Animal rescue and caring for shelter pets is hard work. It also is the most rewarding experience one may have. Rescues could not exist without the generous service of volunteers; in municipal shelters, volunteers are vital assistants to the shelter employees and contribute to the mental health and happiness of those pets waiting for their forever homes.
Volunteers help with a variety of important jobs necessary to get homeless pets into loving homes. From duties such as daily animal care (walking dogs, cleaning kennels, feeding meals) and chores (laundry, dishes, mopping, sweeping, sorting donations) to transporting and assisting at off-site adoption events, volunteers are the lifeblood of animal rescue organizations.
Volunteers also are needed to help with bottle-feeding of kittens, fostering animals in their homes and socialization of shelter animals by spending quality time with them and showing them love and attention. The list of ways someone can help goes on and on. There is truly something for everyone at an animal shelter, and people can contribute in a variety of ways, even from home or out of state.
The need for volunteers usually increases at this time of year because of family vacations. If someone has thought about getting involved, now is the time. High school students may want to begin getting their community service hours in. It is a wonderful opportunity for both the animals and the students. Some shelters will permit court-ordered community service hours to be performed as well. Visit a shelter or animal rescue to see how to get involved and become a volunteer; you always will get more than you give! Here are a few in the New Orleans area:
Animal Rescue New Orleans: animalrescueneworleans.org/volunteer
Louisiana SPCA: la-spca.org/donate/volunteer
Jefferson SPCA: jeffersonspca.org
Plaquemines Animal Welfare Society: paws4life.org
YAPPY HOUR: The Louisiana SPCA is the beneficiary of Yappy Hour from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. every Thursday in the courtyard at Rare Form, 437 Esplanade Ave., New Orleans. Fresh water and treats will be provided for pups while owners enjoy $1 off all craft cocktails. When patrons mention “Yappy Hour,” 15 percent of the proceeds will benefit the SPCA. For information, visit www.rareformnola.com.
ADOPTION EVENT: The Jefferson SPCA will have dogs available for adoption from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at City Bark in City Park, 30 Zachary Taylor Drive, behind Popp Fountain. For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ADOPTION EVENT: Animal Rescue New Orleans will have adoptable dogs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Palmer Park Arts Market, at the corner of South Carrollton and South Claiborne avenues in New Orleans. For information, email email@example.com.
ADOPTION AND BAKE SALE: The Louisiana SPCA will have pets available for adoption from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Clearview Mall, 4436 Veterans Memorial Blvd. LA/SPCA adoption counselors and volunteers will be on hand to help families select the right pet. Call (504) 368-5191 or visit www.la-spca.org/offsite.
NATIONAL DANCE DAY: The Louisiana SPCA will be on hand during the National Dance Day celebration from 7 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Jazzercise Metairie Lakeview Fitness Center, 721 Veterans Blvd., Suite K. Those who make a donation to the Louisiana SPCA will receive gifts and meet adoptable animals. For information, call (504) 834-1233.
ADOPTION EVENT: Animal Rescue New Orleans will have adoptable dogs from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at Barcadia, 601 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans. For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
HEARTWORM FUND: Down the Hatch, 1921 Sophie Wright Place, New Orleans, will donate 20 percent of its proceeds to the Louisiana SPCA Heartworm Fund from 11 a.m. Sunday to 2 a.m. Monday. Adoptables from the Louisiana SPCA will be on hand from noon to 4 p.m. For information, call (504) 522-0909.
PET FOOD DRIVE: Dots Diner is collecting pet food and supplies at each of its six locations during the month of July to benefit the Humane Society of Louisiana. Customers who donate bags or cans of pet food or supplies such as litter, bowls or leashes will receive 20 percent off their meal ticket.
LOST OR FOUND PETS: In Orleans Parish, you can send a photo, description of your pet, date lost/found and your contact information to email@example.com.
Traci D. Howerton is social media editor of Animal Rescue New Orleans, a nonprofit, volunteer-based, no-kill shelter. Contact ARNO at firstname.lastname@example.org, www.animalrescueneworleans.org or call its recorded information line at (504) 571-1900.