As we close out Thanksgiving weekend and continue through the holiday season, we are grateful as we look back and excited as we look forward. Taking some time to check in with all of the things we are thankful for is important at this time of year. All of us at Hunter’s Pet Sitting also believe that this time of year is extra rewarding when we find ways to give back.
We can give back to our community in more ways than monetarily. Giving is expedited when we volunteer our time and talents. This Thanksgiving, we challenge you to think about something you truly love or care about. We have created a list of pet-related ideas that may spark your interest. There are so many incredible ways to give and this is just a short list to start the conversation.
Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando Bark Buddy: Requires 3 hours of training, and 3 hour orientation. Minimum of 6 volunteer hours a month. Regular handling of dogs in kennels, can be noisy and hot. Cleaning and ensuring daily care of shelter dogs. Take on walks around property and play with them in designated yard space on property. Help keep shelter dogs socialized to ensure they will find their forever home!
Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando Kitty Cuddler: No orientation or training needed, minimum of 6 volunteer hours per month. Assist in cleaning cages, socializing kitties, enrichment activities, greet potential owners and help them find their new fur baby based on what they are looking for to ensure a good match!
Bully Up Volunteer: A non-profit, volunteer, foster based organization located in Central Florida whose goal is to positively change the perception of the bully breed. They need volunteers for transporting, donation pick-up, fundraising, marketing, event/outreach coordinating, and fostering.
Pixel Fund Foster Parent: Fostering is one of the most important roles for shelter animals. Certain shelter animals can thrive more in private foster homes away from chaotic life of the kennels. Fosters can help cats and dogs get used to people/children/other pets. You agree to provide, at your own expense: shelter, food, love and affection, safe and appropriate exercise for the foster animal, and to alert The Pixel Fund as soon as possible if an issue arises that may require medical care. The temporary foster placement can last between 2 days and up to 30 days. The average stay for a Pixel Pet is about 6 days.
Pet Rescue by Judy Dog 4 a Day: Pet Rescue by Judy is one of the larger more well-known private shelters in the Orlando area. They have lots of volunteer opportunities including Dog 4 a Day! With Dog 4 a Day, it gives you the opportunity to take a shelter dog out for a day of fun and socializing! Must fill out form online and get approved. Pick up time is between 10-11, and dogs must be returned by 4 pm. Trips to dog parks and private residences are strictly not allowed. Also, please don’t bring your own pet with you for the safety of you, the shelter dog, and your own pet. You can take them for walks and maybe help find their forever home!
Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando Enrichment Volunteer: Requires a one-hour orientation, and one hour of hands-on training. Prepare food and treats for various pets in shelter. Does not take dogs out of the kennels, so this position would be perfect for someone who is not entirely comfortable handling shelter dogs, but still wants to help so they can find their forever homes. They assist the Bark Buddies with day-to-day tasks. Requires minimum of six volunteer hours a month.
Central Florida Pug Rescue Event Volunteer: While they receive donations from the community, fundraising is a major source of their funds. Central Florida Pug Rescue holds fundraising events throughout the year, and there is always room for one more. You can join by volunteering at one of their events.
Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando Community Engagement Volunteer: Requires a one-hour orientation, and two hours of engagement training. Must volunteer at a minimum of two events per month for six months. Engagement Volunteers lead tours of shelter and group volunteering programs, and also offer education opportunities at offsite community events, schools, offices, and more. Must be comfortable speaking to groups and handling shelter dogs and cats.
AniMeals on Wheels: AniMeals on Wheels provides pet food and veterinary services to the pets of qualifying senior citizens in Osceola, Orange and Seminole County. This serves as a supplement program, and the senior should not rely solely on the benefits of this program to feed and/or care for their pets. Helps deliver a predetermined amount of pet food to various homes of senior citizens. Offers vet services as well, such as spay/neuter, vaccines, flea and heartworm prevention.
Hound Around Town: Certain shelter dogs can be checked out seven days a week from 12 pm-3 pm. You may take them to approved locations that are found on the Pet Alliance website. They have locations in Sanford and Orlando. Must have dog on leash at all times and absolutely no dog parks. Must be available by phone at all times in case the shelter needs to contact you. Must fill out form online to participate. This program is great for socializing dogs and possibly helping them find their forever homes!
Where to Donate –
Donation Opportunities: Local animal shelters are always in need of items to take care of all of the animals on a daily basis. You can always donate monetarily whenever! They also always needs towels, food, brushes, leashes and toys! Anything your dog enjoys, a shelter dog or cat would also be so thankful to have. Local pet stores usually have drop off boxes for donations as well. Check your local pet store.
Private Shelter Opportunities: There are lots of private shelters in Orlando that are also in need of volunteers and supplies! Check with your local shelter and see the list of “items in need” on their website. Volunteer hours can be available for high school students who need hours to graduate.