5 Ways to Help Your Local Animal Shelter

By Wednesday, November 23, 2016

As the parent of three wonderful adopted pets, I am so grateful for the role that animal shelters have played in bringing my family together. I’m sure many of you pet parents feel the same way. Maybe you’ve even wished there was something you could do to thank your local shelter for helping you to complete your family.

Actually, there are lots of great ways that we can show our appreciation for all that shelters do. Whether you’re the parent of an adopted pet, or just an animal lover looking to lend a paw, here are five ways to help your local shelter.

1. Adopt Don’t Shop!

If you’re thinking of adding a furry friend to your family, there are plenty of amazing pets just waiting for their fur-ever home right at your local animal shelter. By adopting a shelter pet, you’ll not only be saving the life of the animal you bring home, you’ll also be opening up space for the next pet in need of rescue.

If you can’t adopt but could occasionally make room in your home and your hearts for a furry guest, ask the shelter if they are looking for foster families.

2. Make a Donation

In many cases the shelters are working with very limited resources to provide adoptable pets with medical check ups, vaccinations (including rabies), spaying or neutering surgeries, and sometimes microchipping for identification. This is in addition to food, bedding, and other supplies (like toys or kitty litter) that the animals need to stay happy and healthy. Even a small donation can go a long way towards meeting these expenses.

3. Donate Supplies

Find out if your local shelter has a “wish list” of supplies and pick up an item or two the next time you are out shopping. Items that are usually appreciated include:

  • food
  • litter
  • bedding
  • crates
  • cleaning supplies

You may be able to find some of these things at a discount on websites like Craigslist or Freecycle. Or, if you’re crafty, you could create your own pet beds and toys out of old bedding, t-shirts, or towels. Check out these ideas for paw-some dog toys you can make from things you probably already have lying around your house.

4. Volunteer

An extra helping hand is appreciated at any animal shelter. There are always dogs to be walked, cats to be petted and played with, crates and litter boxes to clean, and the list goes on and on.

If you happen to be handy with repairs, you could offer to pitch in to complete a few odd jobs. Or maybe you have another skill (such as photography or web design) that a shelter might be able to put to good use.

Even if you only have a small amount of time to spare, the staff and the animals at the shelter are sure to appreciate your help!

5. Spread the Word

If you’ve found your perfect pet at a shelter (and many of us have!) make sure that you let people know. Encourage others to adopt by sharing some of your favorite kodak moments of you and your adopted pet on Facebook, Instagram, or whatever social network is your favorite.

Find photos of adoptable pets on the shelter’s website, and share their pictures and links to how to adopt. Sharing adoption profiles hardly takes any time, yet it could play a part in creating the perfect match between an animal and a family. Or, if your local shelter is having a special adoption event, offer to hang fliers or post on your social media accounts.

Animal shelters deserve our thanks and our support for the work they do helping animals in need. By pitching in and helping out, you could make a huge difference in the lives of shelter pets who are waiting for their future families.

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Help your local animal shelter