Giving Back: Ideas for Helping Shelter Pets During the Holidays
With the holiday shopping season underway, now is the time to start thinking about how to make the holidays brighter for those in need. For animal lovers, helping shelter pets is an obvious choice, but because the situation can seem dire and overwhelming, many of us are left wondering where to begin or if our help could even make a difference.
As it turns out, it doesn’t take much to make a big impact on the lives of shelter pets. Let The Pet Experts at Wheaton Animal Hospital guide you in finding the perfect way to help needy pets this holiday season and all year long!
A Shoestring Budget
Many shelters and rescue organizations rely on monetary and material donations to keep their doors open. Your gift can help pay for food, necessary medical services, and renovation projects or special events. Shelters also typically have wish lists of items that can be donated, including:
- Pet food
- Blankets or towels
- Collars and leashes
- Treats and toys
- Cleaning supplies
Organizing a pet supply drive at your church, library, community center, or your children’s school is a wonderful way to get the community involved in helping shelter pets!
Time and Talent
Organizations such as the Animal Rescue Foundation typically have ongoing opportunities for new and returning volunteers to assist with important tasks such as: exercising or grooming pets, cleaning cages, feeding shelter animals, assisting with administrative tasks, transportation needs, or a number of other important services. By volunteering your time, you may also be freeing up funds that would normally go to paying an employee to do the same job, allowing that money to go toward other areas.
Educating family and friends on the plight of homeless animals and the importance of spaying/neutering is an important part of helping shelter pets. Social media is also an extremely effective way to raise awareness.
Adopt, Don’t Shop!
Adopting a shelter pet is one of the best ways to make an impact on the homeless pet population, but if you aren’t ready for the commitment of a new pet, consider fostering instead. Fostering a pet is not a long-term commitment, and spending time in a loving home helps shelter pets get used to people and makes them more adoptable.
Helping Shelter Pets Helps You, Too!
Although the goal of volunteering or donating is to help homeless pets, the warm fuzzies you get have plenty of mental and physical benefits as well. Research has shown that helping those less fortunate can be just as beneficial as a healthy diet and regular exercise. There’s simply no better reward than the wonderful feelings that go along with doing a good deed for others.
Are you helping needy pets this holiday season? We’d love to hear about it during your next visit! Happy holidays and happy giving, from all of us at The Pet Experts at Wheaton Animal Hospital!
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