Are you looking to get involved? Did you know that volunteering just a few hours a week can reduce stress, combat depression, keep you mentally stimulated and provide you with a sense of purpose? The benefits you receive when volunteering are numerous and you can make a difference in your community. Sound like a win-win situation? The veterinarians and staff at The Animal Hospital at Lake Brandt think so! Read on to discover what they are doing in our community and beyond, and how you too can make a difference in the lives of needy animals!
Welcoming a pet into your home for a short period of time is one of the best ways to help out. Shelters are often overcrowded which results in too many animals facing an uncertain future. Rescue organizations rely on “foster families” to temporarily house cats, dogs and even farm animals until a forever home can be found. Medical and other expenses are frequently covered by the rescue group, leaving foster parents to focus on providing much needed love and attention. If you are interested in fostering an animal Red Dog Farm Animal Rescue Network is a great place to start. Check out their website at http://www.reddogfarm.com/Home.aspx.
Not sure that you have the space or time to care for a foster pet? You can still help improve the quality of life for local homeless pets by volunteering to walk dogs at your local shelter or rescue group. Dogs love fresh air and benefit immensely from exercise. Frequent walks and attention from volunteers can even help curb behavioral issues, making the dogs more adoptable. You could also consider walking a dog for an elderly or housebound neighbor. Added benefit of volunteering to walk dogs? Exercise and fresh air for you!
Looking for a little more adventure? Consider volunteering abroad! There are numerous groups that organize volunteer trips to help animals and communities in developing nations. In many countries, something as simple as vaccinating an animal for rabies can have a dramatic impact not only on the health of the animal but on the health of the entire community. Previous animal experience is not always a requirement. Check out World Vets for volunteer opportunities in countries all over the world http://worldvets.org/.
Alternative Volunteer Opportunities-Think Outside the Box
When we think of ways to help animals we often think of feeding them, sheltering them, providing medical care and giving lots of love and attention. With all of that comes the need for a wide variety of skills and assistance. Did you know there are groups that build fences for dogs that would otherwise be chained? Other groups raise money to help owners afford unexpected medical expenses. And some don’t even directly deal with animals, but rather send volunteers into local public schools to teach children about proper animal care. These groups offer a diverse variety of volunteer opportunities that can utilize your individual skills and passions.
Break the Chain Kennel Kru: http://www.gifts2helprescues.com/
Dylan’s Heart: http://www.dylanshearts.com/
Guilford County Pet Responsibility Program https://petresponsibility.wordpress.com/
Amazon Smile-Shop for a Cause
While not technically volunteering, donating money to your favorite animal welfare group is a great way to make a difference. Many groups operate solely through the donations they receive and many struggle to make ends meet. A simple way to donate is to visit smile.amazon.com, choose your favorite charity and start shopping! A portion of each purchase will be donated to your favorite group at no cost to you!
The Animal Hospital at Lake Brandt
The veterinarians and staff at The Animal Hospital at Lake Brandt love working and volunteering with animals! They all enjoy giving back to the community and helping pets in need. Dr. Smith recently traveled to Mexico to provide spay and neuter services, Dr. Pierce serves on the board of the Humane Society of the Piedmont and has volunteered in Nicaragua with World Vets. Kayla, one of our technicians has fostered and adopted a dog and a pig from Red Dog Farm Animal Sanctuary.