There are thousands of pets out there without a family to take care of them. These pets need all the help they can get, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be adoption. Not everyone is in a position where they can take care of a pet, and it’s important to not bring home an animal you can’t care for.
But if you cannot take a pet home, you can still do something to help. Here are a few creative ideas to get you started.
10 Great Ways You Can Help
1. Have a Garage Sale
Next time you decide to clear out your basement by selling off all your unused appliances, sports equipment, clothes, and books, donate some of the proceeds to your local shelter. People will come because they know their money is going to a good cause, and you will get rid of all that stuff that was cluttering up your house.
2. Collect Recycling
Everyone has cans and bottles, and most just get put out on the street for someone to collect. Why not you? Go around to your neighbors and see if they are willing to donate all their recycling. Take what you can down to a recycling center and donate the money you collected to the local shelter. You get to help some pets in need, and the earth, in one fell swoop!
3. Use Your Day Job Skills
What do you do during the day? Is there a way your professional skills could be of use to the people and pets at an animal shelter? Shelters are often working on a small budget, so any services they wouldn’t have to pay for are often met with open arms. For example, Robin Olson, cat rescuer, blogger, and dedicated animal lover uses her skill as an advertiser and website designer to help build useful websites and back-end systems for animal rescues through Kitten Associates. There may be a similar way you can donate yourself.
4. Make Donations Part of Your Gift Registry
Are you one of those people who already has everything? Instead of leaving people scratching their heads over what to get you, tell them that you’d like them to make a donation to the ASPCA, Humane Society, or any other pet-rescue or charity of your choice.
5. Be a Volunteer Groomer
Pets in shelters rarely get the kind of TLC that they would want. After a few weeks in a kennel, they might end up looking pretty scraggly, which, sadly, makes them less desirable to potential adopters. Help these fixer-uppers look their best by offering to give them a bath and a brushing session.
6. Host a Party at the Shelter
Are you a social butterfly? Is everyone clamoring to get into one of your parties? Consider hosting your next gala at the local animal shelter. The unique location is sure to make headlines, both for you and the shelter, and everyone attending will be more likely to adopt a pet in need after seeing their big loving eyes.
7. Take Photos or Videos
Everyone knows that the internet is totally gaga for cats. Help use that to a cat’s advantage by posting funny, pro-adoption videos or memes that will help spread awareness of the importance of helping these pets in need.
8. Build Some Beds
Are you a crafty person? Want a new project? How about one that will greatly benefit some pets in need? With a little elbow grease and not much time, you can make a couple dog and cat beds out of cloth and some stuffing. The material is cheap (or free if you have some old clothes you are willing to part with), and will make a dog’s stay in the shelter much more comfy.
9. Get Your Friends Involved
The internet is also a great way to rally people around a cause. If you have a bunch of Twitter followers or friends on Facebook, use that channel to get people on board with helping out at the local shelter. The more the merrier!
10. Cobble Together Some Toys
Every pet should have a toy that they can play around with, especially those in shelters. Be a hero and make them something to chew on. An easy project for a lazy afternoon, all you have to do is cut up some old clothes, knot them up, braid them together, and there you go! Throw a tennis ball or some hidden treats in there if you want to get fancy with it. It takes only a little time on your end, and you will give a pet in need some well-deserved playtime.