Animal Volunteer Work during the Holidays

The holiday season is a time when we all come together with family and friends. We send greeting cards to those we have not seen for many years and take baked goods to neighbors with whom we rarely interact. Our thoughts transcend the worries and concerns of our everyday lives and focus instead on fellowship and service to others. For many, that fellowship extends to our pets, as well as all the abandoned and sheltered animals in our communities. Here are some of the many ways you can do animal volunteer work during the holidays.

animal volunteer work

Animal Volunteer Work during the Holidays

Volunteer Your Time

Many people take vacation around the holidays leaving animal shelters and rescue facilities understaffed. This is a wonderful time to volunteer your time to help animals in need.

* If you are in a position to be onsite at the facility you might be able to do animal volunteer work by helping feed, exercise or clean enclosures. If you have a large vehicle like an SUV or van, you might even be able to assist in the transport of animals.

* For those who would like to volunteer but whose time is less flexible, your animal volunteer work could include laundering bedding, making fundraising calls or organizing adoption events at local businesses.

animal volunteer work

Animal Volunteer Work Includes Donating Your Professional Services

Animal shelters are in need of a lot of professional services that they cannot afford to pay for. If you are a professional in any of the following areas, your volunteered services to a shelter may be in great need:

* Photographer – Shelters often need photographs of their animals for adoption websites and promotional materials. This can also include videography.

* Groomer – Many pets in shelters need more than weekly baths to keep them healthy. Cleaning ears and clipping nails are essential for all breeds, and keeping coats brushed and groomed are essential for some.

* Webmaster – If you are a webmaster your services would almost certainly be welcomed. You may be able to volunteer your time to maintain a shelter’s website or even build a special site for holiday adoption events.

* Social Media Manager – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are tools many shelters use to promote the pets they have up for adoption. If you have skills with these social media platforms your animal volunteer work might include managing an animal shelter’s social media accounts.

animal volunteer work

Donate Items or Cash

If you are not able to do animal volunteer work, shelters are always in need of donations, both of money and essential items.

* Cash is always welcome and many shelter websites have links to their donation page. You can also donate cash to national organizations like the Humane Society of the United States or the ASPCA.

* Donations of both new and used items are also appreciated. Shelters can always use donated food and treats. Used kennels or crates that you no longer need, old blankets, and washable dog beds are all popular items as well.

* Many animal shelters are affiliated with thrift stores that accept used household items and clothing. The profit made from the sale of these items goes to help support the shelter.

Whether you choose to do animal volunteer work or donate cash, gifts in kind or used items for resale, your kindness during the holidays will always be welcome and appreciated. And for animal lovers, there’s no better way to enjoy our holidays than by helping our furry and feathered friends enjoy theirs as well.

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animal volunteer work


  1. Working with Animals Best Friends for the past 12 years has shown me that not only are volunteers needed but donations tend to decrease around the holidays. Animals Best Friends likes to receive donations in kind too like cleaner, bleach, and cat litter.

  2. Animal shelters need all the help they can get, from extra hands to cash that they can use for food and treatments and more. I think it would be nice to do something good this Christmas and volunteer at a shelter.

  3. This is the first time I’ve heard about this and I think it’s a good deed. If we have spare time, sharing our skill and offering our time will surely help animal shelters.

  4. I hadn’t really considered all those ways to help. I tried to volunteer as one of the people who plays with the dogs and takes them for walks but they had too many people for that. It didn’t really occur to me that there were so many other ways I could help. I’m going to think about what else I can do.

  5. We have a shelter that is open on Christmas and Thanksgiving so that you can come down and just give the pets some love. It’s so important to try and give back to shelters.

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