Visit an Animal Shelter

There are many benefits to being around pets. In fact, researchers have found that people who have pets are likely to live longer than those who don’t. One reason for this might be because being around a pet can reduce stress in your life, and even help people combat depression. Animals can also benefit from the human-animal relationship. Homeless or abandoned animals that live in shelters often have trouble coping because they are lonely. Even if you don’t have the means to adopt a pet, you can still comfort an animal at a shelter, while relaxing and reviving yourself from the stress in your own life. Benefits Like all nonprofit organizations, animal shelters greatly depend on help from volunteers to be able to operate. Without volunteers, animal shelters wouldn’t be able to do all the work they do, which might mean more animals would have to be euthanized. Even just an hour a month will make a difference. Step It Up Add visiting your local animal shelter to your weekly to-do list. Volunteer to walk or play with dogs, help cleaning cages and feeding the animals, or provide fundraising or administrative support. Keep It Simple Take a day to visit an animal shelter in your community. Make some new friends –four-legged and two-legged– by bringing treats for the animals and the staff.