Becoming a Dog Rescue Volunteer
Everyone wants to help a dog in need, but many are not sure of how to get involved or even where to start. Take it from a fellow dog lover and dog rescue volunteer: All dog rescue groups need manpower. Yes, donations to rescue groups are wonderful, but rescue groups need boots on the ground to assist in transporting dogs, fostering and interviewing potential adopters. It’s a new year, so get involved with dog rescue. Here are a few tips to becoming a dog rescue volunteer.
Find a Dog Rescue Group Near You
With the Internet, it’s much easier to locate a local dog rescue organization within seconds. On Google, search for a dog rescue in your area and type in “dog rescue (your city and state).” Most reputable dog rescues will pop up on the first page. You could also use the Petfinder’s website, as that is a well-known and trusted organization.
If you have a favorite breed of dog, you can find a local breed rescue by searching “(name of breed) rescue (your city and state).” Most links, including Petfinder, will redirect you to a rescue’s webpage or offer a contact email. Trust me, rescue organizations follow up quickly with emails sent to them, especially those offering help. If you don’t hear anything back within a week, send another reminder email with “volunteer” in the email subject line. Persistence is key, and much appreciated by overworked rescue folks.
Complete and Submit Online Volunteer Forms
Once a rescue group reaches out to you, they will send you a dog rescue volunteer form. Thoroughly complete the form and send it back within a week. Every volunteer must complete some type of paperwork before volunteering. Some rescue organizations have volunteer form links on their website. If so, complete the form online and send an email to their contact person informing them of your desire to volunteer.
On a rare occasion, if you don’t hear back from your chosen rescue, send a reminder email. If you still don’t receive a response, contact another local rescue in your area. Rescues are non-profit and run by volunteers that are probably overloaded with surrenders.
Change Your Schedule to Accommodate
When rescue groups need a foster home or transportation, it happens quickly. As an example, within a 24-hour notice, I drove 3 hours one way to pick up a mama dog and her 8 newborn puppies. Each transport volunteer had to change her schedule immediately since a young mother was in the process of having puppies in 15-degree weather outside. Think about it this way: Carving out 2-3 hours to help a dog in need means a new life for this dog. Be flexible.
Please volunteer for a dog rescue group. They certainly need your assistance and donations.