Animal welfare volunteering – are you up for it? – Friendicoes

Animal welfare volunteering - are you up for it?


09 June 2023

No Comments

Home Adoption

Animal welfare volunteering – are you up for it?

Since Friendicoes’ founding in the 1970s to more than five decades later, our growth and often overwhelming operations would not have been possible without the support of the thousands of volunteers we’ve had through the years.

In the animal welfare community that we are a part of, volunteers play an integral role in our day-to-day functioning. With limited resources at our disposal, hiring sufficient permanent staff isn’t always feasible, and our volunteers step in to take on the part of the responsibility of caring for Friendicoes’ four-legged family. While we greatly value those who choose to dedicate their time and service to the cause, we also understand that this line of volunteering is not for everyone. Through this blog, we hope to shed light on what you can expect should you sign up with us!


The commitment

Animal welfare volunteering is much more than feeling a sense of personal satisfaction and fulfilment. A genuine drive is as important as the hard work, dedication and unflinching commitment that you would require. At Friendicoes, we value individuals who are dependable and firm in their resolve towards animal welfare, as any less would be unfair to the animals who need consistent care and attention.

On the other hand, a love for animals, no matter how great, may not be enough to get you through the realities of the experience. Volunteering is not for the faint of heart; you’d need a reasonably strong stomach to make it through. While there are countless moments of utter wholesomeness and peace with the animals under your care, there are also challenging times that can take a physical, mental and emotional toll on everyone involved.

If you’re ready to take that on, let’s move on to the roles you can take up!


Volunteering roles at Friendicoes

The animals at our shelter require care in many different ways, and we always welcome extra hands on deck. Here are the various forms your work as a volunteer at Friendicoes could take:

  • Volunteering at the shelter – The animals at the top have various needs and requirements owing to their history, age or breed. Some animals require special medical attention, behaviour and socialisation training, and other significant requirements. If you have the time and particular expertise, you can always discuss details with the shelter and volunteer to take on these tasks.

Apart from these special volunteer roles, there are some basic requirements of the animals that individuals with expertise can help with, like – walking the dogs, playing with the animals, feeding them, and cleaning the cages. We have over a hundred dogs on any given day, who in particular need people to take them on the long walks they yearn for all day – so if you can provide an hour of your evenings to Friendicoes, everyone would be grateful! While physical work is a significant part of animal welfare, we believe that having characteristics of empathy and kindness go a long way in making an impact on the lives of the animals.

Some shelters may allow you to volunteer for a day, but many shelters including Friendicoes, require a time commitment. Since animals find comfort in a particular routine, volunteers must follow a schedule. Thus, volunteers would be expected to show up on time and be consistent. While bonding with animals is necessary, having good communication skills with people is equally important, as you would work alongside many others to provide the best care for the animals.

If working at the shelter is not feasible for you, but you would still like to be a part of the community, there are other ways in which you could make an invaluable contribution:


  • Fostering – Providing the animals with a safe and loving home, albeit temporary, not only saves them from life-threatening situations that come with living at the shelter but also creates more space at the shelters for other animals in need. Learn more about fostering here.
  • Adoption support – Friendicoes has an adoption program that requires personnel to support the process of conducting various formalities like meeting and speaking with potential adopters, conducting house checks and monthly check-ins post-adoption and even transporting the animals between the shelter or their foster home to their new home.
  • Fundraising and donations in kind – Shelters always need funds and gifts in kind, and you could volunteer to organise fundraisers and collection drives at schools, colleges and neighbourhoods to lend a helping hand.

You can learn more about how you can contribute to Friendicoes with your time and services here. Do note that every shelter has its requirements, and you can always contact the shelter of your choice for more information about what the role would and can entail.


The challenging reality — full disclosure

Working at a shelter is fulfilling, and most days are pleasant, but there can be moments that challenge your resolve. Only individuals genuinely dedicated to the welfare of animals can overcome the odds and be there for the animals, no matter what. Would you be able to face these possible challenges in your volunteering journey?

  • While interacting with animals, you must be prepared for loud noises, bites, scratches and smells.
  • You may need to operate machinery and work outdoors for hours, so you should be able to handle the elements.
  • Some shelters will need you to fill out a waiver so you don’t hold them liable in the event of an accident, as there are situations and instances in which that may be possible. For example, anything can happen while rescuing a cow from a busy highway, or a rescued dog may show aggression and cause injuries to you.
  • It would be best to prepare for situations where an animal may be mangled, grievously injured and require your help. You must be strong enough to live through the blood, sweat and tears that go into animal welfare.

Animal welfare work is exceptionally crucial and rewarding but it can get very real very soon. At Friendicoes, we believe that you must be committed to the cause with high perseverance, endurance, patience, and a good work ethic. The hard work that goes in can sound daunting, but what makes the experience worthwhile are the little moments – the excitement the animals show when they see you, the unconditional love they shower you with, and above all, having a chance to witness the difference you make in their lives.


Join Friendicoes as a volunteer.

If you are genuinely passionate about the cause of animal welfare and have what it takes, we’d love to have you on board at Friendicoes. Sign up to be a volunteer here!