I get a lot of emails from people asking how to be more involved in dog/cat rescue. This is usually after I post photos or a FB status update that is related to animal rescue. A lot of us don’t know where to start (I didn’t either when I first started out).
I decided to compile a list of 5 easy ways ANYONE can help depending on your life situation. While some can help by giving monthly donations, others can’t. Choosing to do any one of the following is a fantastic way to help the animal community and make a positive change in an animal’s life.
1) Spay and neuter your pets:
I can’t emphasize this enough. It seems like something so minor, but you have absolutely no idea the impact of spay/neutering a single animal can make. It is the single most important thing you can do as a dog or cat lover.
Did you know that just one unaltered female dog and her litter can produce 67,000 puppies in only six years? In seven years, one female cat and her litter can produce 370,000 kittens. Spaying or neutering ONE, SINGLE animal saves that many lives!
The reason why this is so significant is because statistically only 10% of all animals are kept by their owners forever. They’re either dropped off at shelters when they get old or ill or they end up strays on the streets and are picked up by animal control.
Approximately 5-7 million dogs and kittens are admitted into shelters every year and more than 60-70% of them are euthanized (3-4 million). That’s an unacceptable crime against animals. You might be even more shocked to know that around 25% are pure-bred. So if you think only “mutts” end up homeless or neglected in shelters, think again.
If you want to make the biggest impact to stop the killing of domestic animals and senseless suffering of homeless animals on the streets, start by making a change in your own home. Even one litter is one litter too many.
2) Volunteer with a local rescue or animal shelter:
When most of us think of helping animals, we think of donating money. However, that’s not always realistic for everyone. Find a local rescue group in your area and offer an extra set of hands at the next adoption fair or fundraiser. Rescues always need help because they are 100% volunteer run. You can also volunteer at your local shelter.
3) Become a foster parent:
If giving several hours of your time is too hectic because of a crazy schedule, offer to become a foster home to an animal waiting to be adopted. The rescue group responsible usually pays for all food and medicine for the animal, but you get the benefit of having an extra special pooch or kitty in your house to love on everyday until they get adopted! This is especially useful for anyone thinking about getting a family pet and you’re curious as to what type of responsibility it entails.
4) Contact your local shelter and see what they need:
When I was in my late teens (around 18 or 19) I had no money whatsoeever. I barely made $4.50 per hour at my job, but I knew I wanted to help my local animal shelter in some way. I was a full time student with a full time job so I knew volunteering wasn’t an option. I called the shelter, and they said they were always in need of food. I couldn’t afford much but every two weeks I purchased a $9 bag of dog food from my grocery store and dropped it off. It didn’t seem like much but they were always so appreciative. Call your shelter and find out what they need. Every little bit helps!
5) If you are a craftsy person, there’s a special place for you too!
Are you a craftsy person and are looking for something fun and creative? How about taking old clothes, sheets and towels and using them to make dog beds for shelters and rescues? Get your creative juices flowing! There’s a ton of things you can make that would be adored by animals everywhere!
Peace and love everyone! Don’t forget about the animals this holiday season!