Tuesday, 4 March 2008

There's a Dog Rescue Near You That Needs Your Help

There are lots of dog rescues which need volunteers for all sorts of jobs.

Why not take a look on the internet or pop down to your local library to ask.

You don't have to be knowledgable, but you do need to be committed and reliable. It's really annoying if a volunteer doesn't turn up as expected. It means someone else has twice the work to do.

I started out as a volunteer. I walked in one day just to enquire - 3 hours later I was still there. I turned up regularly, regardless of the weather or anything else....they ended up offering me a job!

Charities have a duty of care to their volunteers, so expect a training session. You may think "I know all that, why should I do this?". The simple answer is that if a charity doesn't and something happens they could be in serious trouble. It might mean imprisonment for the manager or trustees, and the charity could be shut down.
If a dog rescue was forced to close ,what do you think would happen to the dogs? The sad reality is that most of them would be destroyed because there would be nowhere for them to go.

As a volunteer you do have certain legal responsibilities. Any issue relating to Health & Safety is everyone's concern. What is required is that you report any issues to a responsible person, e.g. the duty manager or senior member of staff.... duty discharged.

OK, so what can you do? Here are some possibilities :
- dog walking
- kennel cleaning
- helping run the charity shop
- sorting donated goods
- administration
- answering the telephone and handling general enquiries
- helping out on event days
- fundraising (Very Important)
- looking after the website
- photography
- editing and publishing the journal or newsletter
- anything else I haven't thought of !

What is available will depend on each individual dog rescue's needs.

If you want to work with dogs for a living (or work with animals in general) working as a volunteer will stand you in good stead. It shows commitment on your part, for a start.

When you go home at the end of your stint you will have that warm feeling of having done something very worthwhile.

It's not just the obvious animal charities or rescues that need help.

Remember that there are a lot of small animal charities who are desperately struggling to keep going. They only survive because of the (often badly paid) hard-working, dedicated staff and the goodwill of volunteers like YOU.

Go On - Give It A Go!


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