Animal shelters are there to help dogs, cats and other animals in need find their forever homes. Shelters receive animals for a variety of reasons from a variety of different circumstances. Some dogs are brought to a local animal shelter because the owners can no longer take care of them. Some are brought to shelters from raids of dog fighting or animal abuse. And others simply end up on their doorstep with no reason or background.
Animal shelters spend their time doing good for animals in need, but they can only do this good with the help of people like you. If you wish to make a difference for your local animal shelter, the following are a few ways to do so.
1. Make a monetary donation to an animal shelter.
Animal shelters are usually non-profit organizations, which means that they rely on the generosity and donations of the public. One of the best ways you can help your local animal shelter is to make a monetary donation of whatever you’re comfortable with. Even a small monetary donation can help cover the cost of food or other basic needs.
2. Make an in kind donation.
If you don’t have money to give to a shelter, you can always make an in kind donation. Visit the website of the shelter to see what items they’re looking for, or even call them up and ask. Most animal shelters will accept dog/cat toys, crates, collars, leashes and food/water bowls. They will also usually accept items such as blankets and paper towels too. You can either donate your pet’s used items or buy new items. Either way, you will help.
You may consider assisting by providing dog training equipment either new or used. To secure high quality equipment consider reaching out to vendors for sponsorship.
3. Attend an event.
Most shelters host a variety of events in order to try and raise money or awareness. You can help your local animal shelter by attending one of their events or donating towards one of their events. For example, if the animal shelter is hosting an auction, you could donate an item to auction off. Whether you donate or attend, you will help the shelter.
Animal shelters are always looking for volunteers to help take care of the animals and run their events. While you will not get paid, you will usually be able to pick your own hours and work as much or as little as you’d like. Keep in mind that you may have some less than desirable responsibilities, such as picking up dog poop, but you are still helping the shelter.
5. Adopt an animal.
Another great way you can help your local shelter is to adopt one (or more than one) of their animals. Every shelter wants to find loving forever homes for their animals, and adopting an animal from a shelter means one more animal’s life is saved and more room is made in the shelter to help other animals. Most shelters have a variety of different animals for you to choose from, so whether you want a cat, a dog or another type, you can find what you’re looking for at the shelter.
Lucile Lam is a volunteer at Operation Kind Hound in Ohio.