Benefits of volunteering at an animal care center
Volunteering remains one of the easiest ways to get a job in big and competitive cities like New York, especially for individuals looking to add experience to their resumes. Experience is a critical factor in securing a job that requires humane care. And for individuals passionate about animals and looking to explore career opportunities in animal care, it does not get better than volunteering at an animal care center.
What is an animal care center?
Animal care centers are facilities that provide for the care and well-being of animals. These facilities can incorporate veterinary clinics, animal shelters and rescues for abandoned animals, and wildlife rehabilitation centers. Animal care centers are responsible for caring for these animals by providing medical treatment when needed, housing, feeding and grooming these animals. Sometimes, these facilities offer training programs and opportunities for people to interact with and learn more about these animals.
Many animal care centers allow volunteers to assist with caring for these animals. Individuals explore volunteer opportunities based on the facility and the individual’s capabilities. Some volunteers’ responsibilities include primary care, such as cleaning cages and enclosures, feeding and grooming animals, providing socialization, and enriching the animals. Other volunteer opportunities target individuals with specialized skills, such as veterinary experience. Whichever the case, there are numerous opportunities for individuals interested in animal care.
How to volunteer in an animal care center
Most animal care centers require volunteers to complete an application process and attend a specialized training program before volunteering. This helps the facility know what jobs you can do and whether you meet their requirements. While the specific processes for volunteering depend on the organization, some general steps can be expected across most facilities.
There are many different animal shelters, and you should always research them before deciding on which you want to volunteer. Looking for centers that align with your interests and competency would be best. As a volunteer, choose a facility that suits your skills and houses animals you can care for. Some other considerations include location, high career prospects, and certain exemptions such as no-kill shelters.
Contact the shelter
If you have a list of organizations in mind, the next step should be to contact the facility to make known your intentions and get familiar with their requirements for volunteering. Inquiring about volunteers’ requirements and responsibilities can further streamline your options.
Complete an application
As we said earlier, the application process is a requirement for most animal shelters. The application process allows the facility to assess your competency and personality and decide if you are qualified to volunteer in their facility. The application process varies based on the organization; however, some elements include personal information, background check, availability, reasons for volunteering, and references.
Complete training and orientation
Training and orientation for volunteers are essential steps that ensure they are prepared and well-equipped to provide the best care for animals in the facility. Through these training and orientations, volunteers learn about the facilities policies and procedures, animal care, and safety protocols and build other competencies that ensure that animals are well cared for.
Once these steps have been completed, volunteers can then schedule shifts and start helping animals. Some animal care facilities have regulations, from working hours to age limits, so be sure to thoroughly check the center’s requirements before applying.
As a volunteer, you can expect to be involved in various tasks that help care for the animals in the center’s care. These tasks range from primary care to more technical and specialized responsibilities, based on your competence. Individuals looking to break into the animal care sector in New York can explore animal care volunteer opportunities through the Humane Society of New York.
Benefits of volunteering in an animal care center
Many people find it hard to volunteer or work in animal care centers. For some, it is pretty heartbreaking to see many animals in need of loving homes, while others are not just skilled enough to care for animals. Yet, for individuals passionate about animals, volunteering can be a rewarding experience and make a massive difference for the animal and facility. Hence, here are some benefits of volunteering at an animal care center.
As a volunteer in an animal center, you not only help care for animals and the community, but you also stand to gain a lot health wise. Research has shown how significantly spending time with animals can improve health. For instance, petting dogs and cats can lower your blood pressure and stress levels while increasing your serotonin and dopamine levels – chemical neurotransmitters responsible for regulating mood, social behavior, appetite, and sleep.
As a volunteer, it is unlikely that you will earn money; however, there is always a chance to gain much more in terms of emotional satisfaction and fulfillment. Volunteering in a care facility can be a very satisfying experience, offering a sense of accomplishment and the opportunity to develop personally, build emotional connections, make a positive impact, and create a sense of community among other volunteers.
Volunteering in an animal care center will not be all smooth sailing. Caring for animals also comes with challenging times; however, the satisfaction that comes from helping these animals recover is much more potent than the challenges.
Volunteering encourages civic responsibility.
Volunteering allows you to contribute to a cause you are passionate about. If you care about saving animals, volunteering at an animal care center is the best option. These opportunities give you a chance to give back to the community. Furthermore, with several facilities exploring factors that contribute to the satisfaction of volunteers, you can be sure to get back from the community.
Whether you are looking to pass a little time or wish to explore a career in animal care, you will gain valuable experience in caring for animals by volunteering. As a volunteer, you learn hands-on skills such as animal handling, feeding, grooming, and primary medical care.
These facilities also have a diverse population of animals, which allows you to gain experience with a variety of species. Finally, you can learn about the inner workings of a care center, understand animal welfare and rights, and build a solid network in the niche.