A couple weeks ago my 9 year old son asked me why I took pictures of the animals every week. I explained that since I couldn't bring them all home, I wanted to help them get adopted by creating a beautiful profile picture for the SPCA's website, in hopes that someone would fall in love with them and take them home.
I went on to explain how some businesses rely on people’s help, time and donations to be able to provide a service to others. I could see that his little brain was processing my response. Then he looked up at me with a very surprised look on his face and asked "Wait, you don't get paid!?" LOL "No, buddy, I answered, that's what volunteering is, you do it for free!".
In 2015 I started to work with Ontario SPCA Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry Branch, an amazing local shelter, as a volunteer photographer. I believe a great-looking photo is one of the ways these animals attract the attention of potential pet parents, and making sure each one has a terrific photo is always my goal. It isn’t always an easy or simple task – many of the animals are stressed with fear and pent up energy as a result of shelter life, some have been neglected or abused, others have limited social skills. Aesthetics can be challenging, as can lighting. But most often, all the animals need is a little time – time to release some energy, time to soak up some sun or stretch their legs, or time to get comfortable with me.
The rewards are immeasurable, the pets get the attention and exposure they need, and an improved chance of finding a forever home. If you are interested in adopting or volunteering your time to help out, you can contact the Ontario SPCA by clicking this link.
People choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons. For some it offers the chance to give something back to the community or make a difference to the people around them. For others it provides an opportunity to develop new skills or build on existing experience and knowledge.
Whatever the reasons you choose, get out there and volunteer! You won't regret it!
Volunteer Canada was established to provide national leadership and expertise on volunteer engagement to increase the participation, quality, and diversity of volunteer experiences. For more information on the Volunteer Factor, visit the Volunteer Canada website at volunteer.ca.