Why volunteer to help at animal rescues? Aside from the desire to help the homeless animals, research published online by the American Psychological Association in the APA journal Health Psycholology suggests that people who volunteer may live longer than those who don't volunteer. Another study by the University of Michigan Research Center found that volunteering can lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels and improve heart problems! These findings were backed up by yet another study - published in BMC Public Health- in which researchers found that those who volunteer and regularly help out in their community were 20% less likely to die prematurely.
Volunteering promotes the development of social connections, provides us with a sense of happiness and satisfaction, and this causes the release of the hormone oxytocin, which blunts stress, decreases anxiety and increases feelings of love and empathy. Studies looking at the interactions between humans and animals show similar results when it comes to oxytocin, and oxytocin has a powerful effect on the body’s ability to heal, and even to grow new cells.
Studies increasingly show that the value of human-animal bonding can play a critical role in child development, abuse and trauma recovery, the rehabilitation of incarcerated youths and adults, and improves the quality of life for the elderly, the isolated, and those suffering from mental illness and dementia. Spending time with animals is therapeutic in many ways, and human-animal friendships can help you live a much fuller, healthier and happier life.
Looking for ways to volunteer? In Dayton, check out the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, Robyn's Nest Rescue, The Tenth Life, Miami Valley Pit Crew, or the Animal Resource Center among others. The slideshow features just a few of the pets that you could be playing with and petting as a shelter volunteer!
Karma was abandoned on the doorstep of Robyn's Nest Rescue. She was subsequently adopted by a seemingly nice family who then dumped her at a kill shelter after one week. Luckily that shelter called Robyn's Nest Rescue who immediately sent someone to get her. Karma is sweet, quiet, and front declawed. Karma loves to snuggled. Please call Robyn's Nest at 937-247-9272 to meet (your?) Karma.
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