Places to Volunteer Around Boulder if You Love Animals

I know free-time at this point in the semester is a rarity, but with summer coming up you may be looking for a way to get involved in something worthwhile to fill your days. Not only is volunteering fulfilling, but if you miss your pets at home it can be a great way to give your love and attention to some different animals. Below are some organizations less than an hour away that are looking for some people to help them out.  

Colorado Horse Rescue


Located in Longmont, about 30 minutes from campus, the Colorado Horse Rescue is a great option for those who want to work around and help care for horses. Aside from barn chores, volunteers can help out with maintaining the grounds, gardening, and administrative tasks. Everyone is welcome, and the organization has a tier system of responsibilities depending on prior experience. If you are interested in volunteering, you must be available at least once a week for three months for around 2-3 hours a day.

Luvin Arms Animal Sanctuary


Located in Erie, about 30 minutes away from campus, Luvin Arms is a refuge for abused and neglected farm animals that hopes to promote a more compassionate lifestyle. Animal care volunteer shifts include cleaning and organizing the facilities and feeding and spending time with the animals. No prior experience is necessary and no long term commitments are required. Animal residents include horses, cows, goats, sheep, pigs, chickens, a llama, and more. Volunteers must attend an animal care orientation session where you tour the sanctuary and learn about the policies and procedures for animal care. In addition to being an animal care volunteer, you can help out with outreach and sanctuary events.

Humane Society of Boulder Valley


If you love dogs and cats, the Humane Society would be a great place to check out. Located only 15 minutes away from campus in Boulder, you can be a member of the animal care team and assist in the daily care of the animals. Unfortunately, there is no animal handling in this role, but providing indirect care is still a rewarding experience. If that isn’t the right fit for you, you can also sign up to be a foster volunteer and care for an animal that isn’t ready to be placed into the adoption program. These dogs or cats may be in foster care because they are bottle babies, get overwhelmed by the busy shelter environment, or are injured and need to regain their health. Fostering arrangements are very flexible, lasting for a few days or several months.  

Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center


Also located in Longmont, around 30 minutes away from campus, the Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center is devoted to the release and rehabilitation of orphaned injured, and sick wildlife. Animal care volunteers work directly with the wildlife and are responsible for the feeding, cleaning, and overall care of the animals. Tasks include food preparation, hand feeding baby wildlife, maintaining a clean environment, and replenishing food and water in outdoor enclosures. Volunteers are required to commit to one regular five-hour shift per week for a minimum of six months. For those who aren’t able to make this commitment, the M.I.C.E. Team is a more flexible option. Although these volunteers have no direct contact with the animals, they help with food preparation, cleaning, and other tasks to maintain a clean and organized facility.  

Colorado Therapeutic Riding Center


Another facility in Longmont, the Colorado Therapeutic Riding Center is dedicated to promoting the physical, psychological, and social well-being of children and adults with disabilities through therapeutic riding lessons and hippotherapy sessions. For those who wish to work directly with the riders and horses, you can be a lesson volunteer which includes the roles of horse leader or side walker. In addition to being hands-on during lessons, responsibilities include grooming and tacking up lesson horses and assisting in clean up. Lesson volunteers must commit to two hours per week with a rider for the length of the session. In addition to lesson volunteers, there are special teams that require extra training and skill sets. These include turn-in/turn-out, mucking team, barn team, schooling team, and training team. Each team has its own time requirement. Everyone who wants to be involved with the Colorado Therapeutic Riding Center is required to attend a training session and must complete a background screening before you can begin volunteering.