Animal shelters have been making headlines lately thanks to both the increase in pet adoptions due to the pandemic and the recent indoguration of Major Biden as the first shelter dog to take up residence in the White House. Of course, the best way to support an animal shelter is to make a shelter pet a new addition to your own family. But even if you choose to purchase a puppy from a responsible breeder, there are still ways you can help animals who are less fortunate.
Fostering a dog can be rewarding for both you and (obviously) the dog. Fostering can provide a safe space for the dog to decompress from a stressful shelter life. Fostering can allow for the dog's true personality to blossom, which will in turn help him or her get adopted faster. In addition, fostering frees up more space in the shelter or rescue for other dogs in need. In return you will reap the emotional reward knowing that you made a difference, and the joy of canine companionship, even for a short while.
Shelters and rescues are always in need of supplies. Leashes, collars, beds, unopened food, and even cleaning and office supplies. Oftentimes a shelter or rescue in your area will have an Amazon wishlist of items you can order, so if there's an organization you want to support, check with them first to see what they need.
While opportunities for hands-on volunteering may be limited right now due to the pandemic, most rescues and shelters are still in need of volunteers to contribute to enrichment activities such as walking and playing with the dogs. In addition, many are in need of volunteers to transport the dogs to foster families, veterinarians, or different locations. Check with your local shelter on their Covid protocols.
Follow on Social Media
Following and sharing posts from your local rescues and shelters on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook can help spread information much more quickly, highlighting shelter dogs that are looking for their forever home.
Most shelters and rescues are not-for-profit and are always in need of financial donations to cover operating costs. The pandemic has put a halt to in-person fundraising activities, so your online contribution are greatly needed and appreciated. Operating expenses can include everything from daily facilities cleaning to veterinary care for dogs in need.
Homelessness among people is on the rise across the country and that means more people are struggling to keep their pets even as they themselves struggle with housing security. Companion animals can provide warmth, comfort, and a sense of purpose for those that find themselves without shelter. Oftentimes a companion animal is what is keeping a person hopeful during the toughest of times. Feeding Pets of the Homeless helps to provide vaccines, veterinary care, and supplies to pets of the homeless population nationwide.