Why do Connecticut Animal Shelters Need Volunteers Now?


Your assistance is desperately needed by the animal shelters in Connecticut. Donate your time to help save someone’s life. Only 1.7 percent of individuals choose animal welfare or environmental organizations for which to volunteer, as compared to 34.6 percent of individuals who choose religious organizations and 27.4 percent of individuals who choose educational or youth service groups, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of Labor from the year 2003.

Animal shelters, which frequently lack paid staff, are able to expand their services to the community with the help of volunteers. This results in an increase in the number of donations received and the demand for the shelter’s services, both of which can lead to the shelter’s ability to create paid positions.

According to the findings of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those between the ages of 35 and 44 were the most likely to volunteer (34.7 percent), followed by those between the ages of 45 and 54. (32.7 percent ). They made the observation that being asked by the organization to participate as a volunteer is by far the most common way people get involved. As a result, rather than waiting for potential volunteers to come to the shelter, I would encourage the animal shelters in the state to approach people directly and ask for assistance. This would significantly increase the likelihood that the shelter would be able to recruit volunteers.

According to Aesop, “no act of kindness, regardless of how insignificant, is ever wasted.” Many people acknowledge the sage advice contained within this statement. According to data that was provided by Independent Sector in 2001, two-thirds of adults began volunteering at a young age. Furthermore, research has shown that adults who volunteered when they were younger are twice as likely to volunteer as adults who did not volunteer when they were younger. People who volunteered when they were younger are more likely to give to charitable causes and volunteer their time overall, regardless of age or income. It was discovered that adults who volunteered themselves as children and had parents who also did so became the most generous givers of their time as adults.

According to the findings of Independent Sector’s study, the most common entry points for teenage volunteers are schools and/or religious organizations. Teenagers who are asked to volunteer have an almost fourfold increased likelihood of doing so compared to those who are not asked. As a consequence of this, the two best places to recruit teenage volunteers are at schools and within religious organizations.

According to research conducted by the Urban Institute (2004), only one out of every eight charitable organizations has a paid volunteer manager who dedicates one hundred percent of his or her time to the administration of volunteers. Is it reasonable to assume that the percentage is significantly lower when considering animal shelters? As the Volunteers Coordinator for Protectors of Animals, I have the opportunity to interact with hundreds of individuals each year who are considering becoming volunteers. People are frequently taken aback when they learn that the animal shelter is run entirely by volunteers; however, this is the case with the vast majority of animal shelters in Connecticut. Team leaders are in charge of various service areas at Protectors of Animals. These service areas include cat or dog placement, medication, clean and feed, socialization, and dog walking. These team leaders are also responsible for training and supervising the volunteers who work on their teams. The shelter has seen a lot of progress thanks to the implementation of this protocol.

Volunteers were found to be motivated by either an organization’s mission or the population that an organization helped, according to research conducted in 2002 by Lindberg and Dooley. The volunteers did so because they wanted to give something back to the community, and some of them had been helped by the organization in the past. For instance, a significant number of the volunteers who work for Protectors of Animals are people who have adopted a cat or dog from the shelter in the past. They had the feeling that they were important and needed, and that their contributions were valued. From my own experience, I can attest to the validity of each of the aforementioned arguments.

“From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, on the other hand, makes a life,” was a quote attributed to Arthur Ashe, a former tennis champion. Please give some thought to volunteering your time and skills at a local animal shelter. Donate your time to help save someone’s life. If you go to an animal shelter, you’ll see lots of tails wagging eagerly to meet you.

For the sake of the animals,
The Honorable Gregory M. Simpson

Over the course of his more than 25 years of involvement in animal welfare work, Gregory Simpson has held positions of leadership for a number of organizations in the state of Connecticut and has been a state advisor for the national organization Friends of Animals. He is currently serving on the Board of Directors for Protectors of Animals, Inc., and CAT FANCY magazine has recognized him as one of the most passionate cat lovers in the United States. In addition to that, he is a contributor to the Cat Writers’ Association.

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