Who doesn’t have a soft spot for dogs’ boopable noses and kitties’ little paws? This month, go beyond “aww-ing” and volunteer with your local animal shelter. Your efforts won’t just benefit the animals. People who volunteer tend to feel more in control of their health. In one study, more than 75 percent of those who volunteered said volunteering made them feel physically better and that their health had improved over the previous year. If you can’t commit to a regular volunteering date, get creative. Ask your local shelter about their wish list, then throw a party and ask guests to bring items on the list. These could be anything from old bed linens and towels—perfect for animal bedding—to toys and cleaning supplies. You can even donate part of your wedding registry to a shelter!
Work directly with adoptable animals
Walk dogs or cuddle and play with cats at a shelter. Level up by taking a dog obedience class so you can teach basic commands.
Help with shelter operations
If you’re crafty, sew pet beds and toys. Chauffer animals to foster homes or appointments if you’ve got wheels. Snap photos and write adoption profiles if you’re a creative type.