Donating to Local Animal Shelter / JustJordan33
How to Help Shelter Dogs
There are thousands of dogs waiting for new homes in animal shelters. You can help improve their lives by volunteering at your local shelter. If you are unable to volunteer, you can always donate money or goods to the shelter. The best thing you can do, however, is to help these dogs find forever homes by enlisting the help of your friends, family, and social networks.
Volunteering Your Time
Find your local animal shelter.There may be multiple shelters for you to volunteer at, or maybe you just have one local adoption group. Try to locate all of the shelters in your area so that you can choose the one that works best for you.
- can help you identify all of the animal shelters and rescues in your area. Simply type in your postcode and click the option to find a “Pet Adoption Group.”
Research what volunteer opportunities are available.Depending on the shelter’s size and needs, there may be a variety of different jobs they need you to fill. Volunteers are often asked to socialize and train dogs to make them attractive for adoption. Other jobs may require you to take on a customer service role to help potential adopters at the shelter.Some jobs you may be able to do include:
- Walking dogs
- Bathing dogs
- Training dogs
- Providing veterinary care
- Grooming dogs
- Helping families find the right dog
- Working in administration
Tell the shelter about any skills you have.Shelters often need assistance with fundraising, marketing, and caring for the dogs. Contact the shelter, and let them know if you have a particular skill that might help them with these specialized services.
- If you're a photographer, you may be able to take professional quality pictures of the dogs to post online. This will help the dogs be adopted more quickly.
- If you have experience in marketing, you may be able to help the shelter advertise their dogs.
- You should let the shelter know of any previous work you have with helping animals, including any veterinary training that you may have.
Sign up for a job.Some shelters will ask you to fill out an online form to sign up; others may have you complete a physical application. This form may ask you to provide your age, experience with dogs, contact information, and availability.
- The shelter’s website should state what their volunteer policies are. If they do not, try calling the shelter and asking them, “How can I volunteer to help the dogs?”
- Many shelters may require you to be at least 16 years old to volunteer. Some may let you volunteer with a parent or guardian if you are younger.
Commit to going at your scheduled time.Animal shelters often rely on their volunteers to function at full capacity. It is important that you follow through on your promises when you volunteer. Most shelters will assign you a time when you should come to volunteer. Make sure you’re able to be there when they need you.
- Some shelters may require you to commit to a length of time when you will volunteer. This period may be as long as year.
- You can work with the shelter to find a shift that fits your schedule. Be prepared to volunteer for between two and four hours per shift.
Donating to the Shelter
Check that the shelter is reputable.It is always important to make sure that the shelter or rescue you are supporting is a legitimate non-profit charity. Sometimes puppy mills will disguise themselves as a rescue to sell puppies or dogs who do not live up to their standards. Others will pack in as many dogs as they can in filthy conditions to maximize profits from adoption fees.
- If a breed-specific rescue is only offering puppies, be aware that it might be a puppy mill. Legitimate rescues will normally offer dogs of many different ages.
- Visit the shelter. A filthy or overcrowded shelter is usually a sign that they are complying with local animal laws. If the dogs appear malnourished, they may not be using their funds for food.
- Puppy stores are not shelters. They sell the dogs for profit, and they often buy their dogs from puppy mills. Avoid donating to these stores. If you are worried about the welfare of these dogs, contact animal control instead.
Ask them what they need.Some pet shelters may have a wish-list of items that they need desperately. Others may be trying to raise money for a new building, new bedding, or special medical care.To identify the best donation for your shelter, call them. You can ask:
- “Are there any special projects that the shelter needs money for?”
- “Are you in need of food, bedding, or other supplies?”
- “What is the proper way of donating money to your shelter?”
- “What types of items do you not accept?”
Raise money for the shelter.Shelters need money to buy food, medical care, and food for dogs. By raising money, you can help improve the quality of life for dogs in the shelter. It may also allow the shelter to care for more dogs without euthanizing them.
- You can host a bake sale, garage sale, or other small scale sale to raise money at your own home, school, or office.
- If you have a birthday or wedding coming up, you might consider asking guests to donate to your local shelter instead of buying you gifts.
- You can set up a crowd-funding page for your local shelter on a platform like Go Fund Me or Generosity.com to solicit donations.
Organize a supply drive.You can encourage people to donate dog food, toys, treats, and other dog items. This will save the shelter money. It may also give the dogs a special treat. Some things you can donate include:
- Food and water bowls
- Dog beds and blankets
- Toys like tennis balls, chew ropes, or KONG toys
- Both wet and dry dog food
Adopt dogs instead of buying them.One of the best ways to help shelter dogs is to adopt one yourself. By giving a dog a permanent, loving home, you not only reduce the burden on the shelter but you also free a spot for another homeless dog at the shelter.
Foster a dog.When you foster a dog, you care for the dog in your home while the shelter looks for a potential owner. This is a temporary situation. By letting the dog into your home, you open up a spot for another dog at the shelter.
- Make sure that you can handle giving the dog away when they are adopted.
- You may have to housebreak the dog and train them. This will help the dog find a good home more quickly.
Spay or neuter your dogs.The best way to prevent overcrowding at shelters is to prevent more dogs from entering the system. Spaying or neutering your dog will prevent them from having puppies of their own. It may also help current homeless dogs find a home.
- If you do not have a dog, you can encourage others to spay or neuter their dogs. Point out the benefits of spaying and neutering. You might say, "spayed female dogs live longer" or "neutered male dogs won't wander from home as often."
Tell your friends to adopt.If you can’t adopt a dog yourself, you can encourage others to rescue a dog instead of buying one from a store or breeder. If a friend or family member is considering getting a dog, talk to them about the benefits of adoption.
- You might say, “You should consider adopting from the local animal shelter. It’s a great way to save a life.”
- You can bring up the benefits of adopting. For example, you might say, “It is much cheaper to adopt a dog” or “many dogs in animal shelters are already trained.”
- Adopting a dog is a big decision. Make sure you can care for the dog before adopting.
- While you should encourage adoption, do not pester people to adopt if they are unable to. It is important that dogs find families that are both willing and able to care for them.
- Stay in touch with your local shelter, and ask them what they need before you try to help them. This will ensure that you do as much good as possible.
- If you are volunteering at a kill shelter, you may meet and bond with dogs that will eventually be euthanized. Make sure you understand this before committing. If you think that you will not be able to handle their deaths, try volunteering at a no-kill rescue instead.
Video: Children Help Get Shelter Dogs’ Tails Wagging By Reading to Them | NBC Nightly News
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