We’ve all had that experience where we’ve watched a video of an animal being rescued and immediately felt like we were completely helpless. What can we possibly do to help out all the injured, sick, and rescued animals out there? Well, you can read through this article and find or start initiatives around you to help out your local lovable strays.
Do your research
One of the first steps you can take to make sure the animals in your locality receive the best possible care is to research – are there any existing shelters in your region? If so, what are the extent of their services? In what areas are they lacking? And importantly, how can you contribute to their cause. If there is no such initiative, you may find yourself starting one on your own – find like-minded individuals and help out the animals as much as you can.
Volunteer at shelters
So now you know what shelters are nearby, how can you help them out? Well, most shelters have a lot of volunteering jobs available – some of which have been described below.
One of the many jobs needed at a shelter is transport. You may not think of it but the animals at a shelter often require a lot of movement which can be difficult to provide on a budget. If you have a car and can afford the fuel, all you need to do is pick and drop the animals to and from the shelter. This may require an investment of some hours a week but it’ll definitely be a great help to the people at the shelter.
If you love dogs, you can help out by walking the dogs. Since walking dogs is important and needs the dedication of at least person, you’ll be a big help to your local shelter if you can dedicate some time to take the load off their hands. And the benefit is, both you and the dogs get to exercise, plus you get to spend time with some adorable puppies.
If you have the training or are willing to take it, you can be a big help to local shelters by rescuing animals. You can also be a big by keeping an eye out and reporting any incidents of animals that may need rescuing or help.
Are you a photographer or do you enjoy taking pictures? You can be a big help to your local shelters – a glamour shoot of their animals can be just what they need to find their forever homes. If you have old photography equipment lying around, donate it to a local shelter is another great way to help out.
Enthusiasts of knitting or arts and crafts at home can also try out making things at home and be donating them to your local shelter. With some careful maneuvering, you can turn old clothes into cat/dog sweaters, beds, and much more. This is a great way to help out even if you don’t have the financial resources to make big donations or pick out items from wishlists.
Fostering animals is kind of like fostering children – all you do is give them a temporary place full of love and care until they can go to their forever home. This is a great way to help – you only need to invest in the animal for some time, and you can care for a lot of animals in a short amount of time, and really make a difference in their life. It may be difficult to leave them at the end but you can do so knowing they’ll go to a wonderful home.
Give away extra items
When you really sit down and look through the items in your home, you’ll actually be surprised at how many of those things you don’t really need. Keep up to date with the ‘wish lists’ for your local shelters and if there’s anything extra at home you can give up, let it go for a good cause.
One great initiative you can take is to buy ethically – check and read up on the companies that you buy from. Are they testing on animals? Are their products exploiting animals in any way? If not, consider not buying from them. Your actions can help animals around the world.
Shelters, because of the way that they operate, almost always need financial help. You can help shelters collect funds by reaching out to them and assisting them in fundraising efforts, or you can also help them out financially on your own.
Feel free to be wary when giving away money – like any other initiative that requires donations, before you donate any, you should make sure that the money you are giving is actually being used for the animals’ welfare. Try out a visit to the shelter – not only will this help you see how the money is being used but also it’ll help you understand what avenues of their shelter require the most financial help.
If you live in an area where commercial breeding is outlawed or selling animals is against the law, you can report pet stores that sell cats and dogs. This can be very important, with one or two complaints, you can be saving animals from abuse and neglect. If there are no such laws in place, try using the sheer power of the people to your advantage – getting enough people to agree may convince them that they’re in the wrong.
Many vets and pet stores run TNR campaigns throughout the year. These campaigns stand for ‘Trap/Neuter/Return’ and often are for free. Basically, the vet will carry out neutering and spaying surgeries for free, after which the animal will be returned back to their initial surroundings. This prevents the growth of the stray population.
If you have access to a platform, one of the most effective things you can do for a local shelter or initiative is to spread awareness about it. Even sharing graphics on platforms like Facebook can help – it may not seem like much, but the people on your list of friends will see it and can share it further.