Many animal welfare organizations rely on volunteers to help create a positive impact in their efforts to save the lives of homeless pets. “Volunteers are the primary reason that we can save the lives of these dogs,” said Jennifer Mazzocchi, president and founder of Mayday Pit Bull Rescue & Advocacy.
Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (MCACC) in Arizona is another organization that relies heavily on the support of volunteers. According to MCACC’s website, they are the nation’s second largest shelter and have more than 200 active volunteers each week. The organization uses volunteers in a variety of roles, honoring their commitment to end the euthanasia of homeless pets.
In his role as Maricopa County Animal Care and Control Assistant County Manager, Dr. Rodrigo Silva is passionate about helping save the lives of homeless pets and a strong supporter of the role volunteerism plays in this effort.
Volunteers Play an Integral Role in the Success of Nonprofits
Dr. Silva points out that these hard economic times have made it difficult to maintain the level of services the community has come to expect from MCACC, noting that MCACC’s challenge is to secure sustainability by becoming more efficient. “We need to continue to grow our life-saving efforts. However, this growth will not be easy. We must trim costs in areas where the benefits are not as evident and weigh our decisions with a clear understanding of community needs, giving much consideration to the many lives that are at stake,” said Dr. Silva.
Volunteers play an integral role in helping organizations like Mayday Rescue and MCACC during these times. The gift of time given by volunteers is invaluable in the operations of these organizations and there is always a need for helping hands.
“Volunteers are a driving force behind dog and cat adoptions and MCACC. We certainly would not be able to save so many lives without their hard work and dedication,” said Dr. Silva. “They allow us to maximize resources and increase pet adoption efforts in our facilities, special events, and other locations. Those caring individuals that open their homes to provide foster care for many ill, injured or young animals are amazing. Thanks to their efforts, we are able to save many more animals.” Mazzocchi agrees, “Since we are completely foster and volunteer-based, Mayday Rescue would not exist without its volunteers.”
Opportunities for Volunteers
There are a number of volunteer opportunities available at animal welfare organizations. At Mayday Rescue, volunteers help with coordination, grant writing, donation tracking, sending thank-you cards and creating marketing materials. They can also act as fosters and help at adoption events. At MCACC, opportunities include dog and cat adoption counseling, animal care, clerical assistants, veterinary clinic volunteers, representing MCACC on television and radio, fostering dogs and cats and assisting their community outreach team.
Dr. Silva suggests that any individual looking to become actively involved with an animal welfare organization first research the organizations in their community and find the organization that is the best fit for him or her.