Barking out ways to help dogs in need


provided by Allie Lynn

Volunteering holds a special place in Wingspan's Allie Lynn heart especially when it comes to helping animals in need. Lynn shares her opinion on volunteering as a whole as well as suggesting tips on how to get started.

Allie Lynn, Guest Contibutor

Volunteering is often a word despised by teenagers, but most don’t know how easy and fun it can be especially when it’s working with animals. Animals are a great volunteering opportunity for everyone and there is many different places to help including Operation Kindness, SPCA, and Allen Animal Shelter.  With 6.5 million animals entering U.S. shelters per year, it is so important for people to help. There are lots of different ways to help including donating, adopting, fostering, and volunteering.  

Donating is one of the easiest ways to help. Bringing in some of your extra cash can make a big difference. Shelters use this money for so many things like feeding the animals and providing them with soft beds to sleep on, considering that shelters receive no government funding.

Adopting is another incredible way to help pets without homes. 74 percent of people have reported their mental health has improved since owning a pet. The adoption process is very simple and only requires a few steps. You can adopt at shelters by completing an adoption application and that helps adoption counselors determine some great pet options that suit you. You can then meet those animals and determine which one barks out your name. Finally adoption counselors can help prepare you to take home this new pet with resources and behavioral or medical conditions your pet might need.

Another fun way to help is fostering. This is something that can make a very big difference in an animal’s life. The only thing you really need to do is care and love the pet considering the shelters give you all the supplies you need like crates, food, and toys. It is a fantastic alternative if you are not quite ready to adopt yet. By just fostering one pet in your house, it can help the pet find a forever home. And who knows, maybe you’ll fall in love with it and want to adopt it after all.

Finally, one of the ways most people like to help, is volunteering. Volunteering is one of the most rewarding experiences. The process first starts with filling out an application and paying a small fee of only $25 for ages 6-16 or $35 for ages 17- up. That fee for a t-shirt, a badge, and not to mention, years of volunteering with some of the cutest animals you will ever see is a pretty good deal.

Most shelters have flexible times ranging from early in the morning to late at night and always need volunteers to walk the animals and play with them. There are many different activities you can also do that fit your skills instead of just walking animals. You can even volunteer at shelters or outside events such as mall and grocery store adoptions.

With the holiday season approaching, there are so many opportunities to help animals in need. Only one out of ten dogs will find a forever home, so think about what could work for you because helping could change your life.