You might recall from my recent 10 Benefits of Volunteering post that volunteering is important to our family. When you have an animal loving child in a pet free home, volunteering is a great way to fill their bucket. The fact that we don’t have any pets, aside from the occasional snail, is a huge bummer for my animal loving eight year old. The list of reasons for why we don’t have pets includes allergies, asthma, and skin issues… not to mention the expense. In lieu of pet ownership, we want to nurture her love of animals through volunteering and build it into her homeschool plan. Given her age, though, we’ve run into a few roadblocks — namely insurance. I’m fairly certain I’m not in this boat alone. Here are creative ways kids can volunteer to help animals, many of which can be built into their homeschool plan.
A little creativity goes a long way when coming up with ways kids can help volunteer to help animals.
Ways Kids Can Volunteer to Help Animals
Socialize Animals at a Shelter
Some shelters will allow children to socialize resident animals. We recently partnered with Hartz to socialize animals at a shelter. We were able to provide Delectables SqueezeUp Treats to the feline residents of Judy’s Forgotten Jewels, a local animal rescue, and learned fairly quickly that shelter cats love treats!
Raise Money for Animals
There are many ways that kids can raise money for animals.
- They can ask for birthday donations in lieu of presents.
- They can make and sell crafts.
- They can set up a donation drive.
- They can do tasks for hire.
Make Pet Toys
No-sew dog toys can be made inexpensively using fleece remnants or old jeans. Kids can make these to donate to animal shelters in the area. Selling homemade pet toys can help fund the one’s that are donated.
Make Pet Blankets
Many shelters use handmade fleece blankets for each of the dog/cat cages. Fleece remnants can be picked up at thrift stores or as remnants from a fabric shop. Kids can also sell homemade pet blankets and donate the proceeds to the shelter.
Clean Up Local Wildlife Areas
Keeping local wildlife areas free of litter is an important task. Not only does it provide a safer environment for the wildlife, it also teaches children the importance of caring for our environment. Of course, it is important to use gloves when picking up litter. Using a pick up tool or reacher is also a good idea. When possible, separate trash from recyclables and dispose of properly.
Become a Dog Walker
Some shelters will allow minors to become dog walkers when accompanied by a parent/guardian. Other’s are unable to allow this for insurance reasons. While age may be a barrier to becoming an official dog walker for a shelter, kids can offer to walk a neighbor’s dog that may need help.
Read to Dogs at the Humane Society
Our local humane society has a Shelter Buddies program. After attending a training class, kids are able to go read to the dogs in the shelter. The training class is important so that kids remain class. Reading to the animals helps socialize them and get them ready for their new homes. It’s amazing how reading to an a dog can calm him!
Foster a Pet
Many shelters are often in need of families to foster pets until fur-ever homes are found. If you’re family is able to host a shelter pet, it is a great way for children to help. Of course, you’ll need to teach your child how to properly handle animals, so everyone remains safe. You’ll also need to help them understand that the animal is going to a forever family, and make sure that their heart can handle letting go.
Teaching other’s the importance of spaying and neutering pets is a great way for kids to help animals. Around 70,000 puppies and kittens are born in the U.S. every day, and there are nowhere near enough good homes for all of them. Spaying and neutering can help end the homeless-animal crisis! I’d love to work with Judy’s Forgotten Jewels to take a homschool group to learn more about ways kids can volunteer to help animals.
These are just a few of the ways that kids can volunteer to help animals. When you have an animal loving child, especially in a pet free home, you can come up with many creative ways kids can voluntter to help animals in need.
Your cats will go crazy for Delectables SqueezeUp Treats!