Animal shelters are filled with wonderful dogs waiting for their forever homes. But helping dogs in need isn’t just about adoption, it’s also about giving back to the organizations that care for these animals day in and day out. With so many options for volunteering and donating, there’s no excuse not to get involved and help a worthy cause.
What do animal shelters need the most?
There are many ways you can help animals in need. One of the most important things to remember is that animal shelters need both food, water and shelter. The more donations they receive, the better off they’ll be. Animal shelters also need toys and beds to keep the animals occupied while they’re waiting for adoption or foster homes. They also need medical care—often on a large scale—as well as volunteers to take care of them (feeding them, cleaning their cages etc.) and adoptions.
Volunteer your time
Volunteering your time is an excellent way to help animals in need. You can volunteer with a group of friends or family members and make it a fun outing, or you can do it solo and meet some great people while helping out animals in need.
There are many different ways to volunteer your time at shelters:
- Events, such as walks or bake sales
- Dog walking (on-site/off-site)
- Dog sitting (on-site/off-site)
Donate pet supplies
Pet supplies are often needed. For example, one shelter I worked at had an excess of blankets and beds because they were always in high demand. However, the shelter had very few kennels and crates for dogs waiting to be adopted. Other shelters have different needs based on the pets they house so you’ll need to check out your local animal shelter’s website or reach out directly to see what they’d prefer you donate.
Donations should be clean, new and unopened if possible (unless otherwise specified). If you’re donating food or treats it’s best to stick with brands that are known as high quality as well as those that do not contain artificial ingredients or preservatives (like corn syrup). A good rule of thumb is that any dog food made by Purina should be avoided since their products are known for containing harmful allergens such as wheat gluten which can cause anemia in dogs.
Donating pet supplies isn’t just about getting rid of old stuff; it also helps spread awareness about homeless animals looking for homes!
Donating money to your local animal shelter is an excellent way to help animals in need. You can make donations in person, or you can make a donation online. If making a donation in memory of someone or for some special occasion, it’s always great to let the shelter know why you are making the donation with them. For example, if you are donating because your birthday is coming up and want to celebrate with helping animals, that information can be shared by the shelter when they thank you for your donation!
Also please know that donations are greatly appreciated! Animal shelters rely on contributions from generous people like yourself as well as fundraising events throughout the year (think bake sales).
Spread the word
There are many ways to help out dogs in need. If you’re not in a position to adopt, but want to do something for the dogs, here are some ideas:
- Tell your friends, family and colleagues about the animal shelter’s efforts.
- Spread awareness on social media by sharing posts from the shelter’s official account or volunteering at events like Barktoberfest.
- Offer up your house as a temporary foster home for an animal in need (and if you have kids who love animals, this could be a great experience for them).
- Volunteer your time at one of their adoption events or at their facility itself.
Foster a Dog
Fostering a dog is a great way to help an animal shelter. It gives the shelter more space, as you take one of their pets home with you. You also get to know the dog better, which can help when it comes time for adoption.
Ask about fostering at your local animal shelter or rescue group’s website or Facebook page! Most organizations post information on how much training fosters will receive as well as what type of dogs are available.
Animal shelters are a great way to help dogs in need, but you don’t have to adopt one yourself! There are many other ways that you can give back and make a difference. Whether it’s donating money, supplies, time or simply telling others about these places that need help, there is always something you can do. We hope this article gave you some ideas so please share them with your friends and family too. Let’s all work together towards our goal: helping dogs in need!