There are many ways in which you could work with animals on a voluntary basis. If you're a dog lover then you might consider unpaid work at a local animal shelter, alternatively you could gain voluntary employment at a local aquarium. By taking even the smallest such opportunities you might reap many benefits as well as set yourself on a possible career path.
Involving with the Community
Local organisations and citizens will have a great deal of respect for anybody who is willing to freely devote their time to a good cause. You could set an example by working with animals that have been left abandoned or been taken in ill. Such work will give you a sense of pride and inner contentment as well as giving comfort and love to the animals.
Enjoying the Achievement
Instead of sitting around during your free time, you could commit to working with animals that have temperamental problems or need to be reintroduced to the wild. There are a number of voluntary programmes, both within the UK and abroad that will allow you to make these types of achievements. You could volunteer as part of the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme or take a gap year break to Africa to work with wild animals.
Gain Experience in the Working Environment
The best way of deciding whether to pursue a career working with animals is to gain relevant experience in the field. You might be able to watch veterinarians in action or help in the training of guide dogs for the blind. There will also be the opportunity to prove that you can work as part of a team and deal with customer demands. Prospective employers may well ask you to provide evidence of the acquirement of these skills in the future.
Develop New Friendships
You will have the chance to develop a bond with the animals that you deal with when volunteering. There will also be the opportunity to talk and make friends with people who share the same kinds of interests, especially on gap year projects abroad.
Establish Business Contacts
It is possible that you'll be offered a job upon the successful completion of a voluntary placement. Even if this doesn't happen you might still be able to build a list of contacts that could be very helpful in the future. People and organisations are more likely to offer jobs to individuals with whom they feel some affiliation.
Build Lasting Memories
It is likely that you'll look back at your time volunteering at an animal shelter or local zoo with some fondness. If you are lucky enough to venture abroad, working with animals in Africa on your gap year break, those memories will be even ore precious.