For those of us who want to volunteer their time and talents to make the world a better place for companion animals, there are more options and opportunities than ever available to help dogs. While we all know about volunteering at a local shelter or rescue, but here are three out-of-the-box animal volunteer opportunities that you might not have known about.

Flight Escort Volunteering

Adopted and assistance pets need volunteers to accompany them via flights. The cost of transporting a dog can also be prohibitively expensive, but if accompanied by an escort, on certain airlines the pet’s airfare is free! This helps shelters and rescues save significantly more lives. If you are interested in being a flight escort volunteer, settle on a destination and do some research to find a shelter program that you trust. For some programs, all you have to do is show up for your flight as scheduled. Look for evidence that it is professional run, and see if anybody has left online feedback about their experience.  Decide whether you want to escort a cabin dog (small) or a cargo dog (large), and work with the shelter to arrange your travel and the dog’s travel.


With vaccination and sterilization programs running all over the world, many opportunities for animal related volunteerism exist, both here and abroad. While many of these programs require professional animal care staff, such as veterinarians and veterinary technicians, many organizations for the welfare of street dogs welcome volunteers with little to no experience. POD (personal Overseas Development) offers volunteers opportunities in Thailand to work with street dogs affected by the areas hit by the Tsunami. Simply by giving love and respect to the street dogs you can help them regain trust in humans again.

Behind the scenes Opportunities

Fundraising is a very important part of volunteering for animals. Without funds, there are no services! Here are several ideas on how to raise funds for your favorite local animal charity:

  • organizing a local fundraiser (ie- dinner party, stand at flea market)
  • promoting dog-sponsorship with friends or at your work
  • putting up a donation box at a local shop or vet clinic
  • asking friends and loved ones to make a donation to the dogs’ cause in your honor on your birthday or for Christmas
  • putting up blogs discussing the doggies’ stories
  • publishing an ad in a newspaper or magazine helping promote donations

Overseas operations are also in need of translators, administration and accounting support, and legal support. All of these seemingly animal non-related services opportunities are important ways for you to help save animal’s lives.