Last Minute Holiday Ideas for Animal Shelters

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Young adult woman playing with dogs in animal shelter. She wants to adopt one dog.

Do you have a serious budget deficit? Or do you have a special needs pet who needs medical care or a foster family? Is your pet food bank nearly empty? Use these low-cost and easy-to-implement ideas to make a big difference in the lives of homeless pets during this season of giving.

Does your pet food bank need food? Contact at least one big box chain store or a group of high-traffic retailers at a strip mall and ask them to set up boxes for a pet food drive on a couple of weekends. They can advertise with signs at strategic points in the parking area several days ahead. This event can be done at practically no cost.

Are deployed soldiers in your area surrendering their pets since they have nowhere to leave them? Many Americans would want to help if they only knew! Ask your local paper to publish a story about this and ask for foster families to help our servicemen and women. See an example of this: Arizonans volunteer as foster families for deployed soldiers’ pets.

Earn money by searching and shopping. Add your rescue group or shelter’s name to goodsearch.com and let your community know to search there on your behalf. The searches are powered by Yahoo and charities receive a portion of the revenue generated by advertising dollars.

Also, visit the Goodshop where up to 30% of every purchase goes to a worthy cause. Scroll down the page to see the list of major retailers participating, including Best Buy, the Apple Store, and many more. Animal lovers can help their local shelters or rescues by letting them know to register.

Reach out to your local newspaper and/or TV station and let your community know about any budget problems or special needs pets you have. You may be surprised at the response you’ll receive. Our local newspaper recently covered the story of a blind pit bull mix puppy, including how much the little guy had been shuffled around. In less than a week, that puppy was in his forever home.

Place an ad in your local newspaper(s) suggesting that donations to the local shelter or rescue group are the best gifts you can give. I’m hearing from many people who plan to send donations rather than gifts this year. Those donations could be coming to your shelter or rescue group. Just ask. You could use wording such as:

Can’t think of anything unique for Mom? What about a donation in her name to the homeless pets at xxx shelter. Go online right now to our website at xxx and donate in her name. Or call xxxx. These pets need your help and Mom will love you for thinking of them. So will our wonderful pets.

Reduce the adoption fee for a specific group of pets before the holidays. Black pets, senior pets, those with special needs . . . there are many “less adoptable” pets you can choose. Please see the following for ideas about less adoptable pets:

Help Black Pets Be Adopted

Finding Homes for Older Homeless Pets

Animal Shelter Tips has published several holiday-related articles and posts. Please take a look at the
Holiday Ideas on the blog.

Find more ideas on our website for helping homeless pets during the holiday season:

Ten Ideas for Increasing Holiday Donations

Twenty Ways Kids Can Share the Holidays with Homeless Pets

Twelve Family Holiday Traditions That Help Homeless and Needy Pets

Fundraising Ideas: Plan Events with Other Nonprofits

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