PetParents sure are a passionate and dedicated group of people, always willing to go the extra mile for an animal in need. That’s why shelters across the US are as successful as they are, each of them has their own group of volunteers who quietly work behind the scenes making an impact. It doesn’t take much to make a difference either. If you’ve got a few hours a week, an afternoon each weekend that you can spare, stop out at your local shelter and pitch in. We guarantee you won’t regret it. Here are 4 of the best volunteer opportunities in Miami!
Are you a horse fanatic? There are plenty of horses without homes that are in need of a little extra TLC from a horse lover just like you! The SFSPCA promotes the welfare and well-being of horses and works to educate the public on responsible horse care and ownership. The SPSPCA has several ways that you can volunteer including hands on work at the ranch, community outreach, and various events. If you’re interested in becoming a SFSPCA volunteer the following notes apply: volunteers should be 12 years or older- any volunteers under 17 must have an adult, a horse safety class and orientation is required first, volunteers must become SFSPCA members.
If you’re a fan of all things wild and exotic, then a volunteer position at the Zoo Miami is a great way to get up close and personal! Volunteers provide assistance across nearly every area of zoo operations. At Zoo Miami, over 30,000 volunteer hours are donated each year. All volunteers must be 18 years of age and hold a high school diploma. A background check, drug test, complete interview and volunteer orientation must be completed prior to any volunteer hours. All volunteers must also be current members of the Zoological Society of Florida.
While most of the volunteer positions don’t involve hands-on care of the animals, you can still help with things like: Administrative, aviary plaza docent, Children’s zoo, exhibit specialist, horticulture, and even special projects! Zoo volunteers receive discounts on concession food, gift shop purchases, and are eligible for a free zoo membership after completing a minimum of 60 volunteer hours in their first year.
Paws 4 You Rescue is a non-profit, donor-subsidized rescue that focuses on saving dogs from the euthanasia list at Miami-Dade Animal Services. The Paws 4 You rescue provides animals a safe shelter, medical care, and search for furever homes for them. Because pet overpopulation is a huge issue in Miami, Paws 4 You works to educate pet owners on the importance of spaying or neutering their pets. Volunteers are the backbone of any non-profit organization, and adult volunteers are always welcome.
Your unique set of skills and talents will be put to good use to help homeless pets. Paws 4 You allows volunteers at 14 years of age or older, which is younger than many rescue organizations. They believe their energetic teen volunteers are the perfect outlet to exercise and socialize the energetic dogs in their care and the two often make the perfect match. All Paws 4 You potential volunteers should attend an orientation/training prior to their first volunteer session.
Born Free Pet Shelter is a rescue organization for dogs that is both non-profit, and no-kill. Founded in 1981, Born Free has both an adoptions program as well as a sanctuary for dogs who are not adoptable to live out their days in peace and happiness. Born Free Pet Shelter is located on 5 acres- they house over 150 dogs at any given time. You can see why they clearly rely on the help of volunteers to meet the care, love, and financial needs of all these loving dogs. Born Free Pet Shelter is always accepting volunteers, they also work with high schools to allow the students to come out and spend time caring for the dogs in exchange for their community service hours. The only requirement is that you be an animal lover- not a tough task for anyone reading this we’re sure!
No matter how you choose to give back to animals, the dedication of your time and devotion will be given back to you ten-fold by the animals you so lovingly care for.