Volunteering At A Pet Shelter

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Think about setting up a pet business?

Volunteering at a pet shelter is one of the most satisfying and rewarding volunteer jobs as you help to make animals lives better for them.

It also helps if you want to gain expert animal knowledge which can be used to support applications to all kinds of pet related jobs. The big charities are big pet businesses receiving millions of pounds in income yearly and are professional pet keepers.

Having made a number of online searches, then calling pet shelters telephone numbers, this didn’t really get me through to their general office, presuming that everyone was busy working with the animals. So carefully composed a short email with some basics details about myself and sent it off suggesting the days that may be possible and hours free offering to volunteer.

Within a couple of hours a very courteous message was returned with an online short form to complete. This was sent back, the same afternoon and next day, made my way to a short interview.

Wearing casual clothes and trainers, I volunteered to start that day and met a team of three people who would supervise me in allsorts of pet things.

I was put onto helping with the preparation of animal meals, mostly giving these to the puppies and dogs in care, some were on special diets and had to be chosen with care available from the large range of foods stocked, making sure water bowls were cleaned and fresh water replenished after the pets had finished their meals. It took me hours!

Over the next few weeks I worked almost full time and learnt not just the practicalities but much about the legal paperwork associated with pet care and the veterinary care provided. Learnt about The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, and the problems around ‘Specially Control Dogs’ known as banned breeds. There was the Animal Welfare Act 2006, particularly with its five points of care individuals are duty to provide welfare to their pets, and the 2016 compulsory microchipping of dogs. You can read more about this on our UK Pet Laws pages.

The pet shelter was a member of the  The Association of Dogs’ and Cats’ Homes. The pet shelter followed the protocol as a registered member providing professional standards not just to the pets in their care, but the new owners of the rehomed pets and the staff and volunteers who assisted the shelter.

It was wonderful to see how some pets that had been abandoned picked themselves up when offered some one-on-one time and loving care, regained their health and were rehomed usually in a matter of a couple of weeks.

The charity received financial donations, as well as practical donations such as bowls, blankets, toys and food. Their fundraising was strong, not just online but also running a charity shop for visual high street presence locally.

New adopters had the appropriate check made about themselves and pets could only be released once they were back into optimum health. If dogs and some cats hadn’t been microchipped then, this was done by an expert before they left the shelter.

The volunteers worked in small teams and were very friendly, where we’ve stayed friends even though I have now left and set up my small pet dog walking business. Susie.

Please note these are the personal statements and views of Susie and are not necessarily endorsed by Pet Check Blog.

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