Are you looking for something productive to do in your spare time? Or perhaps, you simply want to be around animals but can’t commit to adopting or fostering? If so, then volunteering at your local animal shelter is an excellent option!
Offering your time to help out at an animal shelter is more than just cleaning up or taking dogs out for walks. It’s an amazing—if not, life-changing—experience that’s not only educational, but also spiritually-nurturing. That may sound a little cheesy, but it’s true! Believe it or not, but volunteering at an animal shelter is good for the soul and here are 5 reasons why:
1. It gives you a sense of belongingness.
If you have a heart for animals, volunteering at an animal shelter is a great way to connect and build relationships with people that are just as passionate as you. You’ll be able to learn from them and harness the skills that would make you more efficient in doing what you love the most.
And, the next time you come across a stray you want to rescue, you’ll have a support group that’ll be willing to help you and lend you the resources you need to be able to do so.
2. It helps you relieve stress.
Spending time with animals is one of the best ways to de-stress—whether after work, school, or even during a difficult time. It’s also scientifically proven to help with depression and anxiety, as well as lower blood pressure.
According to AnimalSmart.com, playing with animals triggers the release of oxytocin or the “love hormone”, which promotes a feeling of calmness and reduces stress—lowering blood pressure in the process. Pretty incredible, right?
3. It paves the way to self-discovery.
Like we mentioned earlier, volunteering at an animal shelter doesn’t just involve cleaning and walking dogs. You’ll be exposed to different kinds of tasks and responsibilities, and undergo training on things that you’ve never done before.
With that being said, it will not only provide you with ample opportunities for growth and self-improvement, but also a chance to discover what you’re good at and what you want to be doing for the rest of your life.
4. It makes you a better person.
Sometimes, we get so wrapped up in our own lives and problems that we fail to notice what’s going on around us. We busy ourselves with work, spending time with friends, and scrolling through our Facebook timeline, unaware of the issues that our society is facing.
When you volunteer at an animal shelter, you’ll learn to see the world differently. Seeing how many animals are being dumped, abused, abandoned, and unjustly euthanized each day; looking into the eyes of a broken animal—it’s a real eye-opener.
Millions of animals are suffering and we’re the only ones that can make their lives better. Being aware of that will move you to start making a difference and help you make better life choices; ones that will not only benefit you, but all living, breathing creatures.
5. You become an inspiration to others.
Once you decide to get involved with an animal shelter, there’s a good chance that you’ll inspire people in your life, perhaps, even in the community, to do so, as well. Maybe one of your friends end up becoming a foster, or a family member decides to become a volunteer trainer. Imagine the difference that would make for the shelter! And it would all be because you decided to take the leap into volunteering.