Don’t forget to include homeless pets on your gift list for the holidays. Why not show the kids in your family some good ways to give to shelter pets? Here are ten ideas to try:
— Ask kids to sponsor a pet food pantry. Partner with your local food pantry (for humans), local pet food stores or veterinarians’ offices.
— Ask kids if they want to host a holiday party for your local shelter’s pets. Ask the shelter specific items they need and ask attendees to bring those items.
— Take the kids in your family on a shopping trip for homeless pets. Buy pet food or any items your shelter needs (ask the shelter first).
— Offer to walk dogs or socialize cats during the holiday season when kids are out of school and fewer volunteers will be working at the shelter.
— Does your local shelter have a wish list on sites like Amazon? If not, ask for kids’ help in arranging that service. The shelter can mention the wish list in any email newsletters, adoption ads, etc.
— Encourage kids to sponsor homeless pets. For example, they could pick out a pet they want to sponsor and ask their friends to donate to that pet’s fund. Ask the shelter the dollar amounts needed to feed, neuter, etc a dog or cat. Give the kids a goal to reach and offer to take them to the shelter to visit that pet when the goal is met.
— Find kids who are good photographers (many are quite good just using their smartphones) and ask them to help photograph shelter pets for holiday ads in your local newspaper.
— Ask animal-loving teenagers to write clever descriptions of shelter pets for use in advertising, the shelter website, or the description outside their cages or kennels. Well-written descriptions encourage potential adopters to linger longer when looking at that pet.
— Do you know a good kid artist? Ask him/her to draw or paint pets for a fee during the holiday season. Ask local pet stores or veterinarians to provide a venue for this.
— Kids can contact restaurants in your community to designate a certain day as “homeless pet day.” They could donate a certain percentage of their revenues to the local animal shelter. Ask these restaurants to post photos of homeless pets and ask patrons to donate at a designated location in the restaurant.