Each year, an estimated 6.5 million animals enter into shelters. Whether they remain 1 day or stay for an extended period of time, these cats and dogs need food, medical care, attention, and love.
If this tugs on your heartstrings, do not sit there feeling helpless and sad. Take action!
Keep reading to learn 5 easy ways you can help pets in need.
Monetary donations help shelters with all of the expenses related to caring for pets. It costs about $500 a year, per pet for care.
This adds up quickly when a shelter fills with animals and does not take into consideration the cost for rent/mortgage, powering the facility, or hiring sufficient help. The cost of caring for shelter pets could also significantly increase because many of the animals come from abusive or negligent homes and need extra medical care.
Before donating to shelters, know where your money will go to make sure you believe in the cause. Some people do not want to contribute to shelters who euthanize pets, and many do. Look for no-kill shelters and do your research about the care they provide.
A percentage of donated money often goes to overhead costs. Sometimes people do not like that idea and would rather know that al of their efforts go directly to the animals when they donate to a cause. If you feel this way, buy supplies and donate them directly to a local shelter.
Collars, leashes, and tags help them keep track of the fur friends and get them out for walks. Blankets and other bedding will keep the animals warm and comfortable.
Food and treats keep the animals fed and happy. Ask the shelter if they need special feed for sick animals, or buy them your favorite feed.
Kennels often need toys and other enrichment items. This allows animals to play and feel comfortable while there.
Try to stick to toys manufactured specifically for pets. Children’s toys may tear easily and pieces can come loose, turning into a choking hazard.
Shelter pets need grooming, so supplies like pet shampoo, towels, nail clippers, toothbrushes, and fur brushes come in handy. To make sure that all the fur friends live in a clean environment, you may also donate cleaning supplies like pet safe cleaners, sponges, and rags.
Volunteer at a Shelter
Never underestimate the gift of your time. Money and gifts go a long way, but a positive presence and physical care provide things you simply cannot buy.
Many of these animals need extra love on top of regular care. They need people who will enjoy taking them out and show them a better way of living than they ever knew.
Shelters often fill to capacity, leaving them overwhelmed. Hiring more workers takes donated money away from direct animal care to pay for help. Volunteering saves money for other important aspects of care.
Working with animals also offers a ton of benefits to you. First and foremost, animals bring solace to the soul and actually reduce stress levels.
This type of prosocial behavior will make you feel really good about yourself as well. You will find a unique sense of purpose and meet other compassionate and like-minded people.
If you cannot offer money or time, but truly want to help, simply search for the answers you need to know. The SearchKibble search engine donates kibble to shelter dogs.
You can literally sit home at your computer and feed dogs in need. Watch the kibble amount add up beneath the search bar as people from all over the country choose this engine.
Need ideas on things to search for when you’re bored? Try some of these fur friends inspired searches:
- How to care for a >insert animal of preference<
- Local animal shelters
- Funny cats
- Cute baby animals
- “Teddy Bear” the porcupine
- Dog Snapchats
It doesn’t matter what you search, only that you do so that pooches get kibble!
Adopt a Pet
Adopting a pet will change their life and yours. Though this act of kindness cannot help them all, it will mean the world to one.
But, do not make this decision based on emotion without thinking it through. Pet adoption requires a real commitment, and backing out can cause devastation for the animal.
Understand that dogs can live over 12 years and cats might make it 18 or more. So, prepare yourself for a long-term commitment.
Do not adopt a pet if you cannot afford to take care of it. They can get expensive, especially if they run into health troubles.
Make sure you can spend time with them each day. They need and deserve lots of love and attention.
Consider who else lives in your home and make sure a pet will fit into the environment. You also want to consider how much space you can offer compared to the needs of your potential fur family.
If you decide you can manage to give back in this way, then enjoy it. Pet adoption is incredibly rewarding.
Foster an Animal
Maybe you cannot make a long term commitment, but still want to help by taking animals in briefly. Consider fostering.
When you foster a dog or cat, it means that you take them into your home, as opposed to them going to a shelter. They stay until somebody adopts them.
During the time they reside with you, it becomes your responsibility to take care of their needs as you would your own pet. This rewarding experience also comes with serious considerations.
You may develop a strong bond and then need to release the pot to their adoptive family. This can be extremely difficult for some people.
Also, consider how the animal came into homelessness. Some may require extensive health care while others might act aggressively due to the abuse they experienced. Only take on this responsibility if you can handle these types of situations.
Give Back to Pets in Need
Animals bring us comfort and joy and offer companionship. Giving back to pets in need is a great way to show appreciation for the happiness they bring.
Looking to help a local shelter? Search for one on our website!