How To Help a Shelter (Even If You Aren’t Adopting)
Animal shelters are the greatest gift to many dogs all across the world. They give our furry friends a second chance at happiness and save them from some undesirable situations. However, the problem is many shelters become overcrowded with too many dogs, don’t have many volunteers, or do not have enough funds to give their animals the food and care they need.
Not everyone can adopt a dog from a shelter, and that’s understandable. There are many reasons, such as not enough living space or your landlord doesn’t allow it. However, if you’re one of these people, you may still want to help out. Luckily, there are many ways you can support your local animal shelter without adopting. Below are some ways you can show your love and give these dogs the best chance possible.
Become a volunteer
One of the best things you can do for a shelter is offering to volunteer. Many organizations are incredibly short-staffed, so that the extra helping hand could make all the difference. Your duties will depend on the shelter you are volunteering for, but it can be anything from walking the dogs, cleaning their dens, or even just keeping them company by playing with them. Keep in mind that there may be a minimum age requirement for volunteering, and you may need to do some basic training before you start your position. However, it’s a gratifying job to do and can even be lots of fun being around so many four-legged friends each day.
Offer your driving skills
Although the shelter is home to many beautiful dogs, they won’t always be in their den. For example, some may need to attend a vet appointment or be transported to their new home when the lucky day comes. The problem is many shelters don’t have access to transport for this to be possible. If you have a car and a driving license, then you may want to offer up your driving skills and suggest transporting the dogs when you are available. You don’t need to be on call 24/7, but just having you as an option can bring peace of mind to the shelter when they are stuck.
Donate doggy essentials
Just like any other furry friend, dogs in a shelter still deserve basic items like treats, toys, and blankets. However, many shelters cannot afford to buy these essentials for every dog they house, so they need a helping hand from people outside the organization. Of course, donating money is always appreciated, but actually going out of your way to go shopping and purchase some special items is amazing. If you want to do this but are unsure of your local shelter’s needs, you can always check their social media, website or call them up. Typically, they’ll be looking for items such as towels, leashes, beds, and food.
Start a fundraiser
If you don’t have the money to donate to the shelter yourself, why don’t you start a fundraiser to get them elsewhere? Offer to do something you’re afraid of, such as a skydive, to encourage others to donate as they’ll see how passionate you are about this project. It doesn’t matter what you decide to do for the fundraiser, but you can turn it into an enjoyable time. By the end, you’ll no doubt have raised at least something to donate, and the shelter will be incredibly grateful.
Spread the word
Letting others know about the struggles your local shelter is going through can help them out. Even if it’s simply sharing a post on social media or asking your friends to volunteer with you. The more people who know, the more likely they’ll try to help out too. Word of mouth is the best form of marketing and can significantly impact raising awareness about the dogs in the shelter. The best outcome could be someone you know actually adopting one of the pups, which they may have never done if you didn’t share a photo on Facebook. Sharing a post only takes a few seconds and can change a dog’s life forever, so there’s no harm in doing it.
You now have five amazing things you can do to help out at your local shelter. Even the smallest act of kindness, such as donating a bag of food, can make all the difference. You’ll no doubt make some dogs very happy, and the shelter will be eternally grateful. After all, the people who run these shelters are doing a fantastic thing for the pups of this world, so the least we can do is give back.