Volunteer In The New Year To Help Dog Charities


dog charity volunteer workVolunteer work with animals can be very gratifying. It is a great way to help animals in need and also a great way to have contact with animals if you don't have a pet of your own. A great deal of the work at animal rescue homes and organisations depends upon the dedicated work of volunteers.

Volunteering can involve a number of things but the most common type of positions required are:

Dog Walker

The dog walkers will take usually one dog at a time for say a 30-45 minute walk. This provides the dogs with regular exercise and a well deserved change of scene. It is also an opportunity to broaden the dog's experiences of situations outside of the kennel environment. Walkers need a reasonable level of fitness as some of the dogs can be strong and are likely to pull on the lead.

Dog Socialiser

The aim is to get the dogs used to people and every day situations. Socialisation also helps the dogs to feel calmer and more able to cope with the extremely stressful kennel environment. Some dogs may be stroked or groomed while other dogs may be too stressed for physical contact and the socialiser will sit in the kennel and wait for the dog to gain confidence. The role requires patience and empathy plus experience and confidence.

Pre-Adoption Home Visitor

As part of the adoption process, most rehoming centres arrange a pre-adoption visit to the potential new home to meet the adopter, the adopters family and to gauge the living conditions and lifestyle. Home visitors need to visit new adopters as soon as possible once a dog has been selected for adoption. Good communication skills are essential. Volunteers need to be discreet in assessing the circumstances in which the dog is to be housed.

Fundraising/Events Volunteer

Help is often needed with regards to fundraising and organizing of shows and events, where the charity or organization may be promoting their work. The activities can involve manning stalls, selling raffle tickets, meeting and greeting and so on. These type of roles involve contact with the public. Flexibility and good communication skills are important.

volunteer work at a dog rescue

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home and Dogs Trust are two examples of rescue organisations always grateful for volunteers. Dogs Trust has been protecting dogs for over a century and is now the UK's largest charity dedicated to dog welfare. Battersea Dogs and Cats Home aim to rescue, reunite, rehabilitate, and rehome the lost and abandoned dogs and cats that come into their care.

Use the following links to find out more:

Dogs Trust - Volunteer
Battersea Dogs and Cats Home - Get Involved

Check for any age restrictions before applying. For example, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home point out the following:

"Our volunteers work largely unsupervised and many of our animals are strays with unknown backgrounds and temperaments, so we do not take on volunteers under the age of 16."

A certain level of experience is sometimes required but it is always worth contacting the charity you are interested in volunteering for to see if they have a volunteer position that would suit you.

"Volunteers play a valuable part in Dogs Trust's work and we will try to match your skills with the roles available" say Dogs Trust.

The Cinnamon Trust Urgently Need Volunteers

The Cinnamon Trust is a national charity for the elderly, the terminally ill and their pets. They often have urgent appeals for dog walkers and short term fosterers. They have an online map of urgent cases. If you see a marker in your area, click on it to see the details. If you think you can help then please contact The Cinnamon Trust directly. The page is updated weekly so if there isn't anything in your area now, there might be soon.

By Jenny Prevel

© D for Dog www.dfordog.co.uk
This article belongs strictly to D for Dog and we do not authorise the copying of all or any part of it.

Noreen Fleming
22 April 2014  |  14:24

i would like to volunteer as i'm a big animal lover

D for Dog
22 April 2014  |  14:31

That's wonderful. I hope this has helped get you started :-)

Nadia Hutchins
09 May 2014  |  18:20

my brother is over from south africa for 6 months on a gap year, he is not allowed to work or study but would like to do some voluntary work. he loves animals, especially dogs and has a very patient and calm nature. i have a 13 year old basset hound whom he absolutely adores, hence i thought he might be of use to battersea dogs and cats home. we live in dulwich village so we are not too far away. kindly let me know if you could do with an extra pair of hands.

nadia hutchins

D for Dog
09 May 2014  |  18:50

Hello, you would need to contact the rescue or charity directly.

Elizabeth Richards
06 January 2015  |  18:43

The Cinnamon Trust is a wonderful and practical charity. I have been a supporter for many years but now I am seeing their work from the other side as a few months ago I found myself no longer able to walk my collie, Ruby. A phone call to Cinnamon headquarters brought a friendly and helpful response and I was soon put in touch with Louise with whom Ruby loves to go on walks. So between Louise and a neighbour Roy, Ruby is still getting her daily walk. I can't speak too highly of the Cinnamon Trust yet although a nationwide organisation, many people have not heard of them.