If you are looking for a way to help your community and you want to take your pet along, try an activity that uses the help of both of you and your pet! If your pet is well- trained and loves people, these activities would be perfect for both of you.
This is probably the most well- known form of pet volunteering, and for good reason. Hospital patients, nursing home residents, and many other groups of people who do not get a lot of social interaction have their days brightened by friendly animals. Interaction with animals has also been shown to reduce stress, increase morale and speed up the recovery process for hospital patients. Pet Partners is one of many organizations that coordinate these activities. You can also contact your local hospital or senior citizens’ facility to find out how to volunteer.
Charity runs or walks
These events are hosted for a number of different causes and allow both you and your pet to get some exercise while spending some time outside. Most of these events allow pets, but make sure to check beforehand.
Bring Your Dog to Work Day
If your company is as awesome as ours and allows you to bring your pet to work, this special day is not only fun, but raises awareness and encouragement for animal adoption. Sponsored by Pet Sitters International, the event’s purpose is to show the benefits of having a pet and encourage people to adopt their own. This day has grown into a week at some companies and has also expanded to include all pets for those who prefer other furry, feathery, or scaly companions.
Provide a foster home
This is a tremendously helpful activity even if you do not own a pet, but if you do, your pet can help a foster pet get socialized with other animals so that they will be more comfortable in a forever home that may have multiple pets. Visit your local shelter to find out how to become a foster parent. If there is a city or county (government-owned) shelter in your area, we suggest starting there since they are usually over-crowded and therefore need the most help!
Human-canine search and rescue team
This is perhaps the most selective and rigid activity, but it’s literally a life-saver. After major storms or other destructive events occur, these teams are called to help since dogs can use their incredible senses to find victims. To be able to participate, the dog needs to be obedient, outgoing and preferably start as a puppy because the training process is best began at a young age. The American Rescue Dog Association and the National Association for Search and Rescue are nation-wide groups that you can contact to find out how to participate. There may also be local groups in your area.
Be sure to visit Doggy Party on the Plaza this Saturday at CityCentre from noon to 5pm to explore other pet-related organizations! There will also be fun activities for the whole family, so come out and enjoy the wonderful weather and don’t forget to bring your furry friends!