Three days into the government shutdown, there is no clear signal that the political impasse will be broken imminently. Meanwhile, many public services are unavailable – including inspections at laboratories, puppy mills and other regulated facilities – and nearly a million federal employees are furloughed.
Having one’s livelihood ensnared in a battle between the two major political parties and between branches of government is a situation for which no employee would volunteer. I join with so many other people who care about our country in hoping for a swift end to the shutdown.
Volunteers assisting with a construction project at the
Fund For Animals Wildlife Center in Ramona, Calif.
In the meantime, furloughed employees who want to occupy their time and do good will find plenty of opportunities to volunteer with charities until the deadlock is broken. Among those charities are animal shelters, sanctuaries, rescues and advocacy organizations.
By assisting groups that help animals, furloughed employees and others can make good use of their time while doing life-saving work. Their participation will be welcomed, since the needs of animals and the organizations that defend them are so unrelenting.
Volunteerism with non-profit organizations drives so much of what works in our civil society, and that’s especially evident with the government crisis we now find ourselves in. One doesn’t have to be furloughed or retired to volunteer. It’s a commitment that everyone should make at some level in order to be a good citizen. And beyond “formal” volunteering, we should be conducting our lives in a way that reflects a conscious awareness of animals – and that means thinking about our food choices and other products we buy in the marketplace, getting pets from the right sources, and being respectful of wildlife – among other lifestyle choices.
The HSUS has numerous short-term and long-term volunteer opportunities for anyone interested in spending their free time working to help animals. Each of our six animal care centers is in need of extra hands to assist with everything from cleaning to helping with animal enrichment projects.
Learn about HSUS volunteer opportunities in your state or find a local animal shelter
where you can donate your time. If you prefer to address animal welfare issues on your own, check out our page on 55 actions to help animals. You can also contact our National Volunteer Center
to find out other ways you can help on behalf of animals.