“I love animals." “I have always wanted to work with animals”. “Animal rescue must be such a cool thing to do”. “What happens to an animal after it gets rescued?” Can I make a difference in the lives of animals without being a veterinarian or a full-time animal rescuer”? At RESQ, these are questions we are asked ever so often. The answer is always a resounding, “yes".
There are animals that need help everywhere. We cannot be everywhere but empowering people with the right knowledge and awareness of how to act in dire situations involving animals is instrumental in preventing conflict situations and faster response when it is needed. While we are full-time engaged in multiple activities involving animal rescue, rehabilitation, community education and outreach, for an individual not working with us full-time there are still so many ways to contribute to help animals and make a difference.
RESQ runs an active Volunteering Program (RVP). Knowledge sharing, and capacity building while creating a community of conscience individuals to facilitate better human-animal coexistence, is the main objective of the RVP.
The first step: attending the RESQ Volunteer Induction
The first step to being a part of that is signing up for a RESQ Volunteer Induction. One Sunday of every month, is dedicated to inducting new volunteers to RESQ which includes:
- About the organization: RESQ’s journey and vision moving forward
- RESQ processes and protocols
- About the RESQ helplines - responsive and preventive communication
- A walk around the centre giving volunteers an insight into the overall work culture and environment at RESQ
- Basic requirements to volunteer at RESQ
- Filling up a Volunteer Questionnaire to assess their interest, skills, experience and availability
“The volunteers' induction was very comprehensive and thorough. It was remarkable to see how far RESQ had come and the kind of dedication and thought process that goes behind the expansive work that it does”, says Tanishka Khandelwal who attended the program and almost instantly signed up to become a RESQ volunteer.
The second step: showing up to volunteer regularly!
Post the induction, volunteers are selected based on their skill, availability and experience to join the RVP. Volunteers are kept in touch with through a private communication channel and volunteer for spots available on the days we request for their assistance. Once at RESQ, volunteers are assigned duties for the day. Volunteers initially shadow senior rehabbers, rescuers and veterinarians and once they are experienced enough (minimum 30 hours under a month), they move on to more independent taks. While at RESQ, they record their work done in a Volunteer Log Book and the Volunteer Program Manager supervises and signs off the work they manage to complete at the end of the day.
Perceptions v/s Reality
There is a difference between what people perceive about what RESQ work involves and the reality of what we actually do! When volunteers work directly with us, it gives them an insight into real life situations, the hard work, the challenges the animals and the organization members face in managing the volumes of work that happens on a daily basis.
Deeksha who is currently volunteering at RESQ says, “At first, I thought the work would be very easy, like walking the dogs and playing with animals. I did get to do all that on the domestic side but it was not easy. I learned that many rescued dogs had anxiety issues and are even scared to go on walks. I learnt the hard way that it may not be wise to get too attached, because sometimes those animals get adopted and I will never see them again or some animals pass away due to old age or a serious medical condition”.
“Reading the description of the work at RESQ, was already very exciting. However, doing the work was a whole new experience. Never would I have ever imagined my first job would be creating an enclosure for a leopard cub! In addition to this, going on calls with the RESQ squad is both a thrilling and adrenaline packed experience”, says Shantanu Dravid who is also currently volunteering with us.
We love volunteers.
For the organisation, volunteers add immense freshness and zest to the work we do with their willingness to learn and improvise. Creating volunteering opportunities also enable us to screen and relate to those who share the intensity of passion toward touching animal lives, alike. Because, today’s volunteers can become tomorrow’s team members, working consistently towards determining a better fate for animals in the future.
Tanishka who successfully completed a limited volunteer internship recently and is committed to returning for more added “Volunteering at RESQ has been nothing short of a highly enriching experience. Every day brings newer engagements, various learning opportunities, and immense fulfilment. The RESQ team is splendid and as a volunteer, you aren't made to feel insignificant but rather a valuable contributor. The work can be challenging at times, and even humbling, but all in all, it's honestly just a lot of fun”.
“It’s great to see equal importance being given to every single animal- from a crow to an elephant. The hard work involved is extremely gratifying as it is so closely related to helping the animals around us”, says Sai Khare who feels strongly about helping animals to the best of her capacity in her daily life.
If you are someone that feels compassionately about animals or are looking for an opportunity to work with them, you can sign up for the RESQ Volunteer Induction Program using this link: