About 6.5 million pets enter U.S. shelters every year, according to the ASPCA. April 30 is National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day, and, even if you aren’t quite ready to adopt a dog or cat, there are so many other ways you can help local shelters. Here are four great ways you can get involved:
- Donate your time
Walk dogs. Cuddle with kitties. Volunteer to work at adoption events. Give your human child the opportunity to practice her reading skills by reading to adoptable dogs. With so many homeless pets to care for, shelters can use all the help they can get. Volunteering your time at your shelter of choice is not only good for the shelter and the animals in it, but it’s also good for your soul.
- Donate wish list items
Animal shelters and rescues are always in need of supplies, like food and treats, bedding, toys, collars, leashes, kennels and carriers, towels, and more. Many shelters have “wish lists” on Amazon or other sites, where they keep a running list of items needed. When you’re ready to donate, ask the shelter team if they have a wish list so you won’t have to guess.
- Promote available animals
We live in a world in which an individual blog post or tweet published by any ordinary person can go viral and be seen by millions. Spreading the word about adoptable animals can be accomplished in a number of ways, whether you have a blog, are active on social media, or prefer to talk face-to-face with people you know. Every person you tell about that sweet senior pup at the shelter who needs a home is one more person who didn’t know about him before.
- Become a foster
Some animals struggle with fear and anxiety in the shelter environment, which can lead to behavior changes and make them less likely to be adopted. But, once placed in a loving foster home, they can “come out of their shell” and be themselves again, which makes them more attractive to potential adopters.
If you’re interested in helping your local shelter, need more information, or have recently adopted a shelter pet, our team is here to help! Contact us today with any questions you may have.