Thursday, June 7, 2012

Ways You Can Volunteer With Your Pet

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Our pets bring us joy and enrich our lives - but they can also bring joy and enrich the lives of others. Sidney Stevens at Mother Nature Network lists the following ways you can volunteer with your pet:

Donate Blood - Every day hundreds of animals need blood transfusions, but there are very few national animal blood banks. If you are interested in making a donation, contact your veterinarian, local veterinary school, emergency animal hospital or visit the Association for Veterinary Hematology and Transfusion Medicine.

Animal-Assisted Therapy - According to Pet Partners (formerly the Delta Society), one million people are touched each year by the comfort and healing of a therapy animal visit. If your pet is friendly, well-behaved and patient, you and your pet may have the “right stuff” to become a registered therapy animal team.  

Take Your Dog to Work Day - Started by Pet Sitters International in 1999, Take Your Dog to Work Day events are sponsored by companies and their canine-loving employees every year to raise awareness and money for animal adoptions. This year, Take Your Dog to Work Day is on Friday, June 22.

Provide a Foster Home - Many pets at animal shelters need a little socializing before they can be adopted out to a loving forever home. You and your BFF can help these pets-in-training feel more comfortable around people and other animals by providing a foster home. Check with your local animal shelter for fostering opportunities in your area.

Search and Rescue - When disaster strikes or someone goes missing, volunteer human-canine teams are often called in to help. It requires two years of training, which is best started when your dog is still a puppy. For more information, contact the American Rescue Dog Association or the National Association for Search and Rescue.

Walk/Run for Charity - Many nonprofit organizations have pet-friendly events – everything from leisurely dog walks, to cross country dog runs and even dog-sled races. Check with your local animal shelter and other nonprofit organizations for a list of pet-friendly events in your area. 

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