If you love animals and have your own dog, you probably find yourself wanting to give back. There are over 3 million dogs in shelters nationwide, which can be extremely sad to think about. Obviously adopting a dog from a shelter is the key way to help shelter dogs. However not everyone is in a place to be able to adopt a new puppy. Whether it is finances, space, or time, there are plenty of reasons why you’re not ready for another dog. It may feel like there is nothing else you can do to help. But there are actually so many simple things you can do to help these animals! Here are a few ways to get involved with the shelter in your community and give back.
A big problem that some shelters face is that they are in rural areas, and therefore don’t have many people coming in. Because of this many dogs need to be transported to other places, such as a foster home, a new rescue shelter, or a new owner! If you have the time, sign up to drive and transport these dogs to their new destination. This will definitely help more dogs get out of the shelter and to a family that loves them.
While you may not be ready for the full commitment of adopting, you may be up for fostering. If you already have a dog, it can be pretty easy to add another one, since you can just implement the new shelter dog into your routine. This also works best if your current dog is friendly and open to new friends. Each shelter does things differently and may give you some resources to bring the dog to the vet or take care of it. You may also need to bring the new dog in for foster events and possible adoptions. Fostering is a great way to give a dog an in-between home before they’re adopted, as well as give these dogs a break from being in the stressful shelter. They’ll get to play, become socialized, and be in a nice home for a little while.
Another great way you can assist a shelter is to give them things they need. These shelters are often underfunded and need money, but also need resources. Call your local shelter and ask what they need. This can be any basic dog supplies, such as chains, leashes, toys, beds, food, etc. to more supplies type items, like newspaper, cleaning supplies, or towels. Find what you have around the house or buy new! Some shelters have wishlist sites on Amazon that you can find items they’re in need of.
You can also sign up to be a volunteer at the shelter. This usually require some training or orientation, but can be a variety of activities. You may walk the dogs or clean the kennels, or do more administrative duties like making phone calls or mailing applications. Go to your local shelters website to learn more about their volunteer program. You can also donate your time in other ways. If you have a specific skill that you can offer, let them know. If you’re a photographer, take photos of the dogs for the website. If you are in marketing or advertising, offer to help them with their social media or website. Everyone has skills that they can offer to the shelter.
Of course shelters need money, which you can donate if you have it. There is also another way you can donate by just buying what you always do. Amazon Smile allows you to choose a charity that you are passionate about and then have a small portion of all of your purchases go to it. Just log in to your Amazon account for Amazon Smile, choose your local animal shelter, and get shopping! It is an easy way to do a small amount of good without even thinking about it.
It may seem like there’s not much you can do to make a difference in the lives of shelter dogs. But you actually can do a lot by adding some of these tasks to your everyday life.
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