I've always been an animal lover, in fact, cruelty to animals angers me even more than cruelty to humans. I've wanted to volunteer and help however I can, and several years ago while at the University of Florida I finally decided to stop wishing I could and started volunteering. It was one of my most memorable and favorite experiences I had while in Florida. Most of my time spent volunteering was at Gainesville Pet Rescue (GPR), one of several no-kill shelters in Alachua County working on eliminating homeless dogs and cats through a combination of adoption, spay/neuter and education.
One fantastic national group is Maddie's Fund, an organization dedicated to eliminating the killing of healthy and recoverable animals in shelters forever. Gainesville has its own chapter of Maddie's Fund, a collaboration of six local organizations that strive to:
1.) Control the population of homeless animals through spaying/neutering.
2.) Find loving, permanent homes for those animals who are homeless.
3.) Eliminate the euthanasia (killing) of healthy or recoverable animals in shelters by providing loving, temporary homes until they find their "permanent home".
Of course, there are also several other national organizations I support, including the ASPCA and the Humane Farming Organization.