Dog shelters are amazing organizations with volunteers that spend countless hours caring for and playing with dogs waiting to find their forever homes.
If you ask the volunteers why they continue with the long hours, they’ll often tell you it’s the best part of their day. What is it about volunteering at a dog shelter that makes us so happy? Here are three reasons:
Dogs are Happy!
Dogs are social creatures and they love being around people. A shelter dog’s exposure to people is usually only the volunteers who care for them each day. They associate the volunteers with things such as love, food, and playtime and even in shelters, some dogs’ happiness just can’t be contained. Genuinely happy dogs, such as Goldendoodles and Labradors, stay bursting balls of joy regardless of the situation and can always make you smile. However, even the most timid dogs often open up to the volunteers over time and get excited to see them each day! Having a scared dog open up to you is one of the most rewarding feelings.
Rob Thomas from Marvelous Dogs says “it is hard to be in a bad mood when a dog is looking at you like you’re the best thing they’ve ever seen”. The dogs themselves are definitely one of the many reasons why volunteering at a dog shelter makes people happy.
The Excitement of a New Best Friend
When you volunteer at a dog shelter, you never know what’s going to walk through the front door. Everyone who works at a shelter loves animals, but when you ask them, there’s usually at least one dog that they couldn’t walk away from. One dog whose story touched their heart on a personal level. One dog who was meant for them. Finding a connection like that with another living being is pure joy.
Volunteering at a shelter makes you happy, not only because it is a kind thing to do, but also because you have the chance to meet that one dog who will change your life forever. It gives you the opportunity to open yourself up to make connections with lots of animals from lots of different backgrounds and help them during this transition period in their life with the potential of finding a dog that is just right for you.
In a world full of social media and countless efforts to keep appearances up, meaningful connections in life can be hard to find. When you choose to volunteer at an animal shelter, you’re not only surrounding yourself with people who are passionate about the same things you are, you’re also surrounding yourself with animals you can make a connection with. You may meet another volunteer who becomes your new friend, or at least is willing to walk the dogs with you. You may find things in common with the shelter director and help them work through the daily tasks of running the shelter. Volunteering in an animal shelter is truly hands-on, with no time for phones, so when you take a break from the screen you’ll be surprised how happy you feel!
Regardless of why volunteering at a dog shelter makes people happy, there’s no question it brings unspeakable joy to humans and dogs alike!