In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue and Educational Center
3430 Skyview Drive
Wylie, TX 75098
Not many people have a chance to get up close and personal with big cats like they do at In-Sync Exotics, a non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing neglected, abused and unwanted exotic felines. The sanctuary is home to around 61 magnificent wild cats, including lions, cheetahs, leopards and more. The center is almost entirely run by volunteers, so there’s plenty of exciting ways to get involved—from feeding and preparing meals to guiding tours and working with special events. The volunteer program is available seven days a week for ages 13 and up. Not sure this type of work is for you? You can check out the facility for yourself, it’s open for tours daily.
3201 Earhart Drive
Carrollton, TX 75006
Operation Kindness was the first no-kill shelter to set up in the DFW area back in 1976 and has since grown to be one of the largest in North Texas, saving over 75,000 animals from death. Caring for over 300 dogs and cats on a daily basis requires a huge amount of effort and help. From feeding and cleaning kennels to dog walking and transporting animals to veterinarian appointments, the volunteer possibilities are endless. The organization’s animal care team also takes animals on nursing home visits monthly, which is as rewarding to the residents and pets as it is for volunteers. Want to help out from home? Be a foster pet parent to a recovering or young animal until it’s ready to be placed back into the shelter or a new home. Operation Kindness welcomes volunteers, ages six and up, seven days a week.
Willow Wood Ranch
5513 Smiley Road
Celina, TX 75009
www.therapyriding.comIf you have a love for horses, volunteering with Walk On may be right up your path. Walk On provides supervised horseback riding for autistic children in the effort to help them reach their fullest potential, both physically and emotionally, as well as cognitively and socially. Volunteers can help out with grooming, feeding and exercising the horses, as well as assisting with classes. You don’t need to be an expert with horses or kids to get involved, you only need to be at least 14 years of age.
Carrollton, TX 75011
www.lostpawsrescueoftexas.orgAre you into photography? If so, Lost Paws Rescue, a volunteer organization for abused, injured and abandoned animals, could really use your help taking photos of its animals that are up for adoption. Capturing a pet’s personality through photographs that are to be posted on various adoption websites is often the best way to find it a home. However, there’s much more a volunteer can do if photography isn’t their forte. The organization needs help bathing dogs, transporting pets to appointments or events and even just spending cuddling time with them. The opportunities are endless and open to anyone over 18 years of age.
650 S. R.L. Thornton Freeway
Dallas, TX 75203
www.dallaszoo.comThere’s no denying that visiting a zoo is a fun experience at any age, but volunteering at one is even better. Working behind the scenes to help care for the zoo’s animals is just one of the exciting opportunities open to volunteers at the Dallas Zoo. Volunteers can also be front and center as a zoo ambassador — educating visitors at different animal exhibits, like the new koala walkabout or the gorilla research station. Kids, ages 11 through 18, can also get into the swing of things by volunteering as a junior zookeeper in the Lacerte Family Children’s Zoo or being a guide at the Fair Park Aquarium.Related: Ways To Keep Your Dog Active But Cool In DFW