How You Can Help Homeless Animals

Animal shelters everywhere are often filled to capacity with animals waiting to be placed in a caring home. It seems to be a never-ending battle.

The people who work for these organizations do it because of their passion for animals first and foremost–even those on a salary. It certainly takes a special breed of person to handle the emotional rollercoaster the situation brings.

Even if you’re not ready to commit full-time to your local shelter or rescue organization, there are still lots of ways you can help. Besides easing the workload, you’ll know that you’ll be helping our four-legged friends truly in need.

Volunteer at a local shelter or rescue.

It’s easy to do, and there are so many ways you can help:

  • Walking and exercising dogs
  • Cleaning the holding areas
  • Helping with events
  • Distributing flyers and literature
  • Make reference phone calls for potential adopters who have filled out applications

These are just some things you can do. The people running the organizers may have even more things to which you can lend a hand and your time. They don’t even have to be animal-specific; if you’re handy with tools, paint, or other menial labor, your help will be appreciated.

Start a food bank for dogs and cats.

In tough economic times, pet owners find their budgets to be extremely tight, and are forced to skimp on pet supplies. A pet food bank receives or procures donations of food, litter, accessories, and even treats and toys that can be distributed to those homes in need. Besides easing their burdens, it delays the sad choice of having to give up their pet companions when times are tight. If there isn’t already a pet food bank in your area, talk with your local shelter about the feasibility, and do some online research about other successful pet food banks. Chances are they’ll be very enthusiastic about sharing their stories and advice.

Foster an animal.

Animal advocates say that this may be the best possible way you can help. As much as we’d love to adopt every homeless animal we see, most of us simply don’t have the resources, time, or space to take care of all of them. But if your home can handle an extra mouth or two, fostering an animal takes a little strain off a shelter’s capacity, and gives the animal a homier environment, with more one-on-one human interaction, in the period of time before it’s (hopefully) adopted for good. Then you can foster another, and another.

Fostering animals on their way to better lives can be incredibly rewarding. As they say, “Adopt and save one animal; foster and save them all.”

Hold a fundraising event.

Bake sales, car washes, blanket-sewing competitions, leash and collar drives… anything that collects supplies and funds that can help an animal charity is priceless.

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