As a vegetarian, i’m a HUGE animal lover and also a pet owner. I have three cats and do my best to take good care of them, although it isn’t easy or cheap.
When I think of the comfort and luxury my pets have, I also then think of all the animals out there who are homeless or in animal shelters. Then I think of all the WONDERFUL people who man these animal shelters and the good work they do.
So this is my ‘ode to animal shelters and animal shelter workers’ everywhere, 8 easy and low cost ways to help.
1. Donate Money – This is probably the most obvious way to help, to send money monthly or yearly and have the animal shelter do with it, what they will. This monetary aid is definitely not to be discounted, but there are other ways to help.
2. Donate Time – Shelters usually are volunteer staffed, and the reason for this is because they don’t have a LARGE budget to hire help. The generous work of volunteers allows the shelter to stay open and care for countless animals. If you have a young son or daughter who has a bit of free time on his or her hands, why not ask if they would like to spend some time at the local animal shelter. Heck, they might even enjoy it. But this isn’t an age thing, anyone can do it. Find your local center, call and see if (and when) you can volunteer.
3. Donate Goods – One thing many pet shelters across the US do is have a list of things that random strangers (yes, you!) can buy and simply drop off. It’s usually called a NEEDS LIST or WANT LIST, and all you have to do is call and ask what is on the list, visit the website (if they have one), or stop and visit. They will gladly tell you what they need, usually it’s things like cans of food, cat litter, dog beds, rags, newspaper for lining pet cages, etc. Ask, and they will tell you.
4. Get The Word Out – Perhaps you run a blog or write for one and wish to TELL THE WORLD of the good work and selflessness of those who work in animal shelters around the globe. It’s hard work, its constant work and its expensive work. Many shelter workers see things, we only read about or see in movies. They live it, day in and day out. Let your readers know about how they can help out, just as I am doing here with this article. Find your inspiration and make your voice heard.
Shelters need ALL THE HELP THEY CAN GET. Do what you can!
5. Leave a Gift in Your Will – If you’re financially happy, in other words; are well to do and have enough to leave a will in the first place. Consider gifting a portion of your estate to an animal shelter that makes your heart beat loudly. Maybe the vet clinic in your town is a god send and has helped or even saved the life of your beloved pet. A gift in your will, should go a long way in showing your gratitude for their services. Leave plenty and reap the rewards later.
6. Donate Labor – Are you a brawny masculine manly man who does construction work for a living or know a thing or two about plumbing, electricity, etc? Your local animal shelter would be DELIGHTED to avail of your macho services. Give them a ring, and ask what they need help with.
7. Donate Business Services – Maybe you’re an accountant or fabulous web designer and can provide services to the shelter on a pro-bono basis. Many shelters would be happy to receive your free or low cost administrative support whether it’s ongoing or a one time shot. This is one way you could definitely help out, without breaking the bank.
8. Hold A Drive – Run a business or other organization? Hold a drive and raise money. This is a fun and great way to get a group of like-minded individuals together for a common cause. This can take the form of a pizza outing, a cookie bake off, a car wash, a bingo partay, etc. You name it. Just get creative, call all your friends and raise some money. Your local shelter will HEART you forever.
What other ways did I miss? Share your ideas and thoughts below in the comment area.