So, I don’t have any pets. A dog was too much to take care of, I don’t really like cats, fish are overrated. And guinea pigs are only cool when you’re 11. But I do love animals. I wanted to figure out how I could both help my community in a meaningful way and also get to spend my time with some furry, feathered, cuddly, creatures.
Here are a dozen places where you can volunteer with animals in Charlotte.
Humane Society of Charlotte
The Humane Society asks for volunteers who are willing and able to make a long term commitment. They offer a slew of different volunteer positions — the options that include actually interacting with the animals are Basic Feline Socialization, Critter Care Wednesdays- Spay/Neuter, Foster Family Opportunities. Click here to get started with the first step, setting up your volunteer profile.
Dog Days of Charlotte
Dog Days of Charlotte lets volunteers help pull dogs from shelters, transport dogs to/from spay/neuter, take dogs to rescue transports, and with events. Start the volunteer process by filling out the availability and interest form.
Greater Charlotte SPCA
The Charlotte SPCA works with homeless animals, providing veterinary care, foster families, humane education, and spay/neuter programs. They ask for volunteers who are able to donate a few hours a month. Volunteer opportunities include Dog/Cat Foster Homes, Administrative support, Transport Drivers, Adoption Events, and many more. Learn more about volunteering on their website.
Caroline Waterfowl Rescue really needs volunteers. You could be a First Responder, which involves helping a scene of an injured or orphaned animal, transport driver, an educational ambassador, adoption coordinator, or a number of other roles. First take at look at their “Residents,” like Pringles the Goose and Marmalade the Rooster, and then tell me why you wouldn’t want to help these quirky creatures.
Project H.A.L.O. (Helping Animals Live On)
Project H.A.L.O. is a no-kill shelter animal shelter and sanctuary, rescuing homeless, stray and unwanted dogs and then working towards adoption. They offer opportunities to volunteer with Pet-Facilitated Therapy, Animal Care, Adoption Days, Humane Education, Picture Taking, Disaster Relief field work, Transport. Start the process by filling out this form.
Photo via the Humane Society
Doobert.com is a rescue relay transport service, meaning that they organize the movement of animals from overfilled animal control facilities to rescue organizations, from rescues to adoption homes. Doobert.com connects with animal shelters and organizations all over the country and then orchestrates the movement of animals in an attempt to save and improve as many animal lives as possible.
The cool thing about Doobert.com is that you fill out the days you’re available and the distance you’re willing to drive- so you can be as involved as you want to be. Start helping with rescue relay transport by creating a profile here.
Companion Parrots Re-homed
Companion Parrots Re-homed looks to rescue companion parrots from unwanted, emergency, or crisis situations and then place the birds into new adoptive homes. They are eager for volunteers to help at events, help make toys for the birds (you get to take a special toy-making class), transport birds, and even train the birds using positive reinforcement. Fill out their volunteer interest form here.
Fostering through CharMeck
The fostering program is vital to the CharMeck organization. This is your opportunity to foster week-old puppies and kittens. Or take in heart worm positive dogs, dogs with kennel cough, cats with URI, and just animals in need of socialization and training. Read about the specifics of fostering here and then fill out the application.
Carolina Raptor Center
Volunteers are an integral part of Carolina Raptor Center. They offer an Adult Volunteer Program that is a weekly 4 hour commitment, a Volunteer Group program that is a one-time 2+ hour commitment, and Transport Volunteering that is an on-call basis.
As a part of the Adult Volunteer Program you can work as a medic for the birds, help with their everyday activities like preparing food, and help maintain the Raptor center property. Volunteer positions vary with availability. For more information, check out their website. And, that’s a photo of their baby vulture. Too cool.
Photo via the Carolina Raptor Center
Discovery Place has a rainforest, aquarium, and hands-on labs where visitors can meet-n-greet live animals. As a volunteer, you can start working with marine invertebrates in the touch tank (that’s animals like sea urchins, crabs, and seastars). After going through a training sequence to develop skills to work with live animals, you can begin working with snakes, rats, lizards, turtles, arachnids (like spiders), cockroaches, tarantulas, tailless whip scorpions. Click here for the application.
Charlotte Nature Museum
Charlotte Nature Museum is looking for volunteers who are passionate about nature and animals, or who want to help get kids interested in science. Opportunities include working behind the scenes with exhibitions like the Creature Cavern and Butterfly Pavilion, helping with animal husbandry, and developing educational programs for the museum. Fill out an application here.
Mecklenburg County Nature Centers- Reedy Creek, McDowell, Latta Plantation
Volunteer with Charlotte’s Nature centers. They offer volunteer opportunities with animal care that involves routine maintenance and feeding of nature center animals as well as gardening projects. Read the current volunteer opportunities on their website to learn about the ways you can get involved.
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