Each year, anywhere from five to seven million pets end up in an animal shelter. Most of these shelters are dependent on public generosity to be able to maintain its operations. Without money donations, food donations or volunteers, the shelters could cease to exist.
Donate Funds and Supplies
The easiest way to help the organization of your choice is always to donate funds. Most animal shelters are nonprofit organizations and depend heavily on the financial help of donations. Donating is tax deductible and you can give as much as you can afford. It’s easy and most of the time you can go to your favorite charity website and donate right there. Your donation will provide much needed financial support to the organization.
All of the organizations are always in need for numerous items to be donated. They usually list the items they need right on their website. Usually the items are basic animal necessities like food, litter, toys, treats, collars, etc. If you have a local organization that you support, check their list and pick up a few items the next time you go shopping. Any donation will make a difference and is always appreciated. Please check the food brand that each shelter uses before you purchase. You don’t want to buy an item they won’t be able to use.
Give Your Time
If your current financial situation does not allow you to donate, you can always help by volunteering your time at a local shelter. This can be the best way to give back. I know from my own personal experience, you get so much more out of that than you give. The animals express their unconditional love and appreciation and I never considered this as work. It’s truly is a therapy for your soul. Every shelter needs a variety of volunteers to help with cleaning the cages, changing the litter boxes, walking the dogs to helping with adoption events, maintaining their social media and posts online. There is plenty of work for everyone that is willing to do with all range of skill levels.
Share Your Home
Many animal rescue organizations don’t have shelters; they depend heavily on foster families to take care of their animals. Whether you’re unsure if you can handle the full responsibilities of having a pet or are still in the process of deciding to get another pet, fostering is always a good idea. You can test the waters with a new pet while the pet still gets the care it deserves along in the process. Fostering does not only do well for the pet itself, it also translates to the family that will adopt them in the future. By taking good care of the pet, teaching them the basic things it needs to know like potty training, you are doing favors for their future owners.
If you have never owned a pet before, consider fostering instead of adopting. Aside from giving you a chance to test the waters, it can give you the experience of taking care of a pet firsthand. No amount of research and reading can really tell if you are ready to have a pet unless you experience it. Your family and you will get the full benefits of having a pet, and you’ll be helping that pet at the same time.
Other Ways to Give
If none of the above options fit your lifestyle or your pocket, there are still ways you can help. We all shop for various items every day. Search for companies that give back to the animal welfare organizations. When choosing gifts for your family and friends, buy items that donation to animal organizations. In this way you give two gifts at once, one to someone special and the other one to an animal charity. Just by buying ordinary items, you can help to save lives. I’m sure that the recipient of your gift will be very happy knowing that his or her gift helped keep an innocent animal alive.
There are many ways to get involved and help animal welfare organizations; you just need to be willing to do so. It’s not just the money or time but the passion and love for the animals that drives people to help. Remember giving is always more rewarding than receiving.
If you have children, get them involved. It’s one of the best gifts you can give them. Children that are raised caring for and loving animals, grow up to be responsible, loving and caring adults. Children that have a strong bond with animals are more likely to grow up and try to make a difference in this world.
Love and caring for animals is not something you can take a course on and learn. It is something that you develop by socializing and caring for them. If you have children and your lifestyle doesn’t allow you to own a pet, getting your children involved volunteering at a local shelter is a great idea. They will benefit from this experience for the rest of their lives.
About the Author: Mira Alicki is a jewelry designer and goldsmith for the past 22 years. Her passion for animals led her to create her own line of jewelry and online store to benefit charities. 40% of each purchase is donated back to the animal community. You can find Mira on Twitter @FIMHjewelry or Forever In My Heart.