Though dog lovers might argue that every month should be dedicated to our favorite wet-nosed four-legged friends, the national calendar has declared October to be Dogtober. In other words, October is the month to really turn up fundraising efforts for dog-related causes, take advantage of adoption specials, and participate in dog-friendly community events. You can show up for the cause all month long by finding Dogtober volunteer opportunities in your area — and nope, you don't have to own a dog to get involved.
Volunteering your time with a local organization during Dogtober won't just help your community's animal welfare efforts — it'll also give you an excuse to spend time with adorable dogs and fellow dog lovers. Opportunities range from helping out with community dog walks to actually fostering a dog for adoption. You can be as involved as you like, as there's no shortage of options when it comes to helping out nonprofits. And while Dogtober is a great time to offer your support, many of these volunteer opportunities are actually available year-round. So if you don't have time to take part this month, go ahead and bookmark these options for a later date.
Check Out Your Local ASPCA
Head to the The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) website, and find Dogtober volunteer opportunities in your area. The ASPCA has named October "adopt a shelter dog month" which means they're not only looking for volunteers to adopt dogs, but are also looking for fosters, onsite help with adoption events, and other odd jobs around the shelter that help make the adoption process easier. Call your local shelter and let them know what your interests and availability look like and they'll set up the volunteer effort.
Get Involved With Dogs For Good
Dogs For Good is a charity that provides service dogs, emotional support dogs, and family dog training to people in need. During Dogtober especially, they are in need of help with fundraising, onsite volunteer work with the puppies, and donations. On their website, they offer a list of ways you can help from home, with suggestions for how to raise money, like hosting a Dogtober "pupcake" sale that they even have a recipe for.
Follow Shelters On Social Media
You may even stumble upon volunteer opportunities by following the dog shelters in your area on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. And if you see photos of dogs that are up for adoption, feel free to re-post and spread the word. Chances are, you'll be the first to find out about onsite volunteer opportunities if you're checking your local shelter's social media pages daily.
Best Friends Animal Society
Best Friends is the nation’s largest no-kill sanctuary for pets. On top of taking in dogs who can't find homes, they also put a lot of work into the shelter system to reduce the amount of dogs that are left homeless. If you live in New York, Los Angeles, Utah, Houston, or Atlanta, you can volunteer with Best Friends during Dogtober by calling the organization and expressing your interest.
Check Out Your Local Humane Society
Head to the HumaneSociety.org during Dogtober and plug your state into the volunteer finder. Depending on available opportunities and needs, you'll see a list at the bottom of your screen, featuring both onsite and remote volunteer and internship opportunities that you can apply for by clicking on the job directly.
Foster & Adopt
If you're in the market for a dog, consider adopting during Dogtober. Many shelters around the country are offering discounted adoption fees to sweeten the deal. Call the shelters near you to see what they're offering and go check out the pups they have currently available. If you're not ready to be a dog parent, consider applying to be a foster.
Any amount of time that you can offer to your local animal shelters and welfare organizations will be useful. Whether it's an on-going onsite volunteer gig, a single afternoon, or even a few hours at home on the computer, your time will be well spent. Check out the ASPCA's "take action" tab, or call your local organizations to find out how you can be a resource.