Like all of us, your dog is ready to get this year over with. Help her get a jump on her New Year’s resolution of being a better philanthro-pup by volunteering. Unfortunately, she can’t sign the volunteering waivers by herself since she can’t hold a pen. Womp, guess you’ll just have to come with her. Help your dog earn her karmatic brownie points and check out these Chicago volunteer opportunities.
1. Read With Students
Have a dog who loves kids? Becoming a dog team with SitStayRead would be perfect for you. Dog teams visit classrooms to read with students. (Teaching dogs how to read would make them too powerful, so that’s where you come in.) You’ll need to attend orientation, pass a background check, and have your dog assessed to make sure they’d be a good buddy. Even though school isn’t in person right now, SitStayRead is still looking for dog teams to create SitStayRead-aloud videos with them!
2. Be an Ambassador Pup With Safe Humane Chicago
Safe Humane Chicago aims to reduce violence and create safer communities by focusing on the humane treatment of people and animals. We think your pupper can get on board with that! If he thinks that kids and teens are rad and likes attention, he’d be great as an Ambassadog. After passing an assessment, Ambassador Dog teams work with students and incarcerated youth to give them an opportunity to connect with animals in a positive, safe environment.
3. Provide Dog Therapy
We all know dogs are therapeutic as heck and it’s time to share your therapup with the world. Canine Therapy Corps works with health care, education, and social services professionals to help people recover from trauma. They’re always looking for special doggos to serve program needs. If your dog isn’t already certified, CTC offers therapy dog training classes. After acing that test, your dog can start making a difference.
4. Donate Blood to Pups in Need
Just like humans, our canine buddies use blood donations for injuries, operations, and other medical needs. Premier Veterinary Group has an in-house donation program so they have blood on hand for emergency patients. Your healthy pet can participate in this program if they meet the program requirements (like being 50+ lbs and having an agreeable disposition!) and passing a complimentary physical exam. In exchange for your dog’s service, there’s plenty of perks: credit for services, bloodwork, and free blood products if needed in the future.
5. Spread Virtual Puppy Love
Every puppy knows that the emotional connection between dogs and hoomans is magical. In these weird COVID times, Pet Partners aims to recreate and spread that magic virtually by connecting canines to healthcare facilities, schools, and other places in need of some ruv. Humans can join the Pet Partners Facebook Group and submit videos of reading to their dogs, teaching their dog to do tricks, or giving information about their breed and training. Pet Partners picks the best of the best videos and sends ‘em on to people who need a smile most right now.
Got the inside scoop on other pup-friendly Chicago volunteer opportunities? Howl at us in the comments or let us know in our dog-friendly Chicago Facebook Group.
Featured photo: Ken Foreman
Sidewalk Dog’s mission is to help dog parents spend more time with their puppers by discovering and sharing activities they can do and places they can go—together! Sniff out our award-winning newsletter and Instagram, and join our dog-obsessed Facebook group.