The Benefits of Volunteering with Animals

Research is shedding light onto the surprising benefits of volunteering.  Science is now proving what great leaders and philosophers have known for years:


“One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served.” - Gordon Hinckle


06/02/2017 By Perfect Pets
This article enjoyed by 9067 pet lovers
The Benefits of Volunteering with Animals image

The positives of volunteering:


1. Volunteering makes you feel like you have more time. Wharton professor Cassie Mogilner said that her research shows that "giving your time can make you feel more ‘time affluent’ and less time-constrained than wasting your time, or spending it on yourself.”   Mogilner's article in the Harvard Business Review summarises her research, finding that those who volunteer their time feel like they have more of it.    This is similar to other research showing that people who donate to charity feel wealthier.


2. Volunteering boosts your mood and your health. A study reported on in Natural Health magazine showed that 95 percent of volunteers surveyed said they gained a “helper’s high” — a feeling of euphoria and energy. Volunteering truly is a feel-good activity, and what better way to spend the day than with cuddly and furry friends?   A Corporation for National & Community Service report noted: “Research demonstrates that volunteering leads to better health… those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer.”   


3. Volunteering makes you feel more love. Admittedly, love is a hard thing to measure. But when researchers at the London School of Economics examined the relationship between volunteering and measures of happiness, they found that the more people volunteered, the happier they were. Volunteering builds empathy, strengthens social bonds and makes you smile  — all factors that increase the feeling of love.


4. Volunteering helps build your experience and skills.  Volunteering can give you new skills and experrience which help if it's time for a change of career direction.  If you want to move from the corporate world to the nonprofit sector, for example, volunteering first can help prove your commitment. Skills-based volunteering is also an excellent opportunity to develop talents to help you get ahead in your career.  An article in Stanford Social Innovation Review called skills-based volunteering overseas “the next executive training ground.”   The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Next Avenue have published articles about how volunteering can help you earn your next job. 


5. You'll be part of the solution. You'll join a network of hundreds of thousands of people working to make the world safe and more humane for all living creatures. You'll make the jobs of everyone working for animals a little easier by lending a hand and spreading the message of responsible pet ownership and animal protection.


6. Become part of a very important team. Shelters and rescue groups need resources - financial and human - to stay open. Some are never far from closure and you might just be that extra pair of hands that helps another pet get adopted, helps find another donation or brings in a new person to volunteer.


7. Keep good company. You'll make lots of new friends—and not just the four-legged kind. Working side by side with people who share similar interests can forge lifelong friendships.


8. Get warm fuzzies. Can't beat this one. You'll never find a more grateful and accepting comrade than an animal you've comforted.  Enjoy a wagging tail, a purr, and a smile. Didn't someone once say that the best things in life are free?


How to Find Volunteering Opportunities

If you're interested in making a difference in your community one of the best places to volunteer may be your local animal shelter or rescue group (Australia).   Also see the lists below for volunteer information and opportunities from a range of organizations in Canada, US, Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa. 







We can't list them all so please post any good links for volounteering in the comments below!



References and links for more information:


The vet who 'euthanised' herself in Taiwan

The Fatal Epidemic Of Animal Care Workers That No One Is Talking About 

You'll Feel Less Rushed If You Give Time Away 

5 Ways to Donate Effectively

Volunteering can Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease

Volunteering Makes You Happier

Skills Based Volunteering - The New Executive Training Ground

Surprising Benefits of Volunteering 

Volunteer Work Gains Stature On a Resume

How Altruism Could Get You Hired

Top Reasons to Volunteer at Your Local Animal Shelter

7 Benefits of Being an Animal Shelter Volunteer 



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