Tis’ the season of giving back! We all get caught up in the commotion of the holidays, but let us not forget the animals that need a little extra love this season.
According to the ASPCA, nearly 6.5 million pets find themselves in animal shelters in the U.S each year! What better way to share the spirit than by helping those waiting for their fur-ever homes? Here are just a handful of ways you and the family can get involved in bringing joy to some fur babies that need some extra kindness.
There are multiple ways to make a donation at a shelter. Making a monetary donation is always helpful—no matter the amount you are able to give! Additionally, you can ask your shelter what is on their “Wish List” so you can provide them with the items they need most! Common items include towels, leashes, food bowls, blankets, food and more—these can be new or gently-used! Many shelters need to cover the costs for food, housing, vet visits and more all on their own. Donations of any kind make a world of difference, and it can be a great holiday tradition when the family gets together.
Similar to how shelters rely on donations, they also rely on their wonderful volunteers to keep the shelters up and running! You can help facilitate adoption events, take the dogs for walks, clean kennels, read to the animals and more! If you’re unsure how you can help—give them a call and ask what you can do. Keeping a shelter in good condition puts less stress on the dogs and cats (and humans!) that call the shelter their temporary home.
Of course, one of the best things you can do for your shelter is adopting an animal in need! If your family is not quite ready for another pet, you can try fostering! This is a great way to bring an animal into your home, especially during the holidays which can be a very busy time for everyone, shelters included! The animals can benefit from getting out of the shelter environment, even if it is just temporary. You can learn how fostering works, and you might just become a “foster failure.”
You heard us right! Shopping at companies that support local shelters is a great way to help animals from all over! There are businesses—big and small—that give back all year round, and it all starts with customers. For example, Amazon Smile will donate 0.5% of your purchase price to a charity of your choice! Many shelters are on the list, and if you don’t see yours you can help sign them up! The Petco Foundation helps find homes for thousands of pets when you donate in-store or online every day. Research stores near you that give back to animals and opt to shop there instead, while supporting local business at the same time! Making a conscious decision to shop smart is just one of the small things you can do to make a difference.
SPREAD THE WORD
Raising awareness via social media is another form of spreading the holiday cheer that is just one mouse click away! It is a powerful tool that can bring attention to shelters that would otherwise not get attention on a daily basis. If your local shelter or rescue is holding an event, click that share button and let your friends know. Follow your favorite animal organizations on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more to keep up-to-date with adoptable animals to share with your followers; you might just help a dog or cat find their forever home just because you shared a post.
Blog Post Written By: Jasmine Kemper
JustFoodForDogs Nutrition Consultant