Every day, volunteers in shelters, animal welfare groups, and veterinary clinics work tirelessly to ensure animals receive the care they deserve. Their efforts bring happiness to countless pets and their owners. This National Volunteer Week, let’s shine a light on these amazing dog-loving volunteers and explore how you can contribute to their vital work.

Heroes in Our Community

Volunteers across Victoria’s dog space play a crucial role in ensuring that our furry friends receive the care and support they need. These dedicated individuals take on walking dogs, providing office support, assisting with community fundraising events, and offering hands-on help in rescue shelters. Their efforts ensure that animals are well-cared for, enriched, and have the best chance at finding loving homes.

Volunteers engage in vital activities like cleaning kennels, providing socialisation and enrichment for dogs, and supporting administrative tasks to keep shelters running smoothly. They also play a key role in organising and supporting fundraising events, which are crucial for sustaining the operations of these organisations.

Their support is critical to the success of shelters and animal welfare groups. Without volunteers, many of these organisations would struggle to provide the necessary care and services for animals in need. 

Volunteers help ensure that animals receive proper care, attention, and opportunities for socialisation, significantly improving their chances of being adopted. Additionally, volunteers help secure the financial resources needed to continue their mission by aiding in fundraising efforts.

How and Where you can Volunteer

Want to join the ranks of these fantastic volunteers? There are plenty of opportunities across Victoria. Here are a few organisations that could use your help:

  1. RSPCA Victoria: Volunteering here can involve everything from caring for animals to helping with events. Volunteers assist with cleaning, feeding, and even giving animals some much-needed love and attention. You can check their website for volunteer programs suited to different skill sets and time commitments.
  2. Guide Dogs Victoria: This organisation needs volunteers to walk future guide dogs, provide kennel assistance, drive people with vision loss, do gardening, and help with special events. This volunteer program supports the smooth operation of their programs.
  3. Lost Dogs’ Home: This organisation often needs volunteers to walk dogs, clean kennels, and assist with adoption events. It’s a hands-on way to make a real difference. They also offer opportunities for behaviour training assistants who want hands-on experience enhancing newly qualified dog trainers.
  4. Lort Smith Animal Hospital: Volunteers can help with laundry, administrative support, and fundraising events at Lort Smith, which is located at the North Melbourne and Campbellfield Centre. Their volunteering programs allow this not-for-profit animal hospital to thrive.
  5. Animal Aid: This organisation offers a wide range of volunteer opportunities. Volunteers assist with everything from cleaning and animal transport to providing support at fundraising events. They also have a Youth Volunteering Program for supervised 13 to 17-year-olds at their Coldstream location.
  6. Save-A-Dog Scheme: Volunteers assist with tasks such as cleaning the kennels and cattery, feeding, grooming, doing laundry and dishes, and providing office support. Additionally, there are roles for those interested in fundraising, marketing, graphic design, gardening, and maintenance. The volunteer program is a fantastic way to get involved and support rescue efforts while utilising various skills.
  7. Project Underdog Rescue: This group offers volunteer roles in intersection collecting, transport, event setup, property assessments, HQ assistance. The volunteer program also welcomes skilled volunteers like graphic designers and photographers.
Dog sheleter volunteering

What’s Involved

Volunteering isn’t just about giving your time; it’s about making a tangible impact. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Time Commitment: Most organisations ask for a regular commitment, whether weekly or monthly. Even a few hours can make a big difference.
  • Training: Many places provide training, so you know how to help. This can include learning about animal behaviour, handling techniques, and safety protocols.
  • Tasks: Depending on the organisation, tasks can range from hands-on animal care to event planning and administrative support.

The Impact of Volunteering

Volunteers are the backbone of these organisations. Your efforts can lead to:

  • Better Care for Animals: More volunteers mean more hands to provide care, which can improve the quality of life for animals waiting for homes.
  • Community Engagement: You can foster a more dog-friendly community by helping at events or spreading awareness.
  • Support for Staff: Volunteers lighten the load for regular staff, allowing them to focus on specialised care and services.

Join the Movement

Feeling inspired? Volunteering in the dog community is a rewarding way to give back and connect with fellow dog lovers. Whether you’re a seasoned volunteer or just starting, your efforts can make a big difference. So, why not reach out to one of these fantastic organisations and see how you can help?

National Volunteer Week is the perfect time to start. Let’s celebrate our volunteers and continue building a dog-friendly Victoria together!