As a dog lover, you may want to learn how you can give something back to help pets in need. Our pets do so much to brighten our lives, don't they deserve the same in return? You can help homeless, sick and unfortunate animals by volunteering your time, donating funds and supplies, or just setting a good example. Here's how to start giving back right now.
Volunteer Your Time
Your time is valuable, so volunteering to help pets in need is truly a selfless act. The funny thing is that the work can end up being so rewarding that it seems like a selfish act. Whether you are rescuing an animal that you found on the street, helping a friend to care for a pet, or spending your time helping out at the local shelter, you are making a difference.
Many rescue groups and shelters struggle to find enough help caring for the animals. They often lack the funds to hire multiple full-time employees. The gift of your time is worth more to them than you can imagine.
To get started, contact an animal shelter or pet rescue group in your area. Find out how you can help, but know your limitations. If you overextend yourself emotionally or physically, then you are not really helping the cause in the long run. Maybe you don't feel comfortable working directly with unfamiliar animals. That's okay. You may be able to help by answering phones, managing the website or even licking stamps. You won't know until you try, so start researching now. A simple web search for pet rescues or shelters in your city is a great place to begin. You can also ask your vet's office or another pet professional to recommend reputable local organizations.
Adopt a Shelter or Rescue Dog
If you are ready for a new dog, think twice before buying one. Your local shelter or rescue group may have the perfect dog just waiting for you. If you have your heart set on a certain dog breed, find a local breed-specific rescue. Adopting one pet can save that pet and possibly others from euthanasia, but it can also create a chain reaction. Tell your friends and family about your experience, and encourage them to adopt a pet instead of purchasing one.
Foster a Dog
If you're not sure you want a long-term commitment, but you would like a pet in your life, fostering a dog could be a great option for you. Animal rescue groups are always in need of good foster homes. Opening your home to a foster pet can help that pet become more socialized and accustomed to home living, making the pet more easily adopted. Who knows, you may even find that you can adopt the pet for your own.
Make a Donation
If you can't volunteer your time or adopt a homeless dog, donating money to a reputable cause is a nice way to help. Not only is it fast and easy, but it also allows the organization to put the funds where they are needed most. When you donate to animal charities, you are giving them the funds to provide homeless pets with food, shelter, bedding, veterinary care, medications and more. However, if you can't donate your money, don't worry. There are other ways to make a difference.
Other Ways to Help
Any little thing you do to benefit animals can make a difference. There are also some specific things you can easily do to help animals - many are even free.
- Visit The Animal Rescue Site and simply click to give. 100% of sponsor money goes to the cause. You can also make a donation or shop for gifts, clothing and other useful items in their store. Every purchase funds food and care for rescued animals.
- Go to FreeKibble.com and answer a Bow Wow Trivia question. Right or wrong, they'll provide 10 pieces of kibble to Animal Shelters to help feed their hungry dogs. Visit daily to help the most. You can also make a monetary donation.
- Organize a local fundraiser and get your community excited about helping pets. You can organize a walk/run, party, car wash, bake sale or another event to raise money for the charity of your choice. See if your place of employment, church or another community group would like to be involved (and see if they can donate the use of their space). Talk to local business owners and ask for their sponsorship and assistance. This can be as big or small a project as you want to make it.
No matter what you decide to do for animals, you will make a difference if your heart is in the right place. Leading by example is one of the best things you can do. Be a responsible dog owner and do what you can to be kind to any animal you encounter. Remember that every little bit helps.