Since October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, many of you would love to help all those adorable fur kids at your local shelters but you’re not sure what to do to help. If you’re one of the people finding yourself saying, “I can’t go to the shelter—it makes me too sad,” don’t despair—there are still ways to help! Let’s take a look:
Go anyway. Ok, I know this suggestion is a bit of a cop out on my part, but I’m going to pitch it, anyway. It’s been my experience that getting more involved makes you feel better, not worse. Shelter staff do their best to giving plenty of love and attention to the furkids in their care, but sometimes there aren’t enough hours in the day to go the extra mile for them. That’s where you come in: while the staff is busy keeping those scruffy faces clean and healthy, you can contribute to the dogs’ physical and mental well-being by playing fetch or chase, walking them, brushing them, or walking them. Remember, a walk isn’t just about the physical exercise. It’s about getting stimulation and a change of scenery to stave off boredom, getting fresh air into those precious lungs, having some time away from the noise and hubbub, and checking “pee mail”. Most dogs LOVE to check out who’s been out and about before them–those noses aren’t just for decoration! Focus on the good you’re doing instead of the sadness you feel. Soon you will start to feel like you’re making a difference; taking action nearly always results in feeling less helpless about a situation.
Help get the word out. If you’re just not up for the hands-on part, no worries, there’s still plenty of work left! Social media can be a great way to spread the word about all those furry butts waiting for forever homes. Pick a different dog each week—maybe even each day—to feature as your profile picture on Facebook. Start a Twitter feed that features details about different shelter dogs each day or several times a day. Follow shelter and rescue pages and share their posts.
Donate your talents. Are you knitter? Need to practice your photography skills? Are you really good at fixing stuff? Are you a super bargain shopper? Any of these pastimes might be a perfect fit for making, finding, or fixing items for your local shelter or rescue. Most shelters and rescues hold online and/or silent auctions that need donated items and also maintain some type of Wish List on their websites and Facebook pages.
Donate funds. The bottom line is that sometimes animal rescuers have to pick and choose what they can do for our furry friends because they have limited funds. Even $5 or $10 a month adds up over time. Believe me, those folks appreciate every penny that drops in their bank, and they do their best to put it to good use.
Submitted by Karen Garety