If your work commitments and lifestyle are not suited to owning a dog, here are 5 ways you can still enjoy their company and make a difference to their life.PAPAS
PAPAS (People And Pets Advocates) is a new Not-For-Profit Organisation that supports people by sharing the care of their pets in times of need. They are looking for volunteers to walk, jog or even plod with a dog, give a sick pet a lift to the vet or offer them a roof over their head when that "rainy day" arrives.
PAPAS offer an alternative to re-homing, abandoning, neglecting or destroying a pet during their owner's period of ill health. They aim to alleviate any anxiety for pet owners which enables them to focus on their own wellbeing and recovery.Cinnamon Trust
The Cinnamon Trust is a national charity that supports the elderly, the terminally ill and their pets. Their network of 15,000 volunteers “hold hands” with owners to provide vital loving care for their pets. “We keep them together - for example, we’ll walk a dog every day for a housebound owner, we’ll foster pets when owners need hospital care, we’ll fetch the cat food, or even clean out the bird cage.”
They need volunteers to help the elderly look after their pets including taking their dog for a walk. If you would like to walk a dog in your local area you’ll need to register as a volunteer first.
Volunteer for your local shelter, rescue centre or animal sanctuary
There are volunteering opportunities in many of the hundreds of dog rescue shelters, centres and animal sanctuaries across the UK. Some of these are run by large organisations such as the Dogs Trust and the RSPCA whilst others are local independent charities.
They all need help with walking, playing and socialising with their dogs. The bonus is knowing that you are helping a dog that may have been abused, abandoned or handed in. If you search the internet you will find a number of websites that help you find your local shelter, centre or sanctuary.BorrowMyDoggy
BorrowMyDoggy connects dog owners with trusted local people who would love to look after their dog. They make it easy to arrange walks, playtime, overnight stays or holidays. Their aim is to help dog owners when they need it, give dogs more exercise and playtime and to allow people without a dog to spend quality time with one.Barking Mad
Barking Mad provides care for dogs when kennels and house sitting are not a realistic option whilst their owners are away. They are always keen to hear from dog lovers who are interested in becoming a host family. Their list of hosts comprises of families and single people of all ages. Some of these have children and pets, some do not.