If you are an animal lover, wanting to give back to animals in need comes naturally, even if you already have pets of your own. Lending a helping hand makes a huge difference in the lives of abandoned animals, and there is nothing like giving from the heart to raise your spirits.
While swooping in and adopting all these homeless little cuties would be fantastic, realistically it isn’t an option – unless you win the lottery of course!
Thankfully, there are a multitude of other ways to contribute towards transforming the lives of our four and two-legged friends.
Giving of your time and energy by volunteering at your local shelter is a marvellous way to make a difference – whether you help out by feeding the animals, taking them for walks, assisting with grooming, or even answering the phone at the shelter.
These tasks may not be glamorous, but they are essential to the lives of these furry friends and the smooth running of the centre.
The shelter environment is often overwhelming for our canine pals, all the new smells, sounds and people can be scary.
Volunteers are often called on to provide one-on-one interaction, helping our furry friends to settle in their new surroundings.
Keeping them socialised with people is essential, so when their new families adopt them, they have a smooth transition into their new homes.
#2. Raise Money for Shelters
Rescue centres are often non-profit organisations meaning they rely on donations to continue their goal of helping animals in need.
The cost of running a shelter is usually far higher than we realise – feeding the animals, maintaining the property, paying staff, then there is the cost of medical attention for the animals too.
Raising funds to assist in the running of the shelter or even as a donation towards the shelter’s veterinary bills is always a big help.
Holding a raffle, washing cars, or asking friends and family to chip in with a donation are all easy ways to help gather money towards your cause.
#3. Birthday Donations
Birthdays are an amazing tool for raising money for your four-legged buddies. Ask your friends and family to make a donation to the local shelter in your name instead of giving you a birthday gift.
#4. Change What You Buy
Changing what you buy is a step towards saving our planet and doing some good at the same time. Many stores are doing their part to help the environment and charity organisations – by supporting them you support a cause too.
For example, PrintsField sells quirky and fun custom pet socks that you can personalize with photos of your pet, and they donate a percentage of the proceeds from each sale to their local shelter – so not only are you getting a cute pair of socks, you’re helping animals in need at the same time!
Stores like Needle Hobby also give a percentage of proceeds to charity as does Savannah, who sell bracelets, donating a percentage of their monthly sales to aid the endangered lions of Africa. Some beauty brands make use of a cruelty-free production method – also doing their part to help animals in need.
Animals that have been abandoned or abused often need a little extra care that shelters are not equipped to give them, so they are placed in foster homes where loving humans can shower them with the attention they need. This often applies to special cases:
- Elderly pets that don’t cope well with the cold or are perhaps blind and need a comfy place to live out their days.
- Disabled or easily stressed animals that require quiet surroundings or special assistance.
- Animals that have injuries may need medical attention. Medication would perhaps need to be dispensed frequently, or they may need a loving and stress-free place to recover.
- Pets that have been abused often need to learn to trust humans again or even just how to socialise with other pets so that when they are adopted, they feel confident going to their new homes.
Opening your heart and home to these needy pets is always rewarding, and who knows you may end up adopting them!
#6. Sponsoring a Pet
You may not always be in the position to foster, adopt, or have a pet of your own but that doesn’t mean you can’t help out – this is the perfect instance to act as a sponsor.
Many shelters have programs that allow you to send a monthly donation to benefit a specific animal.
Your contribution covers their food, bedding, and toys – often, the shelter will send you updates on how your sponsored animal is doing!
#7. Host a Food Drive
Rescue centres and shelters are always in need of food – ask any of them what they need most and chances are they will tell you it’s pet food!
Hosting a food drive is an ideal way to assist your local shelter, and it can be so much fun to do.
Host a dinner party or barbeque and ask guests to bring a bag of dog or cat food along with them, or, place a brightly coloured box in your office at work and invite colleagues to bring in a pack of food.
#8. Make Your Own Toys and Bedding
Getting creative by making your own toys and bedding to donate to a shelter can be rewarding, it is also the perfect way to bring a little joy to the animals’ lives.
Cost-effective and a clever way to recycle unwanted items, you can sew old t-shirts together to make blankets or even crochet a few jerseys or toys.
#9. Sign a Petition
Not all animals that require help are found at a shelter – wild animals are often in need with poaching on the rise and many species going extinct.
Getting involved in stopping the atrocities is as simple as signing a petition that will be presented to those who can bring change into effect.
One voice is sometimes difficult to hear, but many collective voices are tough to ignore!