As part of the existential 1/3-life crisis I’m currently muddling through, I have come to the conclusion that I want my life to have meaning. (Well, yes, doesn’t everyone? This seems like a no-brainer.) Specifically, I want to help people or somehow make this world a better place for its inhabitants. Accordingly, I’ve been trying to figure out in what form I will help people/the planet/etc. Do I want to work for a non-profit? Volunteer in my free time to help feed the homeless? Plant gardens in public spaces? Somehow bring the arts to underserved communities? Donate oodles of money to worthy causes one day when I’m rich? (The answer I’ve come up with to all these questions is, “Sure. Maybe?”)
But over the weekend, I found a cause important enough to me that I actually did something about it. As you may or may not know, Los Angeles has a HUGE unwanted pet problem. Our shelters are overflowing with adorable furry creatures that no one wants. (And last year, Angelenos took a decisive step toward curbing the problem by banning the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits unless they came from nonprofit rescue groups and shelters. No more puppy mill pets!! Yay!!) I also feel very strongly that people should “adopt, don’t shop” whenever possible where it comes to pets. My dog is a rescue, and I love her to the moon and back.
I knew that a friend of mine helped walk and play with shelter dogs in her free time. So I asked her where she volunteered. She told me about Best Friends Animal Society and I signed up too! I attended volunteer orientation on Saturday. It seems like a great facility. Very clean, organized, and well-run. They definitely have the animals’ best interests at heart. The best part is that they are a no-kill shelter, and they are actively working towards making LA a 100% no-kill city(!!!). So if I fall in love with an adorable furry critter one day, I don’t have to wonder what happened to him if he’s no longer there on my next visit. I’ll know that he found his forever home and will be much loved.
Today is my very first volunteer shift. I am super excited!!! I’ll let you know how it goes.