Giving your time to a cause you care about is a great feeling. And if you love animals, there is no shortage of exceptional organizations within Minnesota that are dedicated to expanding the knowledge about animals and nurturing them. To offer your time and assistance, check out this list of some of the best places to volunteer in the state. Or get involved by visiting the many volunteer placement websites online, a local animal shelter or by asking your veterinarian what they recommend as a worthy cause. Do your part and make a difference in the life of an animal and it undoubtedly will make a difference in yours as well.
Crossroads Animal Shelter
2800 10th St. S.E.
Buffalo, MN 55313
Animal shelters are always in need of volunteers, and with shelters located throughout the state, there is an opportunity for all Minnesotans to do their part to help local animals. At Crossroads, for example, there are many ways for volunteers to offer their time and talents. This includes transporting the animals to and from veterinary appointments, grooming them or spending one-on-one time giving them attention. Many other volunteer positions are available that indirectly help the animals as well. Those interested are encouraged to come by the Crossroads Animal Shelter in person to check out the possibilities.
13000 Zoo Blvd.
Apple Valley, MN 55124
At the Minnesota Zoo, volunteer work can include assisting in the barnyard, helping staff with on-site research projects or sharing information about exhibits to guests. Training is required for a volunteer position here which means more of your time is also involved. Some volunteer opportunities are summers only for up to four hours a week while others entail a year-long commitment of two to four days each month. In these exciting and in-demand positions, you will not only get to interact and learn more about animals, but there are great benefits too, including unlimited IMAX admission and free zoo passes for your family.
Rochester, MN 55903
If you love cats, consider providing a foster home to adult cats and kittens in need. Foster care is used for a variety of situations. This includes giving injured cats a place to heal while they are waiting to be adopted or providing a safe, warm location for a homeless and pregnant cat to give birth to her litter. Camp Companion will work to find a permanent home for the cat while they are in your care. You just need to provide some love in the meantime.
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10132 235th St. W.
Lakeville, MN 55044
Fur-Ever Wild is an educational farm that brings you up-close with the fur-bearing animals of North America. Animals on site include cougars, wolves, foxes, bobcats and albino raccoons. Volunteer possibilities at this center can entail giving tours, washing buckets or other odd jobs to help maintain the care for these animals. Opportunities to assist are flexible and open to teens, adults and seniors.
Sundown Horse Shelter
16177 Harrow Ave. N.
Hugo, MN 55038
If you have experience with horses, Sundown is a great place to offer your time and attention. This shelter takes in horses that have been abused or neglected and volunteers provide these animals with the love and maintenance they need. Volunteering with Sundown can entail feeding or grooming the horses or assisting with pony rides for children. Many other opportunities are available as well that do not include directly working with the horses, such as cleaning the stalls and sheds or doing some event planning for the organization.
Cortney Mohnk is a freelance writer covering all things Minnesota. She is also a public relations and event planning professional. Her most important job is mother to her young daughter, who is her partner-in-crime when checking out the family entertainment scene in the Twin Cities. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.