Donating your time to a cause you care about is a win-win situation, all around. Why not get the whole family involved, your pet included? These creative volunteer ideas will open your mind to the ways you can give back to your community with the help of your pet. Options vary by location, so contact your local animal shelter or nonprofit humane society for local leads on the following volunteer opportunities.


Up the ante on your daily walk by signing up for a dog-friendly 5K walk or run. Races benefit a wide variety of charities, ranging from pet rescues to cancer research. Browse a list of dog-friendly races all around the country at



For a child learning to read, dogs can provide a non-judgmental, morale-boosting companion. There are myriad organizations around the country—SitStayRead in Chicago, Illinois, and Bow Wow Reading Dogs in Austin, Texas, to name a few—that connect owners of well-behaved dogs with school-aged kiddos in need of a four-legged reading friend. Therapy Dogs International has a presence in all 50 states and is a great place to start.


Blood drives can help people undergoing medical procedures, and the same goes for animals. If your pet is in good health, donating blood may be an option. The next time you’re at your local veterinarian’s office, ask about dates for upcoming blood drives.



Pets of all kinds and their owners can get involved in service programs to benefit other members of your community. Perhaps your poodle could visit a senior center, your parrot could lend a wing during an elementary school’s science lesson or your golden retriever could assist with physical therapy tasks (like fetching a thrown toy from a patient recovering from an arm injury) at a rehabilitation facility.

Before certain pets can be eligible for adoption, they may need a temporary home and caretaker. If you’re willing serve as a host and your current pet is friendly, he or she can help socialize a foster pet for a few much-needed days or weeks before moving on to a forever home.


>>Don’t have a pet yet? Consider volunteering your time or donating items such as food, litter or cleaning supplies to your local humane society or animal shelter. Don’t be afraid to ask what special needs that a charitable pet organization currently needs. You might be surprised what skills you have that could be of use, from photographing pets for adoption to helping promote events via social media.

>>HELP US CELEBRATE NATIONAL PET DAY – Saturday, February 20th Gordmans will be celebrating National Pet Day at all it’s stores by letting you bring your furry friend in to shop! There will be free treats, photo stations for you and your pet and a chance to win fun prizes. Find out more HERE!