Volunteer Cat Cuddler: The Purrrrfect Opportunity

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Amanda is passionate about animal rescue. She combined her love for cats with her skills in social media, and carved out her ideal volunteer opportunity. This is Amanda’s giving story.


Monday-Friday, 9-5, I’m a social media consultant at Apex Public Relations. On the weekends, I’m a volunteer cat cuddler at Toronto Animal Services (TAS). For over two years, I’ve been helping to socialize the cats to prepare them for adoption by petting them, playing with them, and grooming them. The shelter environment can be stressful, and this human interaction helps relax some of the more high-strung cats. Plus, they get exercise!


volunteerI was inspired to apply for a volunteer position at Toronto Animal Services because I’ve always been a strong advocate for shelter adoption over purchasing a pet from a store or breeder. There is no need to breed more animals when shelters are already full of awesome adoptables waiting for their forever homes! By spending time with the shelter animals and learning about their unique personalities, I hope to educate others on the advantages of choosing a rescue as their new family member. No matter what personality, age, breed, size, or colour pet you are looking for, there is a match out there for you.

Besides devoting hours to cuddling cute animals (hey, it’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it), I run a few social media accounts (like Twitter and Instagram) to help promote TAS’s adoptable animals and events. There are some other volunteer-run blogs and social channels, and it’s pretty cool how everyone pitches in.

Recently, I did something I feel very fortunate to be able to do: I took a “volunteer day” off from work. Our president Linda Andross explained to me why our company gives employees this awesome opportunity:

“I volunteer, and that’s an important part of my life, and I want to support and nurture it in the staff here at APEX.  It’s a win-win’ for the company because we have happy, community-focused colleagues, and they get a chance to step out of their work day and participate in something that otherwise they might not be able to.”

Volunteer Day is just one of the great ideas our president has about volunteering. I think (and I’m sure Linda would agree) that all companies should offer a volunteer day.

Volunteerism has enriched my life in many ways; it makes me feel more connected to the city I live in and the people who live there, and it makes me a well-rounded person with a life and interests outside of my paid job.



Toronto Animal Services recently partnered with Toronto Cat Rescue to help cats that are ill, need extra care, or don’t do well in a shelter environment. By treating these cats and readying them for adoption, this partnership gives these vulnerable cats a better chance at being adopted into a permanent home. Learn more about The Toronto Cat Rescue on their charity profile page.

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4 Responses to “Volunteer Cat Cuddler: The Purrrrfect Opportunity”

  1. Vanessa Parra

    Hi there

    My son is a big animal lover and he has been asking us to look for volunteering opportunities that allows him to simply be around animals for a couple of years now. He is only 5 (turning 6 in November) but he is insists on working with animals. He has no preference in terms of what kind of animals and he also doesn’t mind any type of volunteer opportunity from cleaning to caring for animals. He is very kind and gentle and has a tremendous love for all types of animals.

    I’ve been researching volunteering opportunities but given his age I have not been successful in finding anything for him. As such, I decided to reach out to agencies directly for guidance on this.

    I appreciate the feedback, thank you in advance!
    Vanessa Parra

     •  Reply
    • Nicole Danesi

      Hi Vanessa,

      Thanks so much for your comment. It is so great to hear that your son is very interested in giving back. With regards to your question, you can feel free to use our search function linked here on CanadaHelps.org to find a charity supporting animals that is located near you. You can then use the left column to filter your location and charitable focus. Happy volunteering!

      Kind regards,

      Nicole | CanadaHelps.org

  2. Ximena Pastor Revilla

    How do you sign up for this?

     •  Reply
    • CanadaHelps

      Hi there — Thanks so much for your interest in volunteering and thank you for reaching out. If you are interested in volunteering with the Toronto Animal Services, we would encourage you to contact them directly and take a look at the volunteering opportunities listed on their site linked here. Thanks again for reaching out and for your interest in volunteering! — Nicole