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Young kids volunteering with an animal rescue shelter?

My girls really want to volunteer with an animal rescue shelter (SPCA, etc) in some way... I know that they want them to be at least 16 before they volunteer (and I understand that there are liability issues and valid safety concerns) but are there any possible ways they can be involved now? We talked a bit about fundraising, and that's something we're going to see about pursuing, but does anyone know if there's the possibility of direct service? Anyone have younger kids who have helped out in some way?

Just to be clear: I wouldn't put my kids in an unsafe situation, and I respect that the SPCA wouldn't either. Obviously volunteering at a shelter would be a very different situation for a 6 year old than it is for a 16 year old. Hence my question. :-)


Asked by Collinsky at 1:28 PM on Jun. 18, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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This question is closed.
Answers (6)
  • i would call the shelter and ask, but most places require a person be at least 14 to volunteer, not only for liability issues, but also b/c the volunteers need to be unsupervised at times and they don't want to be babysitting while they are working. maybe if you volunteer the girls could do something with you. or you could ask if the kids come maybe come in and play with the animals on occasion as a volunteer service.

    Answer by vabchmommy at 1:37 PM on Jun. 18, 2009

  • I've stopped my kids now 16y and older from volunteering too at the SPCA cuz they really get badly treated animals sometimes. I think life's experiences being a kid and growing into late teens would help them deal with it. Rescue kennels aren't all about walking and cuddling abandoned animals.

    They actually probably have a fundraising division themselves that volunteers would be welcomed to join. I see a lot of drop boxes in supermarkets at different times of the years collecting cans of food. Maybe that? Oh and 4H has great opportunities to work with animals and you can join out of county manytimes.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:43 PM on Jun. 18, 2009

  • Thanks -- I sent the shelter an email, but calling would probably be a better idea. In the email I said that I would accompany and supervise them with anything that they were doing so perhaps that will make it more possible for them. Naturally they couldn't just turn a 6 yr old loose! Volunteering myself and having the girls accompany me might be something we could do as well. I will ask.

    I will definitely be checking into fundraising of some sort. And 4H might be a good choice as well, I think that might be something that would work for them.

    Answer by Collinsky at 1:49 PM on Jun. 18, 2009

  • I would ask if maybe they could go in the cat rooms and maybe help brush or a lot of the times they just like to be pet and played with...if you talked to them they might understand ...I think it would be great.

    Answer by calliesmommie at 12:19 AM on Jun. 19, 2009

  • great ideas, I also wanted to mention.
    Local pet stores have adoption day for the local shelters, maybe they could help there.
    We also have local farm that has (easter egg hunts, pumpkin patch, feild trips, etc.) so it is kid freindly, maybe you have one they could help out at. Especially with so many summer camps going on like horeback riding lessons or whatever.
    You could maybe ask the zoo, IDK.
    I like the fundraising, you could ask the animal shelter what they need and your children could do the shopping, then deliver the goods to the shelter too.
    GL what a wonderful way to teach your kiddos about giving back.

    Answer by Skyler11978 at 10:05 AM on Jun. 19, 2009

  • We have a neighborhood cat and rabbit shelter that takes 12 year old volunteers. Senior citizen homes always welcome all visitors.

    Answer by rkoloms at 10:19 AM on Jun. 19, 2009