If you’re an animal lover, there are numerous ways you can give back in your local area and make a difference in your community, no matter where that community happens to be. There are animals in need across the globe, and there is no one better to help them than you! One of the most important things to consider when looking to give the gift of your time to an animal organization, is to ensure their values are on par with your own. The beauty of having so many animal groups in existence, is your ability to choose which one to dedicate your time and passion to. Here are some of the best volunteer opportunities in Washington DC!
1. Lucky Dog Animal Rescue If the name isn’t enough to imply the situation here, the pups in the care of Lucky Dog Animal Rescue are lucky to be there while they wait for their furever homes! Lucky Dog Animal Rescue is a non profit, and all donations you make to them are tax deductible. The greatest asset of this organization is their dedicated group of volunteers. The more volunteers they have, the more dogs they can save. Volunteers of any age are welcome, and volunteers under 18 can join the Lucky Dog Kids Club to dedicate their efforts. Every 2-3 weeks another dog transport shows up with 50 or so dogs looking to be adopted- come be part of the welcome party!!
2. City Dogs Rescue City Dogs Rescue was voted the best place to volunteer in DC in 2014! There are various volunteering tiers that you can commit to based upon your time availability. The City Dogs Rescue goes into overcrowded and high-kill shelters and pulls dogs to put up for adoption. They take these dogs and find them permanent homes throughout the DC area. There is no shelter building, instead, dogs are cared for in the loving homes of foster providers. As with most animal organizations, the best three ways you can help are to: adopt, volunteer, and donate. See their special events page here.
Ways you can help:
- Home Visit Reviewer
- Info Table
- Dog Handler
- Adoptions Counselor
- Foster Coordinator
- Social Media Coordinator
- Grant Writer
- and more!
3. The Washington Animal Rescue League The Washington Animal Rescue League is the oldest animal shelter in the District of Columbia. Over the years, their mission has evolved as the needs of the community have changed. The core of their mission has always been to honor and strengthen the human animal bond. The first step to becoming a volunteer is to fill out an application. The approval process can take several weeks, and then a volunteer orientation is the next step. They are held twice a month, and you can find the updated orientation schedule on their website. A $30 registration fee will get all volunteers a t-shirt, name tag, and the classes and seminars needed to become a volunteer. Volunteers are asked to commit to 8 hours a month for at least 6 months, although they of course hope you volunteer for much longer!
4. Washington Humane Society In existence since 1870, the Washington Humane Society is the voice for animals and wildlife in the nations capitol. They operate an open access adoption center which cares for over 43,000 animals each year. Adoption, donate, and volunteering are the three most effective ways for an individual or family to make an impact. If a weekly commitment isn’t fitting with your schedule, becoming a foster provider could be the ideal way to give back. Work hands on with the animals as a shelter star, or volunteer by transporting animals to veterinary care or adoption events.