Vet Connect: Partner with Your Pet in Service

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Volunteering is a great way to connect with your community and to have the opportunity to receive many blessings. There are also opportunities for those that don’t have pets to be involved in enriching human and animal lives. Huntsville Pets Helping People – anon-profit where members volunteer certified therapy animals to bring joy to nursing homes and hospitals, as well as entertainment and educational experiences in schools. READassistance also provides books and supplies for classrooms. Special occasion celebrations include holiday events and birthdays. Anyone can start the process by getting pets certified as a therapy animal by visiting petshelpingpeople.com/volunteer. Several educational opportunities are also available, including obedience and agility classes. Individuals can also approach various entitiessuch as schools and hospitals if they have certified pets to be used in different capacities to bring joy to others.

Rita B. Huff Humane Society – our local nonprofit animal shelter dedicated to saving the lives of animals. Don’t have an animal? No worries. Foster homes are frequently needed to help free up space for more animals to be cared for. Fostering also helps animals to become better socialized and adapted, which will help them to be successfully adopted. They also welcome financial support. Volunteers are greatly needed. Contact the shelter at936-295-4666 or visit.

Texas 4-H Program – 4H Dog Club. Train your animal while promoting and supporting local 4-H chapters. Event train them to compete in Dog Shows. Classes include basic obedience, rally, agility, showmanship. Pups can take a test to receive official certification as a good canine citizen. Other opportunities include photography and career exploration. Contact the Walker County Extension office or visit walker.agrilife.org for details. Kids and adults alike are welcome! Sam Houston State University/SHSU. Several

organizations allow college students experiences and interactions with animals. PatriotPaws, Collegiate FFA, Horseman’s Association, Kats & K9s for Military Heroes, Kats in Support of Shelters, Pet Lovers Club, WildlifeSociety all have opportunities for students to get involved with animals, just to name a few. Texas EquuSearch Mounted Search andRecovery – a volunteer organization that helps with missing person searches. Based out of Dickinson, volunteers from around the state use their horses while searching for missing persons. While EquuSearch offers training for humans, they request your horse to get trained and certified beforehand. Contact the East Texas Mounted Search and Rescue organization at 903-545-2673.

For those interested, some areas offer pet blood banks for animals to donate blood, but donors must first meet certain requirements. Your pet could help save another beloved pet’s life.

Be active with your pets; strengthen your bonds with them by giving back to the community and helping others in whatever way you can.

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