When most people head off for vacation, they make plans to lie on the beach or have wild adventures with friends. For Lesley O’Donoghue, however, her idea of a vacation meant spending time volunteering at a local animal shelter!
O’Donoghue was attending a friends’ wedding on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus and decided to spend the free time that she had their to do some good at local animal shelters. After a little asking around, Leslie was directed to the Argos Animal Sanctuary and Noah’s Ark Dog Rescue, where this amazing woman was able to use her vacation time to improve the lives of the homeless and wounded animals of Cyprus.
“I love my holidays as much as the next person,” Lesley told the Lancashire Evening Post. “But I was having a chat to the hotel receptionist and we were discussing how much we loved dogs … Then she told me about a couple of local dog rescue shelters. I work at Dogs Trust and I knew that just like all rescue charities in the UK, they probably rely on volunteers, so I asked if they needed any help, and a couple of days later headed off to help out.”
“At the wedding venue there was a quote on the wall that said ‘Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life’ and that just about sums up how I feel about my work,” said Lesley.
It is always wonderful to hear about kind and generous people, like Lesley, who take time out to help animals. Worldwide, animal shelters and rescues rely heavily on volunteers. Even those with state funding can always use an extra pair of hands, to clean kennels, walk dogs, play with puppies and snuggle kittens.
In fact, people like Lesley are now finding it easier than ever to spread the love all over the world, as a new type of volunteer tourism, geared towards helping animals, is gaining momentum. Some places even offer room and board in exchange for help, making great opportunities for students and budget travelers. The next time you are planning a trip, why not look into spending some time volunteering, too? Volunteer tourism is a great way to build memories with your family and is also a wonderful way to teach children about the importance of being kind to animals.
All image source: Lancashire Evening Post