If you’re looking for ways to provide help for homeless pets, the options are almost endless. Homelessness is not only an epidemic for humans but animals as well. Millions of loving animals across the country are looking for homes.
Whether you’re interested in adoption, rescue, or you simply want to donate to your local animal shelter, there are plenty of ways to help out homeless pets.
Help For Homeless Pets: How Can You Help The Problem Of Animal Homelessness?
No matter where you live, there is probably a non-profit organization of some sort that is devoted to improving animal welfare in your area. It might be a group trying to provide veterinary care to feral cats. It could be a local pet shelter looking for homes for adoptable dogs, cats, or other animals.
Whatever type of organization it might be, chances are, it could use all of the help it can get. Here are some of the options to consider.
Donate Food, Supplies, And/Or Money To Local Animal Welfare, Shelters, And Rescues
When it comes to providing help for homeless pets, any sort of donation is almost always welcome. You could simply donate some money at a local event benefiting a shelter, or go to that group’s website and make a donation directly.
A lot of pet stores will give customers the option to donate at the register when they buy pet food or make some other type of purchase. Pet owners will oftentimes agree to add $1, $5 or $10 to their bill.
As important as money is, of course, supplies are just as critical to animal welfare organizations. If you would rather give a blanket or even some towels you’re not using anymore, your local shelter will more than likely be able to use them.1
Some groups also maintain “wish lists” on their websites and on social media with specific supplies they desperately need. If you’re not sure what’s needed, call and ask.
Think About Adoption
Animal shelters are often overflowing with cats and dogs. One of the best ways you can help is to adopt a rescue pet yourself and bring home a new family member. The adoption could be one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll ever have – as long as you have a good idea of what to expect and have the resources to care for a new pet.
First of all, think about what kind of pet will work best in your home. Will it be an active puppy or kitten, or a more laid-back older dog or cat? If you don’t see an animal you believe will be a fit right away, check again. Shelters get new animals every day.
You might be able to give the shelter a list of preferences so they can contact you when they receive a good match. Of course, you can visit the shelter in person as often as you like to see if your potential new family member has arrived.
The vast majority of shelters do a great job of matching animals with new homes. They perform a behavioral analysis of all the animals they take in. They can also give advice on how often the pet will need vet care.2
Consider Fostering A New Pet Yourself: Remember Time, Vet Care, Etc.
If you can’t adopt, fostering a pet to help them find a new home is an excellent option. Fostering means bringing an animal into your home on a temporary basis until the organization can find it a forever home. It could be a puppy, a kitten, or an adult dog or cat. Some people foster multiple animals at one time in order to help rescue them from a shelter. Whatever route you choose, it’s important to know some things beforehand.
You should, for example, have a good idea where the pet came from. Animals who come into shelters may come from cruel pet owners. Others have never had a home at all. Either way, they often have no experience being in a caring environment other than the shelter. It might take a while for them to be able to warm up to you and show their true personality.
A potential foster also needs to know there is a definite time commitment involved. It could take weeks for animals to become acclimated to their new homes. As a result, they may hide for extended periods of time. In many instances, though, they will eventually show you just how loving they can be.3
Volunteer At One Of Your Local Shelters
Another great way to offer help for homeless pets is to volunteer at your local shelter. This will often mean something other than working with companion animals, however. Shelters need a lot of different types of assistance if you’re willing to put in the time.
For example, the shelter might need people to work in the office making copies or performing other tasks. They could need someone to help clean the shelter or to help with landscaping. You might even be asked to take pictures of pets so they can post them to their website.
Talk to the local shelter and see what they need. If you’re interested, you might need to go through an application process. Shelters do this to make sure the people who volunteer are truly committed to helping animals. You will probably need to be ready to commit to at least two hours a week, but they may need more.4
No matter what role you play, you will find that volunteering is an incredibly rewarding experience. You’re helping beautiful animals get the care they need so they may one day find a home filled with all the love they deserve.