Animal shelters help the community by taking in stray pets and providing them with a loving home until they are adopted. They often have limited funds and staff, so they rely on volunteers to get work done.

Although volunteering at an animal shelter can be emotionally testing, several benefits come along with it. 

It’s Good for Your Mental Health

Working with animals is known to boost happiness levels and decrease stress. Plus, volunteering has a natural feel-good factor—you’re helping people and animals without expecting anything in return.

Seeing so many sick, abandoned, and abused animals can be emotionally draining. However, witnessing those same animals get healthy and find loving homes is also advantageous.

Animal shelters are often located outside, so you’ll be on your feet most of the day. This is excellent exercise, too. Plus, it will help you feel more energized throughout the rest of your life.

When you volunteer at an animal shelter, you’re surrounded by caring, like-minded individuals. You’ll spend time with them regularly, forming long-lasting friendships. These relationships can be invaluable when finding a partner and family. In addition, this type of community can provide valuable support if you’re struggling with a personal crisis. This is a benefit that isn’t available through other types of socializing.

You’ll Meet New People

If you’re a people person, you may find yourself getting to know the other volunteers at your shelter. They’re animal lovers like you, and it’s easy to talk about your favorite dogs or pets in your own life.

You’ll also work with the animals, which can be fun. Many animals are shy or have been abused, so they’ll come out of their shells around you and love to play. This will make them more adoptable, and you’ll feel great about yourself for making a difference in their lives.

Volunteering at the Humane Society of New York (HSNY) is a good choice if you’re looking for a new career or want to add some experience to your resume. It will teach you about different animal species, how to treat and interact with them. It will also help you get some exercise, which is always a good thing.

You’ll Get Some Exercise

Animal shelters need volunteers to help with various tasks, including walking dogs and exercising the animals. This can be great for those who need a break from the office or a regular exercise routine. Working with animals can also boost serotonin levels, making you feel happier and more relaxed.

Animals in shelters often have trouble bonding with humans because of what happened to them in the past, so they need lots of attention and care. This helps improve their chances of finding a forever home. Volunteers can play with and socialize with them, which can help a dog or cat get adopted quickly.

You can find an animal shelter in your area by asking or checking online. Then, you can choose what type of work you want to do, whether behind the scenes or directly working with the animals. Most shelters will provide training to teach you the basics of taking care of animals, so that’s good for those who don’t have a lot of experience in the field.

You’ll Save Lives

Many animal shelters rely on volunteers to help them care for the animals in their facility. As a volunteer, you’ll be able to provide food, water, and medical care for these animals until they can find their forever homes.

While working at an animal shelter can be emotionally challenging, it’s also gratifying. There’s nothing like seeing an abandoned animal adopted into a loving home.

If you’re interested in volunteering at an animal shelter, contact the shelter directly to learn more about available duties. You can also visit the shelter to see the environment and talk to an employee or current volunteer about their experience. Remember that many animals may take time to warm up to you, but don’t take it personally if they aren’t immediately friendly. It’s likely that they’re just scared and nervous and need some time to become comfortable around humans.