Animal lovers don’t always have the opportunity to have a pet companion in their lives, but would still like to be involved with the furry creatures in some way. But volunteering is not only for those without pets; those who already have their own dog, cat, or another critter may still want to contribute to the pet care community by volunteering.

There are many volunteering opportunities for pet lovers, and we will discuss the best options here.

Local Shelter Volunteer

Local animal shelters are always looking for volunteers as they operate on tiny budgets to help place unwanted pets. The opportunities for volunteering are varied, and range from doing paperwork at the office to running off-site adoption events for helping place pets in new homes. You can find out volunteer opportunities at your local pet shelter by calling, checking the website, or just stopping by your local shelter and inquiring about volunteer opportunities. You are sure to be greeted with open arms.

Humane Society Volunteer

The most well-known and largest animal protection organization, the Humane Society relies on donations and volunteers to provide their services to move than 100,000 animals on a yearly basis. The Humane Society of the United States is a leader in animal advocacy, and humane treatment of animals, working against such practices as puppy mills, animal fighting, and wildlife trade.

The Humane Society of the United States offers volunteer opportunities across the United States, and they provide a search tool for finding opportunities near you.

SPCA Volunteer

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a term which is used by many non-profit organizations which make it their mission to work towards eliminating cruel treatment of animals. SPCA organizations exist across the world, and offer great opportunities for volunteerism. You can search for your local SPCA organization through search engines, and contact them for any opportunities. Many such organizations require an orientation before you can contribute to the organization. The types of opportunities you can expect include shelter operations, animal behaviorist/trainer, data entry, and animal handler (generally cats and dogs). To find specific information get in touch with your local SPCA.

Veterinary Volunteer

Many of the veterinary volunteer opportunities can be found through colleges and universities, which offer free services to the communities they serve, and utilize volunteers to delivery some of those services. You can find these types of opportunities by contacting your local college or university, or searching online in major search engines.

Breed-Specific Rescue Organization Volunteer

If you are fond of a specific dog or cat breed, there are many rescue organizations which are dedicated to working with a specific breed, and are always non-profit organization or just a small group of animal lovers who do this as a service to the breed. These organizations are always looking for volunteers to help them manage their operations.

One or more of the above volunteering opportunities are available to anyone—even the smallest of towns usually have a rescue organization or a veterinary office which can use a helping hand, so if you are interested in animals and want to volunteer in an animal-related field, there are plenty of opportunities for you to contribute.