One of the most popular entries on my blog has been our guide showcasing 55 ways to help animals and reminding animal advocates how they can plug into our campaigns at The Humane Society of the United States. We’re lucky to have so many dedicated supporters who not only donate and take action through our online alerts, but many who also give their time and energy to help animals. Our volunteers help our Animal Rescue Team care for pets at our emergency shelters, campaign for animal protection policies, monitor land protected by our Wildlife Land Trust, and much more.
Julie Busch Branaman
A volunteer holds a cat rescued by The HSUS.
Now, we’ve launched a new Volunteer Center to better serve our volunteers and highlight our range of volunteer opportunities and resources. You can browse volunteer opportunities here or read our tips for getting started.
This program is directed by Hilary Hager, who previously managed volunteers for animal shelters in Washington state and also volunteered as a wildlife rehabilitator and on the board of directors of a chimpanzee sanctuary. “I feel strongly that it's important to be a part of the solution, and volunteering allows me—and others—to act on my values and beliefs,” she says. Below are a few of her thoughts about volunteering, and you can read the full Q&A with her here.
Volunteering is such a rewarding way to make the world a more humane place, and I hope you’ll consider getting involved in whatever way you can, whether it's with The HSUS, your local shelter, or other animal groups.
Q: What types of volunteer opportunities do you have at The HSUS?
A. We have people who help animals in disasters, people who provide information and referrals to pet owners, and people who do community education and outreach. We have volunteers at our six animal care centers helping to rehabilitate wildlife and care for sanctuary animals. We also have grassroots advocates who operate as a network, responding to action alerts and writing letters, and visiting their state capitols on Humane Lobby Day.
The National Volunteer Center allows us to have a central touch point for people looking to engage in the work of The HSUS. The Center also serves as a resource for the coordinators of these programs…
Q: What skills are needed for volunteers?
A. That's where it is great working at an organization of the size and scope of The HSUS. We have opportunities for a range of talents and skills. It’s just a matter of finding the right way for a given person to plug into the work we do for animals.
I also want people to realize that even if there are no volunteer opportunities at The HSUS that are a good fit, there are meaningful ways to get involved in their own communities; they just have to find the right fit for them. The local listings on VolunteerMatch.org offer more opportunities.
Q: What do people tell you about their experiences as volunteers?
A. We are a part of an incredible community of people who love animals, and there are all kinds of ways to help—not just with dogs, cats, and other companion animals, but with farm animals and wildlife as well. When we're able to connect people with work they find meaningful, people feel grateful. Taking action on any scale feels important and is gratifying. We want to be of service—it's human nature. There is a profound sense of satisfaction in making a difference in an animal's life.