"I want to help homeless pets in my area but I don't know where to begin." If this sounds like you, check out my top five suggestions on how to make a difference in your community all while saving lives!
There are thousands of homeless pets in shelters and rescues just waiting for you to take them home! Many animals in shelters all across the country have just unfortunately become abandoned by their owners at no fault of their own. Whether you're interested in puppies and kittens, healthy adults, or lonely seniors that are just looking for a place to live the remainder of their lives, these animals need help. Some of the best pet adoption sites that advertise homeless pets in your area are PetFinder.com, adoptapet.com, and petango.com.
Fostering is extremely important and can help save lives. Sometimes in shelters, animals come in that cannot be adopted right away. These animals usually consist of very young puppies and kittens, animals that come in for health related issues and need time to heal, or there is simply not enough space in the shelter. All costs are generally covered during a foster period and when the animal is adopted, you are able to give them to the home they deserve and you can help the next one. If you are interested in fostering, find a rescue group or shelter near you and contact them directly. They will most likely have you fill out a foster application and some have training classes that can help you with your fostering experience.
Volunteering can be done in all sorts of different ways to help animals in shelters. For example, many dogs need to be walked everyday. Instead of paying for a gym membership and running on a treadmill, get a free workout and walk a dog in need. You will find it much more rewarding, I guarantee it! Spending time with animals can also help with stress reduction. Do you have a final exam coming up, or are you having a hard day at work? I think you would feel a lot better if you went and pet some cats. Or, you know, if you are home alone a lot and just want to pet cats, go volunteer!
Donating is always welcome in any animal shelter or rescue, and is always needed! If you do not feel comfortable donating money, most shelters have a wish list they will happily give to you. After working in various rescues and shelters myself, the most useful donations were always fleece blankets, treats, and toys. Food is also always welcome but first make sure what kind of food the specific shelter uses and make sure your donation has never been opened.
If you can't do any of the following, don't feel bad. One of the most important things you can do is share pictures of adoptable pets to your friends and family on Facebook! Who knows who will see that sad little homeless face, the more exposure the better! Most animal shelters nowadays take pretty fancy pictures and make their animals look really cute so I'm sure it won't be hard to find an animal to share!
Speaking of sharing, share this blog post! The more people who help out animals in need, the less animals there will be in need!