Like many of you we love spending time with our dogs and could never think to leave them home while we went on vacation. We have taken our dogs on road trips with us up and down the West Coast (best coast) and across the US multiple times. Some might say our dogs are spoiled but the one time we left Izzy home to go to a funeral, she went on hunger strike the entire time we were gone, so she's never been left behind again.
Last week though, we read an article in the New York Times that caught our eye. In the article, the author discusses how people on vacation can help out local shelter dogs by taking them on walks. This is a fantastically heartwarming trend that we had never heard of before. If there is ever time when we would have to leave our dogs home, we would gladly partake in this activity.
The article discusses more exotic locales like Jamaica, Costa Rica and the Virgin Islands where you can volunteer to walk shelter dogs. Those suggestions are great if you have an unlimited budget to travel to such places, however if you live on a tighter budget like us, we found some continental US places where you can help shelter dogs.
- Best Friends Animal Sanctuary: The Sanctuary is located in Kanab, Utah which is near the southwest corner of Utah, close to the Arizona border. You can book volunteer experiences at the Sanctuary to not only help dogs but also cats, bunnies, horses and pigs. You can also stay on their premises in one of their cabins, cottages or RV sites. If you don't want to volunteer, they also offer tours of various parts of the Sanctuary.
- Villalobos Rescue Center: Villalobos is located in New Orleans and you may have heard of it before from the famous Animal Planet show Pit Bulls and Parolees. You can volunteer with them to walk shelter dogs 7 days a week, three times a day: 8:00AM, 2:30PM and 8:00PM.
- The Dog Cafe: The Dog Cafe is combination coffee shop and dog shelter located in Los Angeles. They house local shelter dogs and you can make reservations to visit them to offer socialization and drink a cup of joe. This option would probably be ideal for people who enjoy snuggles more than walks.
Buy some of our tasty dog treats to take with you to visit the shelter dogs! If you know of any other great volunteer options in vacation locales let us know in the comments below.