If you ever feel “worthless” or just have a few hours to spare but aren’t sure what to do, volunteer with the SPCA of Texas.

You’re probably thinking: “I can’t possibly be around those sad eyes – I’d want to take them all home”.

Of course, we won’t let that happen. And there are plenty of opportunities where, if you don’t want to work directly with animals, you can still help us help them.

Start with the paws-on approach. Volunteers must attend an orientation program; during October, sessions are held Saturdays at 9 a.m. at the pet adoption center, 362 S. Industrial, in the SPCA library.

The program provides an overview of the SPCA, as well as a summary of available volunteer opportunities. For example, if you enjoy dealing with people and animals, learn about adoption counseling.

It’s rewarding to know that you have matched a homeless animal with a loving owner. Lots of counselors are needed at the shelter on weekends or to help with off-site adoptions. Our largest off-site program is scheduled at NorthPark Center during the holidays Nov. 27-Dec. 23.

Pet Therapy is another wonderful experience. This program, for example, involves bringing a puppy to a nursing home or hospital for patients to hold and love. Everyone wins with this program.

And speaking of love, how about some TLC? We all need it, and so do animals. If you have an hour to spare, come to the SPCA, and walk a dog, socialize with a cat, pet a puppy, or cuddle a kitten. You’ll both feel better.

If you love babies or have a mothering instinct, join our foster home program. Often, we receive puppies or kittens too young to be adopted or who have lost their mothers and need a temporary place to live until they can be adopted.

Or some animals need a safe, quiet place to recuperate from traumas or injuries.

As for non-animal volunteer opportunities, are you worried about the environment? Join our recycling program. Do you enjoy working on the telephone? We can use you in our “lost and found” department or working for human pet legislation.

Do you love to shop? Merchandise? Can you decorate a store window? Then Repeats! (241-8066) is the place for you. This SPCA benefit store, located at Marsh and Spring Valley, is open Tuesdays through Fridays from noon-6 p.m., Wednesdays from noon-8 p.m., and Saturdays from 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

While you’re there, you may want to donate gently worn clothing, housewares, appliances or furniture.

There are plenty of opportunities to help out, regardless of your interests or talents. But whatever your interest, don’t forget: This is the only volunteer opportunity where you are rewarded with a “licking”.

A ‘Trick-or-Treat’ Tip

This Halloween, bring your pet inside if you are expecting trick-or-treaters. Unusual costumes can scare pets, which in turn can scare trick-or-treaters. Keep everyone safe and happy this year.

SPCA Calendar

Oct. 3/10/17/24/31 – Volunteer orientations are scheduled at 9 a.m. in the SPCA library, 362 S. Industrial. Call 651-9611 for information.

Oct. 3-4 – Craft Sale and Chocolate Chip Cookie Caper is scheduled Oct. 3 from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. and Oct. 4 from 1-5 p.m. in the SPCA library, 362 S. Industrial. Call 651-9611 for information.

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