Credit: Kidsday staff artist / Kiera Pagano, Massapequa

I volunteer at the Southampton Animal Shelter almost every Sunday. The job is a lot more complex than it looks. Almost every task is coded, and you can do only certain things based on your experience. If you are a volunteer, you get access to restricted places, and you can do more things that visitors can do.

My favorite activity is the cat socializing. It’s basically what it sounds like: hanging out with cats. There are other activities such as dog walking, doing laundry, caring for the smaller and younger animals, and helping the animals at the shelter find a home. If you’re interested, the shelter is at 102 Old Riverhead Rd. West, Hampton Bays, 631-728-PETS,

Other shelters might be different, so if you are thinking about volunteering at a local shelter, expect some different rules and activities. Also, I’m actually pretty young to be a volunteer. Some people who volunteer at Southampton Animal Shelter are 17 and then lots older! I really hope you consider volunteering at your local shelter. It’s the most fun way to get community service hours for school. It is also a rewarding way to spend your time while helping our furry friends.

Valerie Hanley’s seventh-grade class, Our Lady of the Hamptons Regional Catholic School, Southampton

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