Most dog lovers know the feeling. You love dogs and wish you could save them all, but you can’t possibly bring one more home or your significant other is going to kill you. Well, even if you can’t adopt (another) dog, there are lots of things you can do to help shelter dogs in need.
This is a great way to make a big difference in a dog’s life. Some dogs don’t do well in shelters and some rescue groups don’t have shelter facilities where they can keep their dogs. In both instances, opening up your home to be a foster home is a wonderful way to help. For rescue groups without facilities, they rely on their foster homes in order to save more dogs so you are literally saving a dog’s life by letting it sleep under your roof. Older or scared dogs who might otherwise be in shelter facilities can really blossom in a home environment. Each shelter and rescue group operates differently, so check with your local groups to see what they’re looking for and how long of a commitment they ask for.
Volunteering at your local animal shelter or with a rescue group is another great way to make a big difference. Animals shelters rely on volunteers to walk dogs, feed them, and clean kennels so if you can commit to a schedule to help on a regular basis, this is a great way to make a big difference in the lives of shelter dogs.
Many rescue groups need help too, but in a different way. Do you ever notice the rescue groups at your local PetSmart or Petco on the weekends? For most of these groups, the people holding the leashes of all these dogs are volunteers. The more volunteers they have to escort the dogs, the more dogs they can bring to events, which means more dogs get adopted. Many groups simply ask that you arrive a few minutes early before the event starts and be prepared to hold the leash of a new friend.
If you are short on time, but still want to help dogs in need, consider making a donation. Most shelters and rescue groups have ongoing wishlists of the things they need most so you can either purchase from their list or donate money. Many shelters get more donations around Christmas time, but might not get as much during the summer so stay connected to your local shelter and check back to see what they need year-round.
Shop For A Cause
If you’re going shopping, why not put it to good use and shop for a cause? You can find gifts, apparel, even special things for your dog from online shops like ADogsLove.com that use proceeds to help feed shelter dogs. Look for organizations that tell you exactly how much they’re providing to shelter dogs with each purchase so you know how much you are helping.
Check with your local shelter for benefit events. Many shelters and rescues hold events throughout the year. Sometimes it’s something as simple as dining at a local restaurant on a designated night (where a portion of the check is donated to the rescue). Other times there are bigger events like fun runs you can do with your dog (or solo) or even black tie galas where you can get dressed up and bring a furry date! There are lots of fun ways to get involved and if your local shelter doesn’t already host any of these events, see if they would like help setting one up!
No matter what you decide, the important thing is to remember there are lots of ways to help. Get your friends and family involved too! There are incredible networks of animal-lovers out there and there are so many ways to join the fight.
AUTHOR BIO: Krista White founded the A Dog’s Love blog and shop to fulfill her lifelong passion to give back to shelter dogs while connecting with fellow dog lovers. She created the A Dog’s Love blog to share inspirational and heartwarming stories of man’s (and woman’s) best friend, but wanted to do more. She started the A Dog’s Love shop as a way to give back to shelter dogs in need while providing unique, quality selections for dog-loving shoppers. She shares her home with two sweet rescue dogs, Sage (a dachshund/papillon mix) and Archie (a terrier mix). Visit www.ADogsLove.com for sweet dog stories and more ways you can help.