Benefits of Volunteering

Sun Lakes, Cottonwood, Adoption event

Volunteers are the heart and soul of any shelter or dog rescue. Rescues are 95% volunteer-based, 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations, relying on the assistance of caring and hardworking volunteers. As a rescue grows, their reliance on volunteers increases, as the rescue cares for even more abandoned, abused, and neglected dogs finding them loving, life-long homes.

For animal shelters and rescues, the reality is that animal neglect and abuse has led to a vast surplus of abandoned and mistreated animals. With resources for community services being overstretched, it is no understatement to say that many animal shelters and rescues could not operate without the help of volunteers.

The goal of a rescue volunteer program is to help unfortunate dogs build confidence, expose them to relationships that are nurturing and compassionate, and help them discover trust in others. Committed volunteers socialize, walk, train, and showcase the adoptable dogs at meet and greet events—making a difference one set of paws at a time!

Volunteering connects you to others. A benefit of volunteering is the impact on the community, allowing you to connect to your community and make it a better place. Dedicating your time as a volunteer helps you make new friends, expand your network, and boost your social skills.

One of the best ways to make new friends and strengthen existing relationships is to commit to a shared activity together. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, strengthen your ties to the community, and broaden your support network by exposing you to people with common interests, neighborhood resources, and fun-fulfilled activities.

Volunteering is good for your mind and body. Volunteering helps counteract the effects of stress, anger, and anxiety. The social contact aspect of helping and working with others can have a profound effect on your overall psychological well-being. Nothing relieves stress better than a meaningful connection to another person or, in this case, a dog needing your love.

Volunteering makes you happy. By measuring hormones and brain activity, researchers have discovered that being helpful delivers immense pleasure. Human beings are hardwired to give to others. The more we give, the happier we feel.

Volunteering provides a sense of purpose. Adults, especially those who have retired or lost a spouse, can find new meaning and direction in their lives by helping others. Whatever your age or life situation, volunteering can help take your mind off your own worries and keep you mentally stimulated, all while helping an unfortunate dog needing a second chance.

Volunteering helps you stay physically healthy. Studies have found that those who volunteer have a lower mortality rate than those who do not. Older volunteers tend to walk more, find it easier to cope with everyday tasks, are less likely to develop high blood pressure, and have better thinking skills.

The satisfaction of knowing that you made a difference in a dog’s life—priceless! We’d love to see you at the Rover’s Rest Stop Meet & Greet on Saturday, March 11, for St. Patrick’s Day. The event will be held at the Cottonwood Dance Room A6 from 9 a.m. to noon. For questions or additional information, call 480-600-2828.