An animal shelter is looking for more volunteers after celebrating its current ones during National Volunteers’ Week (June 3-9).

Newcastle Dog & Cat Shelter aims to care for animals across the North East that have been lost, abused, abandoned, or whose owners can no longer care for them.

The Benton-based shelter has lots of opportunities available for people who want to get involved with reuniting lost animals with their owners and finding pets new homes.

Newcastle Dog & Cat Shelter holds the Northumberland Council contract for stray dogs, meaning that it operates in Tynedale despite its name.

Chris Bray, chief executive of Newcastle Dog & Cat Shelter, said: “We are deeply thankful for the dedication and enthusiasm of our wonderful volunteers.

Their commitment, skills and passion for our work is absolutely vital and they are an essential part of our team."

During Volunteer's Week a focus was put on showcasing the roles volunteers play both within the shelter and in community charity shops.

It was also an opportunity to say 'thank you' for the 'support and enthusiasm' shown by the charity's volunteers.

Research from Washington State University shows interacting with an animal for as little as ten minutes can significantly improve human health and well-being.

Damien, a volunteer at the shelter, said: “Volunteering at the shelter has been incredibly rewarding for me.

"Not only do I have the opportunity to care for animals in need and support them on their journey to new homes, but it has also significantly improved my own health and well-being.

"And it has really helped me build confidence in my work skills.”

Caroline Donaldson, community partnership advisor, North Tyneside Council, said: "We are delighted to be supporting a brilliant, local charity to expand their services and build on the already fantastic work they do for the animals of our borough."

The charity has a number of volunteers from Kirkley Hall, part of Northumberland College, near Belsay.

Wendy McGauley, volunteer manager, said: “It’s a pleasure to join Newcastle Dog & Cat Shelter and support our incredible volunteers. On an average week, our volunteers collectively contribute almost 200 hours of their time.

Ms McGauley has recently been appointed volunteer managerMs McGauley has recently been appointed volunteer manager (Image: Newcastle Dog and Cat Shelter)

"Volunteering can transform lives and ours are crucial to our daily operations and our future, and Volunteers’ Week is the ideal time to focus on that.

“Everyone at the shelter is looking forward to welcoming and supporting new volunteers from our local community.

"We have lots of opportunities available, from animal care and rehoming admin to maintenance, retail, and fundraising, so there is a role to suit everyone.”

For more information on volunteering at the shelter, please email or visit the charity’s website.