Volunteer to help with pet adoptions at outlying locations.
Many shelters partner with chain stores such as PETCO to set up temporary adoption locations on certain days of the week. You can help just a few hours a week.
Volunteer your services
- Are you a web designer? Offer to help with web site design, newsletter formatting and/or blogs.
- If you’re a digital photographer . . . you don’t have to be a professional . . . offer to take photos of adoptable pets and edit those photos for website or print publications.
- Do you know the fine points of search engine optimization for websites? Then help your shelter or rescue group with the copy and design tips that will help them be found online.
- If you enjoy writing, offer to write articles for your shelter’s website or newsletter. Or use your skills to write captions to describe adoptable pets for newspaper ads. Clever captions and descriptions of pets can create interest for that specific pet.
Visit What Can One Person Do from Best Friends Animal Society for an excellent list of ways an individual can help shelters. Included are offering transportation services, asking your veterinarian to provide discounted services for the local shelter, offering to spay or neuter your neighbor’s pet, and more.
Help animals in your community who don’t live in the shelter
Meals on Wheels or other community services providing food for families in need often have pet food banks. Donate pet food to these groups.
Volunteer to foster the pet(s) of a deployed soldier
Find out if there’s an organization in your community to help place soldiers’ pets in foster homes until they return. If there isn’t a group like this, talk with your local shelter about setting up such a service. Many service members surrender their beloved pets to a shelter since they have no one to take care of them.
Volunteer at your local animal shelter
Sometimes help is needed for a one-time event or for just a few hours. If you don’t have time to volunteer on a weekly basis, let the shelter know that you’re available occasionally and add your name to their email list.
We were homeless, but now our life together is filled with sunny days. Please help homeless animals. They deserve a home too . . . Sam & Foxy
Donate food and items for your shelter’s wish list
What items are on their wish list? When you’re buying food for your pet, why not pick up some food for the shelter animals or for your local pet food bank? Often shelters need blankets, sheets, computer equipment, etc. When you do a clean-out at home, check with your shelter to see if any of your old items are needed. Also, find out if there’s a second-hand / thrift store in your area whose donated items benefit animals.
Make cash donations and donations “in honor of” and “in memory of”
In addition to the traditional cash donation to your shelter, remember the animals if there’s an event in your family for which others may send flowers or gifts. Request a donation to your shelter instead. For example, are you getting married? Ask your friends to donate to a special need at the shelter, such as a spay/neuter mobile clinic.
Or, for a funeral, if Dad was an animal lover, in lieu of flowers, ask that a donation be sent in his memory to your local shelter. Often you can specify a particular fund or need.
Be an Animal Activist
Visit our page on Be an Animal Activist for ways you can impact animal welfare laws in your state as well as influence punishment for animal abusers.
And don’t forget that these activist groups may need other help. If you have special skills, such as web design, writing, etc., offer to help these groups improve e their website, write templates for letter-writing campaigns, etc.