Poll: Do You Participate in Animal Welfare Volunteer Work?
Why do people volunteer, including veterinary professionals who give of their time and skills to better the lives of animals in need?
Margaret Mead, the anthropologist and recipient of the Planetary Citizen of the Year Award in 1978, is credited with saying: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Elizabeth Andrew wrote: “Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they have the heart.” And though we’re not sure where this quote originates from, perhaps this resonates the most with veterinary professionals who perform animal welfare volunteer work: “Some people don’t understand why I help animals in need. I don’t understand why they wonder.”
The Benefits of Volunteering
Being a volunteer benefits the person just as much as it benefits the recipients. In 2015, over 62 million people provided nonprofits their time in the form of volunteerism. These volunteers provided just short of 8 billion hours of service. A Carnegie Mellon University study, published in Psychology and Aging, found that older adults who perform volunteer work could increase their physical activity among people who aren’t otherwise very active, said lead study author Rodlescia Sneed, a doctoral candidate in social and health psychology at Carnegie Mellon University. It may also reduce stress. “Many people find volunteer work to be helpful with respect to stress reduction, and we know that stress is very strongly linked to health outcomes,” she said.
And there are numerous opportunities — from fostering homeless animals waiting for a forever home to helping at a local shelter to traveling to provide veterinary care to pet owners who can’t afford it, veterinary professionals are uniquely qualified to lend their skills — and hearts — to animals.
We asked our Facebook fans: Do you participate in animal welfare volunteer work? More than 100 veterinary professionals responded and were evenly split:
Do you participate in volunteer work related to animal welfare?
Learn More About Animal Welfare Volunteer Work
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