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Exotic Dog Rescue and Student Volunteerism: The Role of Students in Animal Welfare

At A Glance

Exotic dog shelters cater to rare breeds of dogs like the mudi, the Mexican hairless dog, and the Azawakh.

  • Exotic dog shelters rescue, rehabilitate, and find homes for exotic dogs. Because they may require extra care and special handling, not all shelters are equipped to take them in.
  • As a student volunteer, you can help with a variety of tasks like dog grooming, dog walking, socialization, general office activities, and more. You can even learn how to train with a no-bark collar. Volunteering offers a number of benefits such as learning more about these special breeds, getting experience for your future career, and reducing stress.

Last Updated on: Sep 21, 2023

Exotic dog rescue organizations rescue, rehabilitate, and find homes for exotic dogs. They provide them with medical care and a healthy environment until they’re adopted.

Though there are over 3,500 animal shelters in the United States, only a handful are exotic dog rescue shelters. This is because exotic canine breeds require knowledge of how to handle and care for them since they may have special needs that other dogs don’t have. They may also need trauma rehabilitation and training like socialization and how to train with a no-bark collar.

Most of them have limited budgets and resources, making dog rescue and student volunteerism an important part of their operations. As a student, you may be interested in working with animals and have considered being a rescue dog volunteer.

In this article, we brief you on what exotic dogs are, why volunteer at animal shelters is important, mention a few advantages to doing so, and provide a few examples of animal shelters for exotic animals.

Most animal shelters operate on limited budgets and resources which is why they are always on the lookout for student volunteers.

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What Are Exotic Dog Breeds?

Exotic dog breeds are breeds that are less common and may come from a particular region. Not many people own such pets. Some examples are the mudi, the Mexican hairless dog, and the Azawakh.

The Importance of Student Volunteerism in Exotic Dog Rescue

exotic dog rescue - the importance of student volunteerism in exotic dog rescue

There are unique challenges in rescuing exotic dogs because they often require extra care. Since they are rare, they command high prices in the market (the Azawakh sells for $9,500) and ill-intentioned individuals will often sell them to the highest bidder without caring about the needs of the dogs.

Many of these dogs are rescued from poor living conditions where they may have suffered trauma. They also often have physical injuries and untreated medical conditions. They may also have behavioral problems as a result of their traumatic experiences. Healing these wounds and rebuilding their trust in humans is a lengthy process.

Addressing the problems that come with rescuing exotic animals requires patience and expertise. Animal rescue organizations usually have limited budgets so they rely on donations and volunteers. Rescuing and caring for exotic pets can put a strain on their resources. This is where student volunteers can make a difference.

Dog rescue volunteers can be tasked with bathing dogs, taking them for walks, helping them with socialization, cleaning kennels, and general office work. Though you don’t get a salary, it has its fair share of benefits.

You can put your talents to use in exotic dog shelters and pursue your interests. Whether you’re into dog training, law, or animal rights, you can find a volunteer opportunity that matches your skills and passion.

Benefits of Dog Rescue and Student Volunteerism

dog rescue - benefits of dog rescue and student volunteerism

Students who volunteer in exotic dog rescue and other animal welfare initiatives experience educational and personal benefits. It gives them a break from the stresses of university life and they learn some valuable skills. It also accelerates their personal growth.

  • Working with exotic dogs can teach students to be more patient. Taking care of canines, especially traumatized creatures, requires special care and time. Creating trust with them can be a rewarding experience.
  • Students can learn more about exotic dog breeds and exotic animals in general since a lot of shelters cater to animals of all kinds. This can give individuals specialized knowledge if they decide to pursue animal-related careers later on. For example, law students can help with the legal implications of removing exotic animals from abusive situations. Aspiring dog trainers can learn how to train with a no-bark collar and so on.
  • Helping with exotic dogs can be therapeutic for students. Being around them can reduce anxiety, depression, and feelings of isolation.
  • Volunteering helps students realize the value of giving without expecting anything in return. As a result, they often have a broader awareness of societal issues and develop more empathy.
  • Volunteering helps students learn responsibility and time management. They often have to juggle their time between classes and the shelter. As a volunteer, they also have to manage different tasks and make sure that they get done within a certain period.
  • The experience can also help with special school projects that are related to dogs. With actual experience from an exotic dog shelter, they can make their academic papers more informative, credible, and interesting. (Once you have the information you need, get the writing platform EduBirdie to help you out. Just click on “write my essay.”)

Working as an animal volunteer enriches you personally and professionally. It teaches patience, perseverance, and time management. It can even lower stress levels. Plus, it can help you in your future career.

Finding Dog Rescue and Student Volunteerism Opportunities

Many universities have programs that encourage students to engage in animal advocacy. Rights clubs can provide a way for them to make a difference. They can raise funds and awareness about animal rights issues. This can empower students and give them hands-on experience on how to advocate for animals.

You can also look at advocacy organizations that cater to exotic animals. This includes the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Monterey County, the Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary in California, and Four Paws.

Though many of them aren’t specific to dogs, you can still volunteer your services for exotic animals in general.


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I am a full-time mum of two kids and a beautiful golden retriever. Writing is my passion: from food journalism to pets, parenting tips, etc. I can write on just about everything under the sun. I have been writing for the past 7 years and during that time, I have been a regular contributor to several blogs and pet magazines. I have also written feature articles, POV pieces, and dabbled in a few different formats of writing over the years.