How do I start? How did you find the shelter/ rescue group?
Forget what your Mom told you (just this once); Google and Facebook (and meetup) are your best friends. Forget because she’s likely on there too!
Search and network with likeminded people in the area who share your causes. But don’t be stuck to the web. Let’s not forget “real” places like your vet, your dog park (if you already have a dog), your local pet stores. I have found stores like PetSmart or PetCo often have associates who are part-time volunteers or maybe the stores hold cats and other shelter pets for the rescue groups. Either way leverage those associations.
Research them, apply on their websites, talk to them, learn what their rules and processes are. They will differ but not by much. Some shelters will only need fosters for medical or special needs dogs, some rescues (with no physical “holding area” per se) will have all their dogs going to foster homes. Some will let you choose the dogs, some wont. Some will let you screen the applications, while others will have dedicated admin volunteers do it for you…Like finding a job, you will not really know if you will fit, until you join it. But give it the due diligence and chances are knowing what you would like lands you fewer but better clicking associations.
GIve it a shot anyway, every little bit will carry you forward in leaps and bounds in terms of experience and will do so much for the dogs’ lives you will touch.