For many years, Animal Anti-Cruelty League has offered a volunteer programme for children and adults wanting to spend time with animals.
Volunteers (mainly children but adults are welcome) usually attend at least one volunteer course where they are taught the basics of handling and caring for animals. Adult volunteers are introduced to the organization through an orientation morning before starting to volunteer. Many people have thus been introduced to the work that we do but also played an important role in helping us to socialize (handling, feeding, bathing, brushing, walking) the animals in our care. Volunteers give of their free time when we are open and form an important part of our team.
Children that need to perform community service for their school (for awards or as part of the life orientation curriculum) are also accommodated in this volunteer programme. We decided to rename community service for learners due to some negative connotations, to life orientation service, which also fits in with the concept of them growing as individuals during this time.
After a basic orientation, life orientation learners are either utilized in the socialization of the animals, help with the implementation of the health programme or are utilized for various kennel projects. As each school has different requirements for its learners, we try to work out a programme to ensure that the time spent with us benefits both the learners and the organisation.
Life orientation learners have helped us to fix up our rabbit hutch, refurbish our puppy socialization course, repainted the food rooms, kitchens and cattery and spent many happy hours with the animals in our care. Many learners have also donated food, blankets and toys for the animals and gone on to become regular volunteers with us.
Companies also need to fulfill certain social responsibility criteria and here we accommodate them on our corporate puppy socialization mornings tailor- made to their requirements. Some companies want to give back to the community of their own accord, or want to use this as a team building exercise. Here we accommodate them either in projects or maintenance or just socializing with the animals.
Community service and life orientation service play an important role in our organisation by helping to spend additional time with the animals, and completing projects that we haven’t got around to yet. This service is also mutually beneficial as outside people are exposed to our work and the role that the organization plays in the greater community. Many people also grow in confidence as they are able to work independently, conquer any anxiety or fears they may have had about animals but still be part of a team.
For more information please contact branch.