If you love animals, there are many ways that you can support your local animal shelter. Whether you have some extra time around Christmas or you just want to include animals that need support in your Christmas giving, below are some great ways to help your local animal shelter this festive season.
One of the best ways you can support your local animal shelter is to volunteer. Volunteering is great if you aren’t able to adopt a pet yourself but have lots of extra time that you can dedicate to supporting rescue animals.
Many shelters will have volunteer programmes that you can join, where they’ll need help exercising, entertaining and grooming the animals, cleaning out their kennels, crates and cages, and helping with phone calls and paperwork. They might also need drivers to transport animals from the shelter to foster homes. There might be a minimum age requirement and most shelters will require you to undertake at least a short induction session for training purposes.
If you’re interested in volunteering, you should call your local shelter to see how you can get involved.
A simple and direct way to support your local animal shelter is to donate money. The shelter will then be able to use the money wherever it is needed most at the time, whether that’s for pet food, medication, vet procedures, or just the day-to-day running costs of the shelter.
Your local animal shelter will be grateful for any size of donation you can give, whether that’s something small or a large donation. If you want to give money but find Christmas expenses getting away from you, you could forego Christmas cards and instead donate the money that you would have spent on cards and postage to the shelter. You could let your friends and family know that’s what you’re doing – so they don’t think they’ve been taken off the Christmas card list! – and encourage them to do the same.
Support the Shelter on Social Media
If you want to support your local animal shelter but don’t have much time or money, a great way is to like and share their posts on social media. You can really help to spread the word about the work they’re doing just with a few clicks of a button. This is especially helpful if your local shelter posts about pets that are looking for a new home. By sharing these posts and asking others to share them amongst their network, you can increase the likelihood that the animal will be able to find their perfect forever home.
Animal shelters are always looking for items like blankets, toys, food and even old newspaper. You might already have plenty of items around your home that you no longer use but that would be perfect for the shelter to use, whether that be old towels or good quality pet supplies that you no longer need.
Some animal shelters might have wish lists of items that they need, whether for the shelter as a whole or for specific animals in their care. It might be as simple as making a purchase on Amazon that gets delivered directly to the shelter, or you can collect some items and deliver them yourself. If you’re unsure what your local shelter might need, contact them to check what would be useful.
You might not be able to commit to adopting a pet permanently, but if you have the space in your home and the time to care for an animal, you might be able to foster an animal instead. Fostering an animal means that there will be more space in the shelter for animals who need it. Fostering can also really help those animals who aren’t suited to a shelter and prefer a home environment.
Each shelter will have a different process for fostering, with different levels of care required for the animal. Whilst it’s not as permanent as adopting an animal, it is still a big commitment so you should think carefully about whether you have the resources available to look after an animal. You’ll also have to be emotionally prepared to say goodbye when a permanent home is found for them!
If you’re looking to welcome a pet into your family, you should look at adopting from your local shelter rather than buying from a breeder. Not only can you give an animal in need a loving and caring home, but you will also help the shelter by allowing space for more animals who need rescuing.
The adoption process will differ for each animal shelter, but it will likely involve you visiting the shelter to meet the animal first. The shelter will also probably ask you questions to ensure that you and the animal are both suited to each other. You should only adopt an animal once you’re sure you can provide it with the life that it needs, with the time and money that will be required. Adopting an animal can be hugely rewarding for both you and the animal but remember it will be a big commitment – a pet is for life and not just for Christmas!
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