Animal rescue volunteers work to help save animals who are the victims of illegal animal cruelty and natural disasters. Whether an out-of-control hoarder or dogfighting operation or hurricane or puppy mill, animal rescue volunteers travel from all corners of the country to assist in the on-going care of dogs, cats, and other animals who have been rescued from harm.

The numerous animal rescue volunteering opportunities will be written in this article. Read on!

Who is an animal rescuer?

An animal rescuer is anyone who works with wildlife or domesticated pets to heal injuries or to help them find new homes. As an animal rescuer, you would help animals that are subject to animal abuse and abandonment.

To be a good animal rescuer, you must have affection for animals, concern for their welfare, and a willingness to accommodate animals in the work place.

You must also be able to treat people and animals with respect, contribute to effective teamwork; and foster public relations beneficial to the shelter and its programs.

Animal rescuers typically volunteer for animal rescue volunteering opportunities.

Why volunteer as an animal rescuer

Volunteering for an animal rescue opportunity helps animals lead fulfilling lives and it can have many personal and professional benefits for you.

Animal rescue volunteers can peek into potential fields of interest, develop practical skills, and work their way into paid positions in animal welfare organizations.

Animal volunteering opportunities is a great way to make friends and have fun. Research also shows that working with animals lowers stress levels and increases your sense of stability and meaning in life.

Reviews from previous animal rescue volunteers show that the operation changed their lives. They never forget the animals they helped get on the road to recovery or the people who were part of the team.

Volunteers learn important skills, undertake new challenges, travel to previously unknown parts of the world that understand the need to protect animals from harm.

Who can volunteer as an animal rescuer?

There are certain qualities you must have if you are willing to go into animal rescue. You are expected to be committed, using both your time and energy. Most animal rescue volunteering opportunities require a minimum of two-to-four-hour visit every other week for a full year.

Volunteering is usually kept on a schedule and you would always be expected to show up on time and have good communication skills with people.

You should be ready to interact with animals. This entails spending time with them, being willing to accommodate animal noises. In some animal rescue opportunities, you may need to lift a certain amount of weight and you may need to operate machinery, like power washers.

Most animal rescue volunteering opportunities require you to be at least 16 years of age. If you meet these requirements, you can totally volunteer as an animal rescuer.

How to volunteer as an animal rescuer

The internet is the perfect tool. Animal shelters tend to publish all their information on the web and its always useful to take a virtual look around before going there. Each animal protection charity has its own policy for selecting volunteers.

  • First, use google to find animal shelters operating closest to your area.
  • Then, call or write to them and get information on all you need to know before going.
  • In some cases, you will need to send application forms.
  • You would be contacted when you have been accepted. There are also shelters that organize get-togethers based on the applications submitted and assess the skills of the potential volunteers.

Volunteering as an animal rescuer requires drive and enthusiasm to be a volunteer, but you also need to be trained if you do not have prior experience on animal rescuing. There is an endless number of tasks to perform at animal shelters.

Some of them will provide a training course to give you more detailed knowledge of the work they carry out, their objectives, their organization, and what your role could be within the organization.

Depending on the organization, volunteers may have to pay a fee. For local organizations, this may cover training and supplies. International volunteering fees may be greater but can cover room, board, and extracurricular activities.


20 Best Animal Rescue Volunteering Opportunities.

  • Animal Shelter Volunteering
  • Fostering Pets in Your Home
  • Volunteering with Animals in Agricultural Settings
  • Volunteering with a Therapy Pet
  • Petfinder
  • Volunteering with Animals Abroad
  • Wildlife Sanctuary Volunteering
  • Volunteering with Street Animals
  • Volunteering with Marine Life
  • Marine and Coast Conservation
  • Best Friends National Network
  • The Humane Society of the United States
  • Volunteering in Wildlife Conservation
  • Vet Set Go
  • GoEco
  • GoAbroad
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Oceans 2 Earth
  • Corporation for National and Community Service

1. Animal Shelter Volunteering

Caring for animals is a collaborative effort, so volunteers are needed to fill many types of roles. Animal shelters have to do with rescuing animals that are stranded or do not have families.

Some of the common tasks for this volunteering opportunity are training and behavior modification, transporting animals to vet appointments and adoption events, cleaning and maintaining grounds, working off-site adoption and fundraising events, gathering background data on adoptable animals through observation and interaction.

To be a good fit for this animal rescue volunteering, you have to be at least 16-18 years old, depending on the volunteer position.

  • You must be willing to commit to a consistent volunteer schedule.
  • Must also be willing to bend, lift and spend multiple hours on your feet.
  • Must work well with people as well as animals.
  • You communicate effectively in person and through email and text.
  • Enjoy hands-on work
  • Look out for or google animal shelter volunteering opportunities near you.

Also visit here to make enquiries on this volunteering opportunity.

2. Fostering Pets in your home:

When shelters don’t have room for new animal intakes, or they have animals who could benefit from being in a temporary home rather than a shelter, volunteer foster parents’ step in and open their homes to hundreds of pets each year.

Keeping animals in foster homes rather than shelters gives them the chance to show their true self. You are a good fit for this volunteering opportunity for animals if you want a flexible way to help animals, you have experience training animals, you are patient and empathetic, and you are able to promote your foster pets to help them get adopted.

For further enquiries, click here.

3. With Animals in Agricultural Settings:

There are many opportunities for people to volunteer for animal rescue in agricultural settings. Farm sanctuaries are made for providing care for animals who have escaped or been rescued from factory farms or other inhumane animal agricultural facilities.

Volunteers typically help with animal care, grounds maintenance and guided tours, and education for the public.

You are a good fit for this volunteering if you meet minimum age requirements or plan to volunteer with an adult parent or guardian if you can work in all types of weather if you are physically fit, if you are interested in volunteering on a regular basis and if you are interested in the welfare of agricultural animals.

To check out this volunteer program in the US, click here.

4. Volunteer with a Therapy Pet:

Volunteering with a therapy pet typically involves pet owners working with their own pet to help people in their community.

You can volunteer for this program if you have a well-behaved pet, and can work well together; if you can commit to training, if you pass the criminal background check if you and your therapy pet can commit to regular visits to participating organizations.

You must also be okay with others touching and interacting with your pet.

5. Volunteering in wildlife conservation:

Volunteers play important roles in animal care and wildlife conservation, both directly and indirectly.

There is a vast range of animal rescuing volunteering opportunities where you can help protect wildlife. Volunteers are needed for caring for animals that cannot survive the wild, while others may work in fish hatcheries or nature refuges ensuring animals can continue thriving in the wild.

You can volunteer for this program if you can meet the physical demands of volunteer work, such as lifting heavy objects, bending, twisting, and navigating different terrains. You must also be able to work in different climates and types of weather.

For more information on this animal rescue volunteering opportunity, visit here.

6. Volunteer with animals abroad:

Volunteering for animal rescue opportunities can be a global adventure. Due to the incredible breadth of ecosystems, animals, organizations, and needs around the world, international volunteers can offer specialized aids in rescuing animals in all parts of the world.

To volunteer for animal rescuing programs abroad, you must have a passport, you must be at least 18 years old, or will be traveling with a parent or volunteer organization.

Also, you must be interested in ethical volunteerism abroad. You must be flexible and adaptable, pay your travel fees, get any requisite vaccines and work in all kinds of weather.

To check out this volunteering opportunity, click here

7. Wildlife sanctuary volunteering:

This volunteering opportunity helps take care of the sick, injured and orphaned wild animals.

Volunteers can work with a wide range of indigenous wildlife in a single area, which makes sanctuary volunteering unique and exciting.

For more information on wildlife sanctuary volunteering, click here

8. Volunteering with Street Animals:

Many areas around the world do not have the resources to care for and house homeless animals.

Volunteers generally feed, wash, and play with street animals and may help shelter staff with cleaning facilities and providing medical care to animals.

9. Volunteering with Marine Life:

Coastal regions around the world need volunteers to help preserve and study turtle populations and collect data on reefs, fish and other aquatic life.

Volunteers may go on deep dives, comb beaches or help in rehabilitation and care facilities.

10. Marine and Coast Conservation Volunteer Program in Spain:

This volunteer opportunity involves working with marine wildlife as well as studying coastal plants and animals nearby. Volunteering here focuses heavily on gathering data and monitoring wildlife like whales, turtles, dolphins, and seabirds.

They also help in beach clean-ups, thereby ensuring the animals that live in the water get the most out of life.

To check out this volunteering opportunity, click here

11. Best Friends National Network:

This network has been working to save the lives of pets in Utah. They operate two free and low-cost clinics, kitten nursery which saves the lives of new-born kittens.

They are the flag fliers that all animals deserve a good life.

Likewise, they run a lot of animal rescue programs, some of which include adoption centers for animals. Best Friends National Network has made a lot of impact on animals worldwide.

To volunteer, visit [email protected] to send them a mail; to visit their website for more information, click here.

12. The Humane Society of the United States:

This is a program to join if you are interested in joining the fight to protect all animals. They embrace you as a volunteer at every level of the organization which gears towards amplifying the efforts which they are putting in creating a more humane society.

For more information on the humane society of the United States, visit their website here.

13. Vet Set Go:

Vet Set Go is the first and only community dedicated to helping elementary, middle school, and high school aspiring veterinarians.

Their goal is to ensure that animals are safe and well taken care of. From time to time, they run programs on the animal rescue of which young persons are allowed to volunteer for the same purpose.

To contact Vet Set Go, click here.

14. GoEco:

Animal Volunteer Opportunities: Volunteers can work closely with their favorite pets at animal shelters, or observe unique animals they never thought they would see. Animals across the globe are in need of care and help.

Many wildlife species are endangered and are on the verge of going extinct, due to habitat loss, illegal hunting, neglect, abuse amongst others.

If you have a passion for animal rescue volunteering and wildlife, this is a perfect opportunity for you.

To volunteer, click here.

15. GoAbroad:

Animal rescue volunteer programs are offered by GoAbroad. Their programs range from animal programs and conservation in South Africa, volunteering in Thailand with world endeavors, Rhino and Elephant Conservation, amongst others. Volunteering for these programs would help make a global difference in the lives of domestic and wild animals. To check out these programs or to volunteer, click here.

16. Petfinder:

Petfinder is an online, searchable database of animals who need homes. It provides and promotes adoptable pets. They have provisions for puppy mills, feral cats, animals, and disaster relief, animal cruelty and human violence dissidence, careers with pets, and many others.

Visit their website here for more information.

Read: 13 Best Veterinary Volunteering Opportunities

17. ASPCA:

If you are interested in making a difference for animals I need, ASPCA offers volunteer opportunities in a variety of fields, including pet adoptions, animal rescue and rehabilitation and government relations.

Equally important, they have a nationwide volunteer opportunity in advocacy volunteer, national field response responder, horse action team, and volunteer for animal rescue in Los Angeles.

18. The Nature Conservancy-

Volunteer and Attend Events: Through this, you can find events and ways to volunteer for animal rescue programs all around the globe.

To check out their website and for enquiries, click here.

19. Oceans 2 Earth:

They are an ethical animal and conservation-focused travel. They run ethical, sustainable, genuine animal welfare, conservation, and rescue volunteering programs.

In addition, they have a lot of really good reviews from volunteers. Most of them are of the opinion that every day was a different adventure and that the feeling of helping animals was quite exhilarating.

To visit their website, click here.

20. Corporation for National and Community Service:

The federal government provides this opportunity for Americans to be able to contribute in helping animals in the community in any way which they can.

In Conclusion

If you think that being a volunteer just involves taking dogs for walks and stroking cats for hours, you’re wrong.

You may be assigned to do jobs such as manning information stands or following up on adopted dogs to ensure their well-being, as well as carry out administrative tasks and most of all maintaining the installations and taking care of animals, working fundraising events, make calls, post fliers and social media posts among other duties.

You may be involved in transporting and caring for sick dogs or fostering puppies and dogs temporarily at home.

Furthermore, animal shelters need volunteers to clean cages, fill water or food bowls, provide company to animals, walk the dogs, do training and socialization.



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