There are many ways to make an impact in your community. Many of these efforts involve donating money, but some are more creative.
The most crucial goal of any shelter is connecting animals with their forever homes. Adoptions keep the shelter doors open, but if adopting isn’t an option for you, there are other ways to help.
The Difficulty of Running a Pet Shelter
While animal shelters can reduce owner abandonment and control the stray population, they lack enough space to house animals indefinitely, so they must turn to foster families or, unfortunately, euthanasia. If you’re considering starting a shelter, research local pet adoption rates and learn how to promote your protection effectively using your unique selling propositions (USPs). These characteristics distinguish your product or service from the competition.
You can start by repurposing an area in your home, such as a garage or shed, to serve as a temporary shelter until you have enough money to hire workers and purchase supplies. You must develop sympathetic contacts with the media and encourage people to visit the cover. You’ll also need to set fees and hours. The ASPCA supports the requirement that shelters monitor lost pet reports and provide a reasonable process to help owners locate their missing pets. It will increase the chances of reuniting pets with their families.
The work shelters and rescue groups do is vital for pets and the community. They often have little to no government funding and depend on private donations. Show your local shelter or rescue group that you care by following them on social media, spreading their posts, and sharing their story with your friends and family.
You can also help by donating pet food or supplies. The most urgent needs include crates, pet pens, bedding, cleaning products, and toys. Many shelters have online wish lists of specific items they require. Contact your local shelter to see what is needed and find out where you can drop off your donation.
Many people have things they can donate to their local shelter or rescue group, including pet food, crates, towels, and toys. They may also need cash donations or other supplies like pens and paper. Check with your local shelter or rescue group for their most urgent needs.
Animal shelters can only do so much without the support of volunteers. If you have a free weekend and are interested in volunteering, contact your local shelter to see what they need. Some pet shelters have rigorous application processes, including interviews, background checks, and other requirements. They want to know that you are committed and can make your volunteer time a regular part of your schedule.
Even if you are allergic to pet hair and dander, there may still be a position for you. Many shelters need help with fundraising, answering phones, graphic design, and more.
You can also help by spreading the word about animal shelters and advocating for adoptions. Most pet shelters have a Facebook page that posts photos of pets waiting to find their forever homes. Some covers also have online adoptable lists that make it easier for people to view available animals. It can help reduce the number of unwanted pets and save lives.
Almost every shelter needs monetary donations to help pay for food, supplies, and other expenses. These funds can be used for everything from staff training to community outreach programs to animal housing upgrades.
Pet lovers can also donate their time to a shelter. For example, if you’re good with dogs (or are a dog-lover), you can volunteer to take a dog for a walk. Exercise and socialization are essential for shelter animals to thrive.
Accountants can help keep up with accounting paperwork such as fees paid by adopters, veterinary records, and grant reports. Dog trainers can help teach shelter dogs basic obedience skills, which makes them more adaptable.
Writers are also precious to shelters, as they need adoption profiles for each pet put up for adoption, newsletters, ads for events and fundraisers, and more. Just saying “thank you” can make a massive difference to shelter workers, who often feel overstressed and underappreciated. Even a simple meal delivery or cupcakes can do the trick!