Volunteer {a few ways YOU can help shelter animals}

So, you want to help homeless dogs and cats (or goats and llamas) at your local shelter or rescue, but where do you start? You are busy, managing your family and home…how do you carve out time to volunteer? Luckily, not all volunteering requires time or money.

1) put a Donation box in your office/place of work, collect gently used collars, toys, towels/blankets, and any other gently used pet products. After a few weeks, take it to the local shelter or rescue as a donation!

2) SHARE, the saying goes on facebook ‘LIKEing doesn’t save lives, sharing does’  so LIKE your local shelter/rescue groups and share as many dogs, cats and llamas as you can! You never know when you will share an animal that will become your human friend’s next best furry friend!

3) Photograph adoptable animals, have some camera skills? Photographing adoptable animals is a great way to help them get adopted, most adopters will tell shelters/rescues that the photo of the animal convinced them that this was the dog/cat/llama for them. They could see the personality, the sadness  the joy, the emotion in the animals eyes. {As a photographer, this is my favorite way to give back. Plus you get to sit on the floor and play with puppies! :)}

4) Make a blanket, My mom loves to crochet and can make scarves and cowels in minutes. Me, not so much. But, if you are crafty like that consider making 3’x3′ blankets for the dogs and cats. Even if you can’t knit or crochet, consider buying fleece and cutting into squares, you could even tassel the ends!

5) Bandanas, while you are at the craft store picking up goodies for your blanket making consider getting some cheap calico fabric to make bandanas with! Use pinking shears and cut into triangles, no need to sew up the ends! (a win for me, as i can’t use that machine for the life of me!) You could even iron on letters saying “Adopt Me” “Will Love You for 4ever Home”

6) Walk Dogs, if you do have some spare time and want to spend more time at the shelter consider taking those pooches on a well deserved walk. Getting them out of the kennel allows for staff to come in and clean the kennel put out new food and fresh water and you help burn some excess energy! Walking dogs also gives them people-dog social skills and leash training.

7) Toy/Food Drive, at your next birthday party or block party as guests to bring a toy or bag of food for the shelter/rescue of your choice. This allows you to raise food/toys/$$ for the dogs and shares you passions with your friends and family. It takes hardly any effort and makes a big difference.

8) Foster, by fostering a dog in your home you save the lives of 2 animals. The one you are fostering and the one that took it’s kennel back at the shelter. As a former foster parent, it is the most fulfilling and heart breaking thing to do. You bring this animal into your home and show it life isn’t all that bad. Socializing them to a family, a house and other pets. Teaching them skills to be a better pet and caring for them.


However you choose to volunteer, I encourage you to start this week. Don’t put it off. Giving of yourself is the best gift to any animal without a home of it’s own.    {i got the idea for this post from the 2013 Spring issue of MODERN dog magazine}


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