The anatomy of a great animal rescue volunteer

If you want to be a great animal rescue volunteer you need to embody certain qualities of character. Do you measure up?

Courageous – Great animal rescue volunteers are fearless. They often drive long distances in rescue transports, meeting people they’ve never met before, visiting places they’ve only seen on a map and doing it all without hope of reimbursement. If that’s not courage we don’t know what is.

positive energy qualitiesDrama free – Some volunteers in animal rescue infuse drama with words like “Code red” or “Urgent” or “911” but great animal rescue volunteers know the importance of a logical approach to animal rescue, free of drama and sensationalism. They focus on positive energy and tasks and working together to support the common good rather than on beating the drum to get everyone to pay attention to them.

Big talker – The best volunteers that save animals understand the importance of good marketing skills and they strike up conversations with strangers wherever they go to build the animal rescue ranks. Whether in line at a coffee shop, waiting for their flight at the airport, or even mailing a letter at the post-office, they realize every person they meet is a potential volunteer for animals and they just start talkin’.

skillsSkills like MacGyver – When was the last time you were juggling 13 puppies while you clean off bodily fluids and try to keep track of who went potty already and who didn’t? Awesome animal rescue volunteers know that having MacGyver like skills is essential to getting through the rescue. Their cars are stocked with paper towels, trash bags, wet wipes and plenty of poop bags for all of life’s emergencies.

Loves animals (& even some people) – But the best way to identify the great animal rescue volunteers is to look for the ones that are more interested in the animals than the people. These are the ones you hear in movie theaters saying “What happened to the dog?” They are the ones not afraid to approach perfect strangers to explain the right way to correct their pooch. And they are the ones that trudge through snow, brush, dirt and marsh in an effort to find animals that are lost or are in need. These are the silent warriors in the fight for animals. These are the animal rescue professionals that we all aspire to be.

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