Basics to Keep in Mind Before Volunteering at an Animal Shelter

Scholar Maral Cavner engages in a variety of hobbies and interests outside of her academic endeavors. In addition to enjoying outdoor activities and traveling, Maral Cavner fosters a strong love of animals and has a particular affinity for dogs. This love resulted in her position as a founding executive board member of the Route 66 No-Kill Animal Shelter in Missouri.


Each year, individuals lend a hand to animals in need by volunteering at local animal shelters. Although this type of volunteer activity is quite rewarding, individuals should consider several factors before choosing to volunteer for local animal shelters.


1. Review time and training requirements. Some shelters require commitments of specific numbers of hours each week or month to remain as a volunteer. They may also require training classes. You should review these requirements before making a commitment.

2. Familiarize yourself with the environment. This might include learning which types of animals are on-site as well as the location of equipment necessary to perform job tasks. Some shelters have outdoor areas, as well. Asking for a tour is helpful.

3. Ensure comfort. If you have an aversion or allergy to a specific type of animal, it is important to alert a supervisor to ensure you avoid feeling sick or uncomfortable. In addition, you should determine whether the shelter is no-kill to ensure you are comfortable with the functions of the environment.