If you’re an animal lover, you may be wondering how you can use your passion for animals to help them.
Whether you have years of experience with animals or are a beginner, you can use your time or money in many ways to help pets in need. You don’t need to be an expert to make a positive impact on their lives.
The next time you want to use your time to make the world a better place for animals, try one of these seven ways to help pets in need.
1. Donate or support nonprofits that help animals
One simple but effective way to help pets in need is with your wallet.
Animal shelters and other nonprofit organizations that help animals are in constant need of monetary donations. They need to buy food, toys, medicine, and to market their organization.
You can donate to shelter and rescues, but you can also financially support other nonprofits that have a mission to help animals. For example, Fashions for Furry Friends is a partner with the nonprofit organization Inspire and Flourish which helps pay for medical costs of animals in need through the purchase of monthly subscription boxes.
View our full list of nonprofit organizations that help animals here.
2. Volunteer at an animal shelter
If you want to donate your time, volunteering at an animal shelter is a great way to help pets in need. Shelters often need volunteers to help care for animals, handle adoptions, and take care of administrative duties.
If you’re low on time but still want to help out animal shelters, consider donating animal care supplies to your local shelter. Animal rescues are in constant need of pet food, blankets, toys, leashes, grooming supplies, and other animal necessities.
Find a shelter here.
3. Help transport animals
Animal shelters and rescue organizations need help transporting millions of animals every year between rescues, foster homes, or their new owners. You can volunteer your time and vehicle by driving animals from place to place.
Visit the Animal Rescue Relay to find out how you can help transport animals.
4. Rescue a pet
If you’re thinking about adding a new pet to your family, consider adopting one instead of buying from a breeder or pet store. Around 6.5 million pets are surrendered to shelters each year in the United States. Unless they’re adopted or fostered, these pets will spend the remainder of their lives in a shelter cage and some will be euthanized.
You can help an animal in need by choosing to give a pet a second chance in a home with a family. If you decide to adopt a dog, be sure to read our tips on bringing home a rescue dog to prepare for your new family member.
5. Foster an animal
When animals up for adoption need a place to stay, they may live with a foster family. If you want to give a pet a comfortable place to live while they wait to find their new home, consider fostering an animal. Pets who have special care concerns frequently need to be fostersed due to the time commitment required to care for their health needs.
Pets in foster homes tend to be more comfortable and relaxed than ones in shelters, so they have a better chance of connecting with potential owners and getting adopted. As a foster pet owner, you have a direct, positive impact on the adoption of the animal.
The decision to foster a pet should not be taken lightly. Before choosing to foster, carefully consider if you can make the time commitment needed. Many potential foster animals have been abused or neglected and have behavioral problems as a result. They also may require a lot of adjustment time to get used to your home. Keep in mind that you will eventually have to say goodbye to the pet when it gets adopted.
6. Organize a fundraiser
If you are looking for ways to help pets financially, you should consider organizing a fundraiser in your town. Events like walk/jog/runs, bake sales, car washes, food drives, silent auctions, and community events are great ways to raise money for a good cause such as animals or pets.
For your events to be successful, start by identifying the charity or organization you want to help and setting a goal. Connect with local shelters and other nonprofits to find a mission you really connect with.
Before your event, connect with local businesses that would be passionate about your cause to see if they’d like to donate to your cause/sponsor your event.
After you have a cause and a goal, get the word out about your event. Tell anyone and everyone who would also be passionate about your cause. Use social media to spread the word. Also utilize local news outlets such as the newspaper, radio, and television. Don’t underestimate the power of word-of-mouth advertising, either!
7. Sponsor a shelter animal
If you want to directly help an animal in need but don’t have the resources to foster a pet, consider sponsoring a shelter animal instead.
Pets with expensive medical conditions or needs are frequently surrendered to humane societies. Sometimes, the costs associated with their care are too great for shelters to handle on their own. In this case, your donation will cover the costs of the pet’s ongoing care.
To see how you can help sponsor an animal, see our resources page or contact your local shelter directly to see if they are in need of help.
No matter what you choose to do, big or small, every action you take toward helping pets in need counts. Even impacting the life of just one animal makes the world of a difference for that one pet.