1) Do something meaningful with your weekend
If you’re anything like me, there’s a good chance that you wake up at around noon every Saturday, take another hour to get out of bed, and about half a day to do anything remotely productive. Many events start early in the morning and are finished by lunchtime, so you can spend the rest of the day lazing around and still feel like you’ve accomplished something #winning.
2) PUPPY CUDDLES (and sometimes kitty cuddles too!!!)
This one does not require an explanation – get all the cuddles you could ever want and more. For many of us who are not able to have pets at home for one reason or another (thanks mum), this opportunity is extra precious as we can get our fill of sweet furry kisses to last us through to the next event.
3) Improve your animal handling and training skills
If like me, you are an office-based volunteer or intern and don’t get to spend time with shelter animals on a regular basis, events provide the perfect opportunity to develop or improve your animal handling skills. After only a couple of events I’ve learnt the intricate art of getting a dog to pose for a photo, as well as keeping them calm at all times while still allowing them to show off their charm.
4) Make new friends
When volunteering at RSPCA events you get to spend a few hours with like minded people, who enjoy the same things as you and have the same passions and priorities in life. You couldn’t find a better match if you used a dating agency! On more than one occasion a morning event turned into breakfast, then lunch, then drinks... then … you get the picture. Sounding like the perfect Saturday yet?
5) Regain your faith in humanity
Many of the events are often held at local cafes, shopping centres, and even pubs. Local business owners open up their businesses and hearts to us, donating the space for the greater good. These generous souls will warm your heart and restore your faith in humanity.
6) Meet celebrities
OK, so this one will not happen at every event, but in my short time volunteering at events I have personally met a number of TV personalities and sports stars. The RSPCA has a large number of celebrity ambassadors who often make appearances at events and are happy to meet and take photos with animal lovers just like them. Just make sure you don’t get star struck like I do.7) Help spread the word about the RSPCA
While some events focus on the rehoming of animals, others simply aim to educate the public about the RSPCA and what they do. You will often find yourself chatting to an enthusiastic animal lover about such serious topics as the 'no kill' term, puppy farms, etc. These events offer a great chance to clear some common misconceptions about the RSPCA and leave people with more understanding.
8) Do something good in a short amount of time
If you’ve always wanted to do something to support the RSPCA but found that between a full time job, a family, and other commitments you just don’t have the time or energy to volunteer at the shelter on a weekly basis, this might be just the thing for you! Events are a perfect opportunity to do something great when you have time, without the long-term commitment.
9) Help animals find a home
One of the most memorable things that have happened in my time with the RSPCA was to witness a family falling in love with one of our shelter dogs at an event and then come to the shelter the following day to adopt him. These events allow dogs who struggle in the shelter environment to go outside and be their true happy, loving selves and give them a much better chance to be adopted.
10) All the fun