Are you a Seattle based animal lover? Then tune-in, because we’ve got some great news to share with you. Giving back to animals in your local community is one of the best ways that you as a PetParent and animal lover can make an impact for homeless animals who just need a little help towards a fresh start in life. By donating your time, love, and attention to these animals, you are literally saving lives and making a huge difference- it causes a ripple effect! If you’d like to get involved, here are some of the best volunteer opportunities in Seattle!
Seattle Humane Society is an independent non-profit organization, meaning that although Seattle is in their name, they are not affiliated with any city or county shelters. Seattle Humane Society saves over 6,000 animals each year, and in 2013 they achieved a 97.9% live save rate- meaning those animals left the shelter through adoption or returning to their original owner. That’s one of the highest rates in the nation!
Seattle Humane Society was founded in 1897 and was the first humane organization that served in King County. Later both King County and the City of Seattle established their own animal control departments and Seattle Humane relocated. Currently Seattle Humane is dedicated to bringing people and pets together- can’t get much better than that! As with most animal shelters and rescue organizations, Seattle Humane is always in need of volunteers to help with a variety of tasks ranging from:
- foster care
- animal care/cage cleaning
- socializing & exercising shelter animals
- special events
2. PAWS Seattle
PAWS is all about people helping animals! They love and appreciate the way animals enrich our lives, and want to protect animals and ensure they are respected, safe, and always have a voice. PAWS has been around since 1967, and since then has found homes for more than 130,000 companion animals as well as cared for over 115,000 injured or orphaned wildlife. PAWS envisions a world where all people recognize the value of animals and make choices that demonstrate compassion and respect for pets. Does that sound like something you can get behind?
PAWS is an animal rescue organization who is always accepting volunteers! They care for between 6-8,000 cats, dogs, and even wild animals in any given year- and they couldn’t do it without the help of volunteers like you. The PAWS volunteers are crucial in providing hands on care for the animals, educating the community, providing admin. support, and many other misc. tasks. You don’t have to have anything other than a passion for animals to get started! PAWS provides all the training you’ll need to complete your volunteer tasks- they’ll ensure your success.
The West Sound Wildlife Shelter exists to provide injured, orphaned, or sick wildlife a place to recover and heal. They provide a second chance at life, and promote the well being of wildlife. Through education, and public involvement they help to promote the conservation of essential wildlife habitats. If working with wildlife is something you’ve always dreamed of, there are some fun & unique ways to get involved!
Become a Wildlife Support Steward and help care for injured, sick, and orphan wild animals! You should have a genuine interest and commitment as well as be 16 years or older to apply. Volunteers are asked to take an orientation and training class before committing to a 4 hour shift once each week (on the same day each week). Becoming a wildlife support steward is an awesome way to get hands on experience with some wild animals that you might never see up close otherwise. Duties may include assisting in the nursery feeding baby animals, cleaning hospital wards, cages, and enclosures, as well as cleaning and laundry. You can also choose to advance and become a Wildlife Care Steward which allows you a higher level of interaction and care of the larger mammals and birds. You might assist wildlife rehabilitators with intakes, exams, treatments, patient care, transport and more.
4. Homeward Pet
Homeward Pet is an adoption center focused on assisting animals in finding their forever homes. Each year, they care for and place over 1300 dogs and cats. Homeward Pet is non-profit, and a no-kill shelter that serves the Seattle area. Their mission is to give homeless animals a second chance through their rescue and adoption programs. All volunteers must take a training class first and be 17 years or older. The process to become a volunteer can take a month or two, depending on when the next training class is offered. Your volunteer shift with Homeward Pet is a 2-3 hour shift that is consistently scheduled each week. A volunteer t-shirt is a required uniform that you must purchase.
As with most animal organizations, there are many ways you can help out:
- cat care
- dog care
- reception/front desk
- street team