Helping An Animal Shelter

Animal shelters provide abused, neglected, and unwanted animals with love and care until they can be adopted. In addition to this noble effort many animal shelters provide the community with animal training and pet-parenting classes. Animal shelters and rescue leagues are generally non-profit organizations that rely on charity from the community to maintain their facilities. Community involvement is critical if a shelter is to be successful.

Monetary Donations

Animal shelters and animal rescues are always in need of funds to support their work. Every dollar counts. Funds go towards providing food, bedding and medical care, maintaining structures and exercise areas and paying the lease on the property.

Some animal rescues house animals that can never be placed, many due to past history of abuse and neglect. While some of these animals are used in education programs for children, all are in need of sponsorships to fund their keep. Sponsorships allow the sponsor to visit the animal, walk him or her, groom and brush the animal, and generally indulge the animal in all ways. If you don”t live in the area many rescue shelters will send you regular photographs and updates of the animal you”re sponsoring.

Volunteering Your Time to Care for Animals

Animal shelters always appreciate monetary contributions, but financial support is not necessarily the only way you can help your local animal shelter. Many shelters are also looking for volunteers who will give their time to the shelter. Most animal shelters ask for just a modest amount of time. They typically schedule volunteers for about four to six hours stretches, two to four times a month. This is a small time commitment that will significantly help a worthy organization.

Volunteers are needed for tasks such as walking, feeding, bathing and grooming the animals. Volunteers are also needed for less glamorous, but equally crucial, activities, including cleaning cages and litter boxes.

Volunteer opportunities are plentiful in many animal shelter and rescue offices as well. Volunteers are needed for duties such as answering phones and filing. These groups also need volunteers to help coordinate and work at fundraising activities. Whatever your talent, you can almost certainly put it to use helping your local animal shelter.

Donating Supplies and Services

The supplies needed to care for hundreds of animals daily can seem daunting. Therefore, a useful way of getting involved with your local shelter is to donate much-needed items. Many animal shelters include wish lists on their web sites indicating the supplies they desperately need. Small animal shelters appreciate pet food, cat litter, animal beds, blankets, and toys. Large animal rescue organizations are always in need of hay, fencing materials, tack and blankets. All sanctuaries can use office and cleaning supplies, postage stamps, and even soothing CDs.

If you”re in a position to offer the services of your company this is an excellent and much appreciated method of making a donation to a local shelter or rescue. Printing, building contractor service, catering for fundraising events and providing gift certificates for fundraising are some of the services shelters appreciate.

Other Methods of Supporting Animal Shelters

As a pet owner you can support your local animal shelter in a number of ways without volunteering directly. The most important show of support is to adopt your next pet from a local animal shelter. In addition to the numerous unwanted puppies and kitten, many animal shelters are filled with older animals that have been given up by their owners after they realized the commitment required. Do your part to prevent unwanted puppies and kittens: Spay or neuter your pet.

Provide proper identification for your pet, so he can be easily returned to you if lost. Many run-away animals who don”t have identification are placed in shelters. Have your veterinarian implant a microchip and keep a collar with an ID tag on your pet at all times, not just when he”s outside.

Finally, support all legislation that promotes the protection of animals. This important step requires virtually no commitment of time and money, but will go a long way in supporting the mission of animal shelters and rescue organizations.