Asheville, North Carolina — Does your child love playing with pets and animals? If you have a child that does, then maybe volunteering at an animal shelter would suit them.
It is a great way to foster responsibility and compassion, as well as making the life of a homeless pet a little bit better.
“In my experience, this kind of volunteerism instills a sense of responsibility and pride in young people,” said Tricia Ruscoe, volunteer coordinator with Pet Harmony, an arm of the Animal Compassion Network.
“They learn that pets rely on them every day, that when they make a commitment to volunteer on a certain day and time, they are accountable for that commitment or the animals will suffer if they don’t complete those tasks,” Ruscoe said.
“The rewards are obvious and immediate: the knowledge that they make a difference in our world, and that dogs and cats are happy and healthy — and adoptable — because of their work.”
Emma Parham, 14, has volunteered with her mother for five years at the Asheville Humane Society.
“What we do is help them be more social — if they look too hyper or growl or sit at the back of the cage and don’t come up and socialize with people, they’re going to get the five-second look-over, and people will move on,” Emma said. “It’s like grooming them to get picked.”
There are many chores besides playing with kittens and puppies. Make sure, if your child wants to volunteer, make sure they know that.
Submitted by Jennifer Lauren Benton