How to Volunteer at an Animal Shelter in India: Tips to Get Involved

How to Volunteer at an Animal Shelter in India: Tips to Get Involved

Animal shelters are a haven for residents who often face abandonment, cruelty and lack of compassion. Volunteering at an animal shelter ensures that you are doing your bit for less fortunate living creatures. Animals have a right to dignity and life: Treating them like commodities is a violation of this right. Human beings that lack compassion are the reason why these living creatures have been cast out and animal shelters seek to remedy the situation.

Volunteering at an animal shelter in India can enrich you in many ways and benefit its residents too. Check to see the urgency of the shelter's needs. Often, animal shelters in India are low on workers, though high on enthusiasm. Offer them your support and time, and see just how amazing the results are. Stay at AnimalWised to learn how to volunteer at an animal shelter in India with our tips to get involved.

Steps to follow:

Not all animal shelters in India are the same, and there are differences from one city to the next. This is why you need to be clear about the time commitment. If you volunteer in a shelter, you are making a commitment to the shelter and its residents. You should be clear about your schedule and the requirements of the shelter.

Shelters in India remain open 5 to 7 days in a week and also on weekends for limited hours. Always ask what the schedule and expected timings for events or animal care sessions are. There may be a certain number of hours you may be required to observe to ensure that your volunteer title is well-deserved. Don't think you can just go on a free day: Caring for animals in a shelter means you are making a promise to them and their keepers.


The next step to check is the training program you may have to participate in before you can work as an active volunteer. Training is an essential part of the animal shelter's activities.

For example, some individuals are great people persons. They can serve the shelter better through marketing or fundraising. People with an affinity for animals may still lack the essential skills to be able to carry out volunteer duties effectively. Training really comes in handy at a time like this. You get the required information about how to care for animals, socialize them and nourish them.


Tasks involved are equally important.

Ask what aspects need to be looked into when animal care is the primary duty. From bathing to grooming animals, volunteers can carry out a vast range of activities. Other tasks may also be needed to keep the shelter running, such as organizing a charity event or maintaining accounts. Be clear about the kind of activities you will be expected to carry out when you are a volunteer at an animal shelter in India.


Another step is to check the types of animals that call the shelter their home. Many shelters have cats and dogs. But there are animal shelters in India with more exotic pets such as peacocks, snakes and monkeys. If you have an aversion to certain animals, you need to consider this before volunteering for the shelter. The animal shelter should ideally provide the environment that is in line with your preferences.

This forms the crucial step of participating as a volunteer at an animal shelter in India. For example, some volunteers may be afraid of larger animals or snakes. Others may have a phobia or allergy to a particular animal such as cats. Whatever your limitations, make sure you consider them while enrolling at an animal shelter as a volunteer.


Weather conditions are another crucial factor to consider. Working indoors or outdoors, you need to consider factors such as heat, cold, and hardships arising from changes in temperature. Indian shelters are not climate controlled in the interiors most of the time. This means that depending upon which season it is, you will have to experience the weather in all its extremity.


You may volunteer at your own risk, because there is always a chance of an animal attack or an accident. Shelters generally require you to be aware that beyond providing first aid and access to medical care, they cannot guarantee protection from scratches and other injuries.

You also may be needed to handle different kinds of equipment. Check what tools will be needed for the performance of volunteering duties. Office work uses standard equipment such as computers, but animal shelters may require you to use pressure washers or cleaning equipment.


Handling the noise level and difficult animals can make a volunteer's job challenging. Apply with complete documentation and cent per cent honesty about whether you can handle the challenges of being an animal shelter volunteer in India. Scared and abandoned animals require careful handling.

This is why shelters may require you to complete paper or online applications before carrying out volunteer work. They may require contact details and information about your medical status before deciding to take you on. Check and be sure to inform them of any medical conditions you have while applying, so that they can take proper precautions.

A good volunteer needs to work hard for making the animal shelter a permanent home for its inmates, not just a temporary oasis.

Here you can learn more about the rights of street animals in India and the five freedoms of animal welfare.

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