We believe that local shelters do a lot of good for the animals in our community. If you love your pets, you can give back by helping your local shelter.

Foster
You may not have the resources to take on another pet for life, but you may be able to house a dog or cat temporarily while they wait for their forever home. Some animals can’t handle a shelter, but thrive in a home. Many shelters and rescues provide food, medicine and toys to animal foster parents. Plus, families may feel more inclined to adopt a pet they already know does well in a house with people, kids or other pets.

Raise Money
Shelters can always use more money. They want to keep and adopt out as many animals as possible and spare them from being put down. That requires a lot of money for space, food, toys, beds, medicine and veterinary care, and promotion. No shelter will ever turn down much-needed monetary donations. If you can’t give a lot of money yourself, come up with some creative fundraisers. This is also a great way to get kids involved.

Donate Supplies
Shelters will also happily take any supplies they can get. Pick up some extra treats or toys when you go shopping for your pet and bring them to the shelter. You could also do a drive at school, work, church or amongst friends to collect items. Call your local shelter and ask what they need the most.

Bash Stereotypes
Many people believe that all animals in shelters are strays, sick, aggressive or have some other issue or reason they are there. In reality, most animals wind up in shelters because of owners that didn’t know how to properly care for them. Puppies are going to chew some shoes and pee inside unless trained not to. Kittens might scratch at the furniture if they don’t have anything else to claw. Most shelter animals are loving animals that will make great pets for anyone willing to spend the time and effort on them. Take time to inform others about pets in shelters and work to banish the negative stereotypes that often prevent people from adopting a shelter pet.

Give Your Time
Spend some time giving love and attention to deserving animals. Being around new people helps socialize the animals at the shelter, which will make for an easier transition into their forever homes. Work on training, give baths, do administrative work, do social media promotion or any other skill you can offer. You can also take animals on walks or trips to local parks to help them get seen. Many shelters have bandanas or jackets that let passersby know that the animal is available for adoption.

Adopt, Don’t Shop!
You probably can’t rescue every pet that comes through the shelter doors, as much as you may want to. However, when it does come time to get another pet, adopt from a local shelter or rescue instead of going to a pet store or a breeder. Pet stores often get animals from mills that have inhumane practices. Breeders can also have unsafe or unethical practices. Plus, there are so many great, loving animals already in shelters that need a home. By adopting, you free a pet from the shelter and open up a space for another animal. If you have your heart set on a specific breed, look for a breed-specific rescue. Animals of all breeds are surrendered to shelters. Encourage your friends and family to do the same.

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