Partnering up with a local animal rescue or shelter can be a true benefit to animals in need in your area and will also undoubtedly further the cause of bettering dogs' lives. Here are 5 ways to get involved.
With all the MANY different computer programs currently available in art and design (most free), putting together and distributing eye catching flyers to feature a particular homeless pet couldn't be easier. With just a quick search of the internet you will come across many options that walk you through your flyer design. This is a great project for kids too! Then you just have to find local community boards to pin to or possibly ask local businesses to display them.
A 5 minute call to your local shelter and you will be told a multitude of items they are in need of for you to start a collection. Some of the most common shelter needs are: blankets, towels, newspapers, food, laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, leashes and collars. It's a good idea to check with your specific shelter though, so you can collect from their list of needs instead of trying to guess. Some shelters feed only one brand of food or have unusual requests and it would be important to be aware of that as well. Of course monetary donations are great too!
Many shelters and rescues have volunteer forms to fill out if you wish to get involved in a hands on way. These forms help them to best place you into a position that is suitable for your skill and comfort level as well as their needs. Often shelters need volunteers to help clean around the shelter (inside and out), walk dogs, groom animals, transport animals, work fundraising events or maybe do some office work. There is likely something of interest to anyone wanting to get involved.
By fostering and animal you are directly giving that dog or cat a second chance at a happy, healthy life. Some animals need a home environment instead of a shelter, for health reasons, and without such caring people to provide this, they would often otherwise be put down. If you have some extra space in your home and heart and some extra time to give, this might be right for you. It's important you have had experience in caring for pets in the past as it will be important that you not only shelter the pet, but also work toward making it "adoptable". This means showing the animal what it's like to be a pet and live properly inside a home. Many foster animals have never been a truly loved and cared for pet in a home and often have come from horrible conditions and situations. They would need time and patience to learn.
If fostering seems like too big of a commitment but you still want to help these animals in need, maybe sponsoring is for you. The cost to provide care for any single animal varies greatly. Some animals need medical procedures, a special diet or medications. This can all get costly to a shelter or rescue fast. By sponsoring an animal, you are offering to incur the costs to care for that dog or cat until it gets adopted, but the animal will not live with you. Sponsoring absolutely saves countless lives.
If nothing else we can all certainly play a big role in helping homeless pets with the click of a mouse. We are all on Facebook, Twitter and a multitude of other social media sites. Make good use of your time there and share some information on a homeless animal in need. Spread the word. Be their "PR" person.