If you’re an animal lover and want to support your community by helping animals, then there are some great opportunities for you in Denver. There are many animal welfare organizations in Dever, Aurora and across the metro area who are looking for volunteers to work for them. We recommend all members of psychology volunteers for animals work at either a shelter or veterinary practice to understand more about the struggles and challenges facing animal welfare employees. Here’s what we recommend:
Animal shelters provide care for homeless, unowned pets. They are a unique place and present unique struggles. Employees and volunteers pour their hearts into the care of the shelter animals often never hear from them again. It takes a big heart and big faith. Here’s where we recommend volunteering:
The DFL is the largest animal sheltering facility in Denver and is one of the largest animal shelter facilities in the nation. They have more than 1,000 volunteers in a variety of roles. Volunteers can do anything from assist in an administrative capacity to actually providing and administering treatments for feline and canine patients! They employee almost 200 people as well in a variety of positions! The DFL is a massive organization! As a result, the volunteer process can take some time to navigate. Don’t expect to be able to just show up and start working animals. Volunteers have to go through a rigorous process including interviewing and training classes. But the experience will be well worth it. The DFL will train you better than most other organizations!
If you are 16 years or older, you can join this organization as a volunteer. You can help with dog grooming, transportation, training, socialization, and more. Orientation for volunteers takes place twice a year. This the city shelter and as a result, it houses a different type of animal. Unfortunately, this means that the Denver Animal Shelter is often viewed as a more negative environment. This isn’t true! While many residents bring their animals to the DFL due to their powerful reputation in the community, the Denver Animal Shelter is a great, modern and well kept facility that is doing great work.
Veterinary clinics provide services to the public but they’re also uniquely positioned to offer free services. While most don’t take volunteers (since they are offering a professional service) many clinics still offer an opportunity to shadow their services. We recommend reaching out and explaining that you’re interested in finding out more about the mental tolls that practicing veterinary medicine takes on practitioners.
Still, many clinics have charitable programs, such as our favorite Aurora clinic, Parkside Animal Health Center, that offered a supply drive for Aurora-based rescue group Big Dogs, Huge Paws. Whenever events like this occur, the organization always need volunteers! Finding opportunities like this can be a great way to make a humane impact with minimal animal handling experience!