How The Frequent Flyer & Animal Lover Can Give Back

There are two great ways to get your animal lover fix.

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PHOTO OLIVIA MOLINEUX

Whether you travel a lot for work or just love jet setting as much as possible, it’s hard to have a pet when you’re constantly on the go.  However, there are two great ways to get your animal lover fix: get some puppy (or kitty) love at home through fostering, and help furry friends by volunteering when you’re traveling abroad.  Particularly around the holidays, it’s nice to open our homes and hearts to those that need help.

Fostering:

Shelters and rescue groups across the country are constantly looking for volunteers to foster their animals.  Fostering allows one to bring an animal into their home from a week to a few months.  The organization provides training on how to foster, and some also provide their volunteers with supplies.  Foster families are vital to animal organizations because they allow groups to take in more animals, let potential adopters see animals’ personalities in a home, and give the animals the extra love they need.  Foster animals vary in age, breed, health, and more.  Many groups, such as PAWS Chicago, list the animals looking for foster families online so you’ll know all about them, including how much time they need a foster home.  If you know you’re taking a break from traveling and will be home for a while, look up organizations in your area that are in need of fosters.  Also, check out these questions and answers to see if fostering is right for you.

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PHOTO OLIVIA MOLINEUX

Volunteering:

While living in Vienna, I worked with Vier Pfoten (Four Paws), an international animal advocacy organization.  Though I did administrative work at the headquarters, I learned all about Vier Pfoten’s grassroots campaigns to rescue animals and stop cruelty around the world.  Because they are an international organization, their primary language is English, so I was able to communicate and befriend the locals.  It was a great way to immerse myself in a city and gain valuable experience while giving back.

Vier Pfoten and many other organizations have opportunities for volunteers to assist them in their projects.  Volunteers do everything from campaigning and performing administrative tasks to bringing dogs in off of the street to be spayed or neutered.  There are a number of programs where volunteers receive housing, food, and more in return for their work (some have a fee).  Check out Vier Pfoten’s month long program at their big cat sanctuary in South Africa.

Volunteering abroad is a great way to make friends from around the world while helping animals.  If you’re looking for volunteer opportunities, Go Voluntouring is a great site that allows you to search based on destination, cost, and more.  Make sure you check out the Environment & Wildlife section.  Happy volunteering!

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PHOTO OLIVIA MOLINEUX

Olivia Molineux

Olivia grew up in Danville, CA. Her secret travel tip is indulging in street food which is often the best food. She can never travel without a pair of comfortable shoes. City bikes are her favorite travel discovery, "while living in Vienna, I loved biking around the city for hours. It was the perfect way to explore and burn off calories from all the Viennese cakes."

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