Most of us would love to help our local cats and dogs in need. As animal lovers, we all know how important it is to consider them part of our local community, including the shelters that take them in when nobody else will. That said, a lot of us barely have time to breathe, much less spend our hard-earned dollars at the shelter. While we’d like to bring another fur baby into our home, we can’t always make that work when we already have a full house. Luckily, there are ways we can help that don’t require opening our homes or wallets.
One way you can help your local shelter is to donate badly needed supplies like food, blankets, and medical supplies. Mange is a common and completely treatable ailment many dogs and cats suffer from when they arrive at a shelter. By donating EcoMange, you can be a part of their recovery. EcoMange is an all-natural remedy that delivers fast-relief, safely. Plus, it’s affordable, which means each of us can buy a couple bottles and drop them by our local shelter. Donating EcoMange is just one of the many ways our customers have found to support dogs and cats in need around the country. It has a low impact on the wallet, but a high-impact on the health and well-being of cat- and canine-companions waiting for their forever home.
Giving Animals a Lyft
Eighty-seven percent of driving-age Americans have a driver’s license. If we’re one of them, we can volunteer as an animal transporter. Animal shelters and rescues often need help getting animals to and from their vet appointments. In some places, we could be the person taking a lucky dog or cat to its forever home. Even if our local shelters can’t bring us on as a driver, we can volunteer as one of the legs in a multi-leg transport group.
Going for a Walk
Approximately 45-percent of Americans make a resolution to lose weight every year. But, without the right motivation, it can be hard to shake our couch potato habits. Would things be different if a walk could help an animal in need? If so, it might be time to give ResQwalk a try. The app description reads: “Simply pick your favorite animal welfare partner from the list, start the app, and go for a walk, run or participate in any other outdoor activity.” The kilometers are then logged, and a small donation is sent to the rescue of your choice. Think of it as Pokémon Go for do-gooders.
Using Our Social Media Accounts
Research conducted by the ASPCA found that 66-percent of volunteers surveyed believe that their social media use leads to higher adoption rates. But this only happens if people are paying attention. So, follow a shelter on Facebook and share their posts whenever possible. This not only helps get animals in front of potential adopters but also helps increase community awareness. If we notice that our local shelter isn’t on social media, we can offer to help start and manage their Facebook page. Even an amateur’s touch is better than no touch at all. And, there are plenty of free courses that can get us up to speed, for those of us who aren’t on social media regularly.
Putting Our Skills to Use
Even if our jobs aren’t related to animal rescue, we can still lend a hand. Writers can help craft some killer bios. Accountants can assist with bookkeeping and budgeting. Lawyers are often needed to help keep shelters on top of legal forms. With a nearly endless list of carpentry tasks, woodworkers are also in high demand. But it might be professional photographers who make the biggest difference. A good picture captures an animal’s personality in a way words can’t. Unfortunately, many shelters are forced to use intake photos. The dogs and cats in these images are often scared, sick, and tired. This makes it hard for potential adopters to connect with them. By using more candid images, shelters like Orange County Animal Services have shattered a 48-year-old adoption record.
Cleaning Out Our Closets
Anytime is a great time for spring cleaning. For those of us who have old blankets or towels, can spare a few dry-rotted t-shirts, and have old plush toys, these can be used by shelters to keep cats and dogs comfortable. All of these things can be repurposed into animal bedding, and dog toys. A quick Google search for “how to make [dog toys, cat toys, etc.]” will give us hundreds of results. Care.com has a few great examples. Even if we’re low on supplies, we can call up local hotels to see if they have any old bedding to donate.
Lobbying Your Legislators
Whether it’s funding shelter expansions, banning a certain dog breed, or declaring cats an invasive species, the government has a part to play in animal welfare. To ensure a better future for our four-legged friends, we need to make sure our voices are heard. We should let our representatives know that we think all dogs deserve a second chance and that feral cats shouldn’t be euthanized en masse. To stay abreast of animal-related legislation in our districts, we can consider signing up for sites like BestFriends.org.
The best way to help out shelters is by ensuring fewer animals end up there. And, the best way to do this is through education. Try passing out fliers about the importance of spaying and neutering, organizing events related to pet adoption and guardianship, and spreading the word about nearby low-cost vaccination clinics. We can also reach out to local radio and news stations to see if we can get them to spotlight an adoptable animal every week. By doing our part to promote good pet ownership, we can make the world a better place for animals.
While donations, adoption, and volunteerism are great ways to help animals, they’re not realistic options for some people. However, there’s more that can be done. In fact, there’s something all of us can do to help get more animals adopted. So, go out there, share a few Facebook posts, turn a few t-shirts into dog toys, and take a walk around the block. The animals will thank us.