There are many ways you can help animal rescues during the holidays, even if you can't adopt just yet.
You’ll forever be a “superhero” in the eyes of any pet you adopt, but if you can’t commit to adoption just yet, you can at least reach “trusty sidekick” status by volunteering at your local animal shelter. This is especially true during the holidays when there’s often a shortage of staff.
Here are eight creative ways you can help:
- Become a wise adopter
Pets in a shelter have only one thing on their holiday wish list: get adopted by a loving parent. It’s the happiest ending they could ever hope for as a rescue. But while you are indeed “rescuing” them, remember, there are responsibilities with being a pet parent. First, it’s a myth that shelters spay/neuter their animals, so be sure to address that if it’s important to you. There are also financial costs to consider, like visits to the vet, and the cost of feeding- let alone all the cute toys and accessories you’ll want to buy. This is why it’s smart to be an aware adopter – it leads to a happier life for you and your pet.
- Foster a pet
Take a pet home for a short stay, say two weeks, to give them a break from their sheltered environment, that can be stressful, and ensure they get extra love and attention. If you already have a pet, this is a great way to help both your current pets and their new furry guest develop their social skills and hopefully introduce a new playmate.
- Gratitude for shelter workers
Those working in shelters are super-dedicated and constantly looking to spread the word about pets available for adoption as well as the work they’re doing. Show your support by hash-tagging and mentioning your favorite shelters on social media. Or send them a hand-written thank you note they can proudly showcase in their reception area. If you’re a baker, why not take them oven-fresh holiday cookies, they make the purr-fect gift of appreciation.
- Donate pet food and treats
Check first with your local shelter if you can bring in food and treats. Shelters are always hungry for support and if allowed, one of the best ways you can help is bringing in premium dog or cat food and delicious treats like our Pork and Apple Sausage Treats. Either choice will make you highly popular during visiting hours.
Show appreciation to dedicated shelter workers by sending thank you notes.
- Donate to cover vet expenses
Rescued pets often sustain injuries from negligent owners or during their time wandering and medical bills can be a costly road to recovery. Your donation can help them live a happier, healthier life, making them ideal candidates for adoption.
- Shelters need supplies
Your local shelter likely has a wish-list of things they need online. They could range from toys to towels to cleaning supplies. A shelter we heard about makes great use of an old bicycle they use to keep up with their dogs when they’re in the mood for a faster run.
- Get pets adopted
Do you love pets but are allergic to them? Do you wish you could own a pet but you live in a pet-free building? Use your cell phone to take photos of some of the sheltered pets - the kind that pull at people’s heart strings - then post them on social media to let everyone know they’re available for adoption. If there’s anything that should be viral-worthy it’s the face of a cute kitten that needs a new loving home, even if it’s not your home.
Shelters are often short staffed. So grab a leash or three and help out by walking dogs, answering phones, feeding, cleaning or just playing with pets to keep them engaged and happy. There’s lots you can do, just ask. At Life’s Abundance, our employee-owners have begun to volunteer with Furry Friends, a local rescue. Check out the video below to see us in action!
When you shop at Life’s Abundance, a portion of the profits is set aside to fund our non-profit, The Dr. Jane Foundation - which helps support animals in need around the country. We recently partnered with Furry Friends, a local rescue, to aid in their mission. Read more here.
Gifts are always part of the holidays, but for pets and shelters, the gift of your time and love is especially valuable.
If you found this interesting, check out these related stories:
Appreciating The Joys Our Pets Bring
Introducing A New Cat Into Your Home