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Ways to Give and Help Your Local Animal Welfare Organization

According to the ASPCA, more than six million cats and dogs enter shelters across America every year. Most privately run animal shelters and animal rescue groups are funded through contributions made by people in the community. Holiday donations to animals are always appreciated by these organizations. There are a few ways that you can give the gift of hope and compassion to help animals in need.

Choose Your Organization

First, decide which group or shelter you want to help. If you adopted your beloved feline friend from a local cat rescue group, then your choice may be a no-brainer. If you’re passionate about a particular breed of dog, find out if there is a local rescue group for that breed. A private non-profit shelter that strives to home all furry friends is another option.

Online Shopping

If you’re a cyber shopper, find out if your chosen creature cause has an account on Amazon Smile. If it does, sign up to join their account. Once you do, every time you shop on Amazon Smile, a portion of what you pay for your purchases is allocated to that group. While you’re there, find out if the group has a wish list. Many animal welfare groups maintain wish lists of supplies that they need for taking care of the critters in their charge.

Donate Supplies

Cash donations help shelters and rescue groups to cover vet care and some operating expenses. Pet supply donations are also always appreciated. Some supplies that animal welfare groups need include:

  • Blankets, comforters, and towels
  • Newspapers
  • Wee-wee pads
  • Litter pans
  • Cat litter
  • Cat carriers
  • Leashes, collars, and harnesses
  • Pet food and treats
  • Pet toys
  • Food and water bowls
  • Pet medications that are not expired
  • Cleaning supplies, such as paper towels, dish soap, laundry detergent and bleach
  • Pet care supplies, such as nail trimmers, pet thermometers, ear cleaning solutions, pet shampoos, and flea combs

If you have an old clunker car that you need to unload, ask your chosen charity if they could use a vehicle donation for their animal transport needs. If not, you can sell the car to a scrapyard and donate the cash that you receive instead.

Organize a Fundraiser or Supply Drive

Ask your local library, school, animal clinic, pet supply store or even your employer if you can place a donation box on the premises. Decorate the box to advertise its purpose, and include a list of pet supplies that your chosen group needs most. Alternately, get together with a couple of your animal-loving friends to host a fundraising event for the group. Some ideas include a paint night, bowling night or a pizza party. Use social media to promote the event. Post promotional flyers on bulletin boards in neighborhood pet supply stores, libraries and other community locations.

Volunteer Your Time

Shelters and rescue groups are always in need of volunteers to devote time and tender loving care to the animals. Shelters need help with walking dogs and socializing cats. Cat rescue groups may want help with feeding and socializing kitties on display for adoption in local pet supply stores. Some animal welfare groups may need help with transporting animals to vet visits, adoption events or new homes. Others may want help with feeding, monitoring and providing outdoor shelter to feral cat colonies in the community.

Donate Your Talents and Services

There are plenty of services that animal welfare groups need. Veterinarians can donate their time by providing examinations, vaccinations or spaying and neutering at discounted prices. Photography enthusiasts can photograph the animals to be posted online for adoption. Graphic artists can design flyers for fundraising and adoption events. Writers can offer to write descriptions of the animals that are up for adoption or online content for the group’s website. If your strengths lean toward organizing, you might be helpful in pulling together their fundraising and adoption events.

Foster a Furry Friend

Most rescue groups operate out of private homes, and space is limited for housing rescued animals. Foster homes allow them to temporarily place these animals until they’re adopted. This saves more lives by freeing up space for new intakes. Consider opening your heart and home to foster a cat or dog. You’ll show this unsettled creature love and compassion as you help him socialize and adapt to a home setting.

Remember that charitable donations are tax deductible, and that includes when you donate to animal shelters and animal rescue groups. You can make a difference in the lives of animals in need.