If you’re an animal enthusiast, you’ve probably found yourself feeling guilty and overwhelmed over the fact that you can’t take in all of the animals in need. Luckily, taking all of the responsibility on yourself is not the only way to be a philanthropist.
While adopting an abandoned animal is the most effective and straightforward way to help a rescue shelter, there are numerous ways to contribute to their thriving and enable them to help the vulnerable animals, without having to make this big permanent commitment.
7 Ways You Can Help A Shelter Without Adopting A Pet
A monetary donation
If you just don’t have the time to help in a shelter, simply giving what you can is appreciated. Rescues can become an endless money pit with all the stuff that’s needed. Food, medication, neutering or spaying and other necessary supplies and medical needs can round up to be very expensive.
It doesn’t have to be an extravagant contribution. Giving away small amounts from time to time will be of significant value.
Another great way to be of use is to donate whatever you can to a shelter in need. Simple things you can afford or even find at your home can make a huge difference.
Supplies like toys, food, spacious dog crates, blankets, old towels, ID tags, treats are usually scarce, especially if it’s a large shelter. Replacement litter boxes are also very handy when it comes to helping stop the spread of germs. Office supplies are a needed commodity that not many people consider.
Animal shelters are very often non-profit organizations that rely on their community for donations and financial support. If you aren’t in the position to donate, there are creative ways to get others involved. A little support can go a long way if there are enough caring people.
You can organize fundraising events by merging celebrations or cultural gatherings with charitable opportunities. For example, if you’re a photography enthusiast, you can make a Christmas-themed (or any other theme-based) photoshoot with pets and their owners, donating the collected money to the shelter. It’s cheap, easy and something pet parents would respond to.
You can also throw a party for pets and their owners – a fun activity to connect people and do something noble. Or, check out these DIY dog gift ideas!
Material and financial support are not the only ways to help. You can always invest your time and effort to make a lifesaving act.
Ask about the opportunities to volunteer in your local rescue organizations or shelters. Most of their staff need help feeding, giving medicine to sick animals, cleaning cages, storing food, bathing or just walking the animals. Maybe you can offer some help with marketing, advertising their work on social media, finding funders, possible pet adopters, doing some office work – the options are endless. It can be a meaningful hobby for you and your family to spend some quality time together by helping those in need.
Becoming an animal rights advocate is a fantastic way to show appreciation. Get involved in the process by creating your own online platforms, discussing animal welfare issues, promoting their rights and inspiring people to be aware of the importance of rescue shelters.
Look after an animal temporarily
By temporarily taking in a dog or cat in need, you can ease the financial pressure put on the rescue organization, helping to provide care and basically buy time for one of their residents.
If you foster a pet from a shelter, sign up for a free trial of DOGTV for the pet to keep him or her company and enrich his environment.
Simply show appreciation
If all of this is still too much for you, there’s always room for simple gratification. Most rescue organizations are active on social media and have websites. Take the initiative to share their work with others, post an inspiring comment or review and thank them for their dedication and charitable work.
You can surprise the shelter staff by writing a thank-you note, making cookies, signing a group picture of the workers there, etc. You can maybe make homemade treats for the dogs and cats, just something simple to show the staff and volunteers that their work has been noticed.
It all boils down to goodwill and a little initiative to make a difference. You don’t have to give up just because you don’t have the means to accept an animal in your home, there are fantastic opportunities to implement a change. Share this information and involve as many people as possible into understanding the value and the need for rescue shelters.
Guest post by Emma Williams, a professional writer with a love for animals. She has written for big publishers including Dogington Post, Animal Wellness Magazine, The Telegraph, Home Beautiful and Marriage.com. She enjoys sharing her knowledge on pet health, lifestyle topics and pet behavior.