a group near you - Find one through rescue forums, websites, your
local dog warden or vets. Then contact the group.
Get to know
them, their organisation and how they work. If they have a centre, visit.
If you find you agree with all their policies and ways of operating, then
set about finding your niche.
(Always check to see if the group needs the volunteer offer you want to
Make a promise to yourself to keep up your good work - not just a one
off effort, never to show up again. Make it clear how much time you can commit too. Here
are some ideas .....
Photos - Do you have a digital camera, or even a regular one? Ask
if you can take photos of the animals in need of homes and send them into
rescu forums to be listed.
your creative writing skills to work, and write up a description of the
animal that will help attract attention to them. Doing this on a regular
basis means the group always has a window on the world, whether posting
on my site and their site, or having photos available to run in local
papers, etc. Fundraisers - Organise a fundraising event. Speak to the organisation and tell them
about your idea and make sure they are aware of it and okay with it.
Ideas for fundraisers: boot sales, pub quiz, bag packing day at a shop,
raffles, car washing, collection day - the ideas are endless.
Use your day job skills - what are your skills that you apply in
your day job... publicity, writing, IT, organisational, graphics, printing?
Think about how you can apply these to help the group. For example, if
you are good at publicity, help the group get coverage in the media outlets.
If you are good at IT, help them with their computer set up.
If you are a groomer - volunteer your services.
Does your company make charitable donations, or do they sponsor community
See if you can have them apply some of it to your adopted cause.
Or if your compay produces or sells items that could be of value to a
group, or would make a good raffle item, see if your company will donate
Make/repair things -- Are you clever with your hands, can you do
handy work? Can you sew? Perhaps repairs around the centre, kennels to
build, car repairs. Sew up pads for baskets, make sweaters or jackets
for the smaller dogs and greyhounds, etc.
Help source items - If the group needs a freezer, crate, kennel,
chairs, etc., use your time to source these items for cheap or free. Often
through free-ad papersl and the like. If you can, pay for having big items
delivered to the group - often a group will have a refrigerator, etc,
available to them but no way to get it to the centre.
Offer to ‘babysit' - Many groups run with very few people, offer
them a couple hours where you will answer the phones, watch the animals,
whatever, so they can take a break and maybe go out and do something nice
for themselves for a change!
Source and supply ongoing needed items - Find out what the group
you’ve chosen to work with needs on an ongoing basis. blankets? bowls?
duvets? collars, leads, baskets, etc. newspapers? Pick up many of these
items for them at charity shops and boot sales. Arrange with a shop near
you to pick up their old newspapers and bring them to the group.
Transport - Do you have a car? offer your services.
Shopping - Are you in an area where there are big chain stores?
Often rescue groups are in rural areas and don’t have access to the Lidls,
Cash & Carry, Tescos and Dunnes of the world. Offer to do the shopping
for them and deliver it... they'll save money if they can buy in bulk
and quantity. Another idea, donate your supermarket vouchers.
Sponsor spays and neuters.
Sponsor a long term resident - Set up a standing order - Even £5
a month can help... decide what you can afford, and then set up the order.
Bring speciality items for their special-need residents – such
as premium or restricted-diet dog food and cat food, or specialty items
the group can’t really afford to buy themselves, such as chickens, tins
of sardine, etc, quality sleeping cushions and basket, etc. for the residents
who need TLC.
If there isn't a group near you, or you want to do 'solo' work:
Lost & Found - Check your local papers and go through the lost & found
ads. See if any match, keep back copies, and check against those.
Also check it with the Lost & Found notices on rescue forums, and rescue
websites such as DogLost.co.uk.... On
the lost ads, contact the people to make sure they have the number of
the pounds near them, and any groups in their area. See if they've done
all things on the 'What to do when you've lost your dog' checklist.
fundraising efforts - Purchase calendars, buttons, anything groups
are selling, buy raffle tickets, attend events, go to the boot sales.
When you see a call for items needed for upcoming events try to provide
them (bric-a-brac, raffle items, etc.)
are plenty of things you can do to help rescues, even if you can't help
out with the day-to-day thing. You would be surprised at how a little
help can go a very long way.
List adapted for the UK from IrishAnimals.com, with
their kind permission