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Animal shelter volunteer work for kids: Top skills to shine

Volunteer teen Sarah Rutherford pets Kai while walking him at the Longmont Humane Society. Photo credit: Times-Call Lifestyles (Matthew Jonas / Staff Photographer)

Animal shelter volunteer work for kids is important. Kids learn responsibility and a respect for animals. It’s the perfect place to master face-to-face communication skills.

Animal Shelter Volunteer Work for Kids

In the article, “Teen volunteers keep Longmont Humane Society thriving“, Emily Ingram, head of the volunteer program, says, “We could not do the job we do here as well as we do here without help. We provide a very good quality of care here and that wouldn’t be possible without (teen volunteers).”

Ingram said that the interaction, walks and training provided by volunteers makes a big difference come adoption time. She said it benefits the teens because if they want to work with animals in their future careers, the animal shelter is a great place to start.

Volunteering at an animal shelter helps teens in other ways. It puts teens in situations where they use face to face communication skills. This helps prepare them for the work force. The experience teens gain volunteering at an animal shelter molds them into more effective volunteers.

Animal Shelter Volunteer Work for Kids: Top Skills for Teens to Shine

Animal shelter volunteer work for kids will produce better outcomes (adoptions) if teens have good communication skills. Here are some top skills from my book Smile & Succeed for Teens: Must-Know People Skills for Today’s Wired World to ensure teens shine:

1. Smile and Say Hello: When you see anther person, whether a co-volunteer, staff member or visitor, smile and say “Hello”. Your smile will set the tone for positive future interactions and brighten the person’s day. It may even lead to an animal getting adopted or a financial donation. It all starts with a smile!

I used to volunteer at an animal shelter walking dogs. Often I would be in the back of the shelter bringing a dog in or taking one out. There would be people in the back of the animal shelter looking for animals to possibly adopt. I would smile and say “Hello”.  I’d ask if they had questions about any of the dogs I walked. Often they would.

After telling them about the animals, I’d suggest they spend time with any animal they were interested in. About 70% of the time they’d end up adopting an animal just because I engaged them and was able to provide helpful information. You can do the same thing!

2. Turn Off the Electronics: When you are volunteering, keep your phone at home, or turned off, on silent or vibrate mode, and out of sight. This is part of being a professional volunteer and lays the foundation for good work habits.

3. Say Please and Thank You: When you request something always say “please”. When someone does something nice for you, always say “Thank you”. Good manners go a long way.

4. Say “You’re Welcome”: When someone says “Thank you”, always respond with “You’re Welcome”. It shows respect. Never respond with “No problem” or “Yep”.

Animal shelter volunteer work for kids is important. Having good people skills is crucial to ensure that visitors are delighted. This leads to more animals getting adopted, and that’s the end goal. Learn more about Smile & Succeed for Teens: Must-Know People Skills for Today’s Wired World.

Kirt Manecke is the author of the award-winning book Smile: Sell More with Amazing Customer Service. Learn tips for animal shelter volunteer work for kids in his award-winning book Smile & Succeed for Teens: Must-Know People Skills for Today’s Wired World. Learn more on Kirt’s website.

Posted by Kirt Manecke | 0 Comment
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