I always find it very difficult to go to the shelter, because at ours, I know most of those lovelies will not leave alive. It's heartbreaking, but that's why I do what I do. If I see pain, I have to do something, even if not much. I can't stand an animal so full of love dying without ever knowing love in return! Even those that don't appreciate it at the time.
As of last night, I got my very first fosters ever.
I'm sure I will have a huge hole in my chest when they leave and take my heart with them!! And before that, I have worked with dogs in the shelter and rescues. It can be utterly heartbreaking, but I think I'd be more heartbroken knowing I did nothing! That's probably why I'm in search and rescue, too. Most times there's nothing we can do to save a life, but it's that effort that matters to me.
But definitely if you want to volunteer in a way just as important but not as potentially painful, do some admin stuff! The foster group I just started working with also has a volunteer form for staff / admin, and I considered that, too. Sometimes I think it's MORE important and more helpful if you do staff work, because from what I can tell, more people want to work with the animals! I decided I'm one of those that wanted to work with the animals instead.