When it comes to saving the lives of dogs and cats, many wonder what they can do to help. Volunteering your time and financially supporting your local shelter or rescue are just a couple of ways you can help animals in need. A couple of weeks ago my friends from Rachael Ray Nutrish hosted me in Pittsburgh for a couple of days. We paid a visit to the Western PA Humane Society while I was there. It was a rewarding and eye opening experience that prompted me to share with you some ways to help your local animal shelter or rescue.
Animals shelters and rescues are amazing. I am in awe by the sheer number of animals who find refuge with local shelters and rescues. These organizations are often operating on a shoestring budget, and rely heavily on the work of volunteers and help from the community. An open door shelter like the Western PA Humane Society never turns away an animal in need. They are truly special and need our help.
Ways to Help Your Local Animal Shelter or Rescue
Volunteer your time.
Volunteering at a local animal shelter can be done in a variety of different ways. It can be the simple act of spending some time petting the kitties. Imagine how much a little petting and snuggling can mean to a scared little shelter cat. Helping with bath time, might be another way you can volunteer. The options are endless. Call your local shelter or rescue group to find out how you can best help out.
While in Pittsburgh, my friends from Nutrish and I spent a morning taking some of the dogs, from the Western PA Humane Society, out for a walk. I was paired up with the most adorable little guy named Turbo. It’s hard to imagine that a dog as cute and well behaved as Turbo can be in need of a furever home.
If you plan to volunteer with your children, keep in mind that your local shelter may not allow younger kids to volunteer because of liability. So, be sure to call ahead to check on age requirements first.
Make a donation.
Animal shelters and rescues are often in need of basic supplies. Pet food and litter are always needed. Also, think along the lines of water and food bowls, leashes and collars, grooming tools, toys, and towels. Call your local rescue or shelter and find out what they need the most.
Consider doing a fundraiser with your children, to raise funds for your local shelter. Host a bake sale or lemonade stand. Get together with some friends to put on a car wash in your neighborhood. Kids can even choose to donate a portion of their allowance to help out. No amount of financial support is too small. It’s all appreciated.
Have a car and some spare time? Many shelters need help transporting animals to things like vet appointments and local adoption events. This will free up time for shelter employees and volunteers to get other work done.
Share your special talents.
Are you good at accounting, web design or are just really great at cleaning? Have mad photography skills? High quality photos for adoption profiles can make a big difference in how quickly an animal gets adopted. Whatever your special talent or skill, chances are your local animal shelter or rescue can put it to good use.
Help spread the word.
Share photos and information about pets in need on your social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. One of those dogs or cats could be a perfect match for one of your friends or family members.
Foster an animal.
Most animal rescue organizations and shelters deal with overcrowding on a regular basis. Consider fostering a dog or cat until a permanent home can be found for them. Being in a shelter can be extremely stressful for some animals. Providing a foster home to these pets can help ease a lot of stress.
Adopt animals from shelters.
Instead of buying animals from pet stores and breeders, be sure to always adopt animals from local shelters.
Many thanks to Rachael Ray Nutrish for hosting me in Pittsburgh, and for supporting this blog. My pups and I are huge fans of Nutrish pet food, and the great work being done for animals in need through Rachael’s Rescue®.
A portion of Nutrish proceeds go to Rachael’s Rescue®, which was created to help animals in need. To date, over $14MM has been donated. This money has gone toward food, medical supplies and treatments for these unfortunate animals.
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Janell Poulette says
I have such a soft spot for animals, especially ones that need a home. These are great ways to help.
My daughters’ Girl Scout troop is working our local animal shelter.They’re collecting towels and blankets. I love that they are learning to help our community so young!
Kita Bryant says
The biggest way to help outside of adopting an animal is money or food and supplies. It’s so sad how little money they have to work with.
Louise Bishop says
My kids and I, when we aren’t running around crazy, like to go volunteer. I feel like our shelter has too many volunteers and not enough funds though.
Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly says
These are all great ideas, local shelters need so much help and support!
elizabeth miller says
We rescued our current dog and while he is scared to death of men and after 3 years we can not get him to overcome it, he is just as loving as all our other dogs have been.
Sandra Beeman says
Another way among the many mentioned to help animals in shelters ts to bring blankets in for frightened animals to feel more secure.
Terry Poage says
I would love to be able to help my local shelter. I adopted both of my cats from there.
Yevette Denise Parker says
Within the next year I will be adopting a dog! I want a older dog. I know that many people just discard their animals after they reach a certain age and I think it is just horrible. I feel that it is very important to utilize our local shelters and donate when possible, they do sooo much!
That is great! You won’t regret it. My Winston is 10 and he is the best dog ever. Our next rescue will definitely be a senior.