Can't Adopt a Dog? How to Support Your Local Animal Shelter

Not everyone is able to adopt a rescue dog. You may already have your limit of pets. You might have a dog or cat who does not want to share his home or his owners with anyone else.

Or you might live in an apartment that doesn’t allow pets or maybe you travel a lot.

The reasons are many and varied.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t support your local animal rescue or humane society.

Support Your Local Animal Shelterl

Here are a few ways you can help.

  1. Volunteer your time

The dogs in the shelter need to be fed, walked and played with as often as possible. The workers have limited time to spend with each dog. They count on volunteers to come in and give the dogs and cats extra care and attention. This can help them learn to be more sociable which will help their chances of being adopted and also help them be ready for adapting to family life once they are adopted.

  1. Donate money

Obviously, cold hard cash is something shelters are always in need of. Even a $5 or $10 a month gift can help. There are also options on Facebook to choose a charity to support for your birthday. This way you can encourage your friends and family to donate to the rescue of your choice.

  1. Foster pets who haven’t found a home yet

You may not be able to adopt a forever pet, but you can take in a pet for a short time until it is adopted. This is good for animals who don’t do well in the shelter environment, such as animals who are anxious around other animals. It also helps acclimate them to living in a home so they are ready when they are adopted into their permanent home.

  1. Have a garage sale to raise funds

You know all that unused junk in your house and garage? The stuff you’re saving “just in case”? Go all Maria Komodo and clear your space. Have a big sale to declutter your life and give the proceeds to your favorite rescue. You’ll feel happier for two reasons, you donated to a good cause and there is now room for your car in your garage. You might have friends and relatives who will donate their unused stuff when they realize where the money is going.

  1. Invite a speaker from the rescue

If you’re a member of a church or local club, consider asking someone from the rescue to come speak at a group meeting. They will explain what they do to help local animals and might even bring a few along. Raising awareness helps bring in more donations and encourages more adoptions.

  1. Collect blankets and other useful items

Shelters are always in need of warm blankets, especially during the winter months. But many people who want to donate don’t have the time or inclination to drive to the shelter. You can offer to pick these items up and deliver them. Call the shelter and find out what they currently need the most.

  1. Use your skills

Are you good at bookkeeping, date entry, or answering phones? Shelters usually have limited funds for staff so they often need volunteers to handle office related tasks. Do you know how to build websites, write intriguing Facebook or blog posts, or run marketing campaigns? Shelters can rarely pay for these types of services but they can be vital in increasing awareness and support for their organization.

  1. Transport

Shelters often need help transporting animals to new owners or to vet visits.

  1. Vote

Many states are trying to increase the penalties for cruelty to animals. Pay attention to these issues help these laws get passed.

Getting started is easy. Call your local shelters and just ask, “What do you need help with the most”?

Match their needs with your time availability and skill set. Giving to the animals and your community is a great way to fill your time and feel good about what you’re doing.

What to Do Next: Download Your Free "So You Think You Want to Adopt a Dog?" Kit

Adopting a dog is one of the most wonderful and rewarding things you can do, but it's not something to be entered into lightly. Before Making This Big Decision, You need to know:
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  • How to Decide on the Best Dog for You and Your Family - This checklist will help you figure out exactly what kind of pet is best for you.
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You can download this kit instantly and it's absolutely free. Just enter your name and email address below. We'll also keep you up-to-date on tips for your dog, amazing dog stories and products we'd love to share with you.
Written By

Susanne Jamieson

Susanne is a dog lover who enjoys sharing smart dog tips, inspirational stories and the joy that dogs bring. Follow us on social media for even more dog fun!


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