Does your family love animals? Ours does. That’s why one of our favorite summertime activities is to visit local animal rescues. We prefer rescues for more unusual animals like chinchillas, rabbits, and horses. Most communities have all kinds of rescues for different animals, reptiles, and even birds. A quick Google search will reveal rescues in your area.
When we plan a rescue outing, we pack a fun picnic lunch to eat either at the rescue facility (if it’s large, like a horse rescue or sanctuary) or at a local park for smaller rescues. When there, we ask for stories behind the animals that have been rescued, take pictures, and the kids can carry a notebook and write down facts about the animals.
Most rescues are in desperate need of volunteers to help care for their animals. So, while you’re visiting the animals and hearing their stories, see if there might be ways your family can volunteer to help. You might be able to groom the animals, clean pens, cages or stalls, and spread the word about the rescue.
We’ve found that spending the day with rescued animals and hearing the amazing stories of their rescue is not only fun but an inspiring way to spend a summer day.
Marlo Schalesky is an award-winning author of 10 books, including her latest, Waiting for Wonder: Learning to Live on God’s Timetable (Abingdon Press). She is also the founder and president of Wonder Wood Ranch, a California charitable organization, where many rescued animals now happily live.