Monday, April 15, 2013

April is National Volunteer Month

April is National Volunteer Month – a time to celebrate ordinary people doing extraordinary things to improve their communities. And today is Blog the Change Day, so I wanted to talk a little bit about the volunteers who help the animal shelters and rescue groups in the greater Pittsburgh area.

One of the many hats I wear is the Pittsburgh Animal Rescue Examiner. For the past two years, I've been writing about the animal shelters and rescue groups in and around Pittsburgh. And let me tell you – I've met some pretty amazing people!

First of all, we have three great shelters – Animal Friends, Animal Rescue League, and Western PA Humane Society. These organizations help save thousands of animals every year, but they could not do what they do without the many volunteers who help them on a daily basis.

People who come in to walk the dogs, socialize the cats, care for the bunnies and other critters they receive. People who foster all of the kittens who come in every spring and summer. People who go to events all year long to introduce these adorable animals and answer any questions potential adopters may have. In fact, animal welfare organizations have relied on volunteers since they were first organized over 100 years ago – long before they ever had paid staff!

But in addition to the local animal shelters, I've met many more wonderful people who volunteer for animal rescue groups. These organizations frequently work to remove homeless animals from shelters and place them in foster homes. Groups like Hello Bully, Going Home Greyhounds, Forever Home Beagle Rescue, Furkid Rescue, Pennsylvania Great Dane Rescue and more!

There are groups like Animals against the Odds Rescue and Rehab who go out into the community and find outdoor dogs that need adequate shelter and provide them with warm housing, dry hay and plenty of food during the winter. Or Homeless Cat Management Team who educates the public about community cats, provides low cost spay/neuter clinics for stray/feral cats, and establishes Trap-Neuter-Return programs to help reduce the feral cat population. Or Rabbit Wranglers who helps rescue and rehabilitate homeless rabbits.

There are so many animal rescue groups in Pittsburgh that I simply can't list them all here - but none of them would exist without the wonderful volunteers who are out there in the trenches every day. So I want to take this Blog the Change Day to say thank you to all the volunteers in Pittsburgh – and everywhere – for doing what you do to Be the Change for Animals!


  1. No kidding - shelters and rescue groups DEPEND on volunteers. It just wouldn't be possible otherwise. PERIOD!

  2. Great post! shelters and rescues do such a great job

  3. Volunteers are awesome!