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It is a question we often get asked by volunteers. The interest has been overwhelming, so we’ve decided to dedicate a specific post to that question and not simply throw it in the FAQ. Frankly, these don’t get enough attention from our readers, and maybe a separate and detailed overview of the matter will be good enough.
Most likely you will be asked what you prefer to do at the shelter. You can have a look of the various tasks at the shelter and pick those which suit you most. However, don’t forget you are dealing with live animals. Their cages may not be squeaky clean all the times, even the workers there try to! Wear clothes that you won’t regret if accidentally they get ruined. At the end of the day they might stink, be covered in fur, or have holes in them.
So our advice is to wear clothes that you feel comfortable in. Clothes that you can easily wash every time. Clothes that are durable. Clothes you won’t regret if they got ruined by the little paws and claws in the shelter. Pick your clothes according to the weather conditions.
If you pop up straight after work, it would be a good idea to bring a separate change of clothes (aka work-with-animals clothes). Here is a sample suitable outfit:
Same thing is valid for shoes as well. Pick a pair that is durable and comfortable. If you are visiting for the first time, pay special attention to where the animals are kept and what is the terrain. Most of the shelters have concrete floors, but some of them are located on an uneven terrains. Most footwear would work well on the concrete, but be more careful with your footwear choice for the uneven terrain. If you can get a pair of logger work boots. They have higher heel and are made for standing up long hours without putting strain on your feet.
Also, make sure you bring a sticky roller with you every time. The last thing you would want is to have fur all over your car when you go home after a hard day at work. Even though inevitably you would end up with some fur in the car, the seats won’t be totally covered in fur.
We strongly believe that you would like the volunteer work a lot. The little pals at the shelter are waiting for you!