from days or nights out of the shelter, as well as from playtime at the shelter.

Do volunteers really matter? Volunteers save the lives of dogs every day at animal shelters across the nation. Here are just a few ways that volunteers are saving the dogs at my local shelter.

Would you rather bring a dog home with you?

Consider fostering a dog or learn about adopting.

Are you in Alachua County, Florida? Volunteer at our local intake shelter, Alachua County Animal Services.

See other rescues in Alachua County here.

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