Guest Blog Written By Sophia Reyes
Dog shelters do a huge service to stray pups and rescues in local communities. The staff at these places work tirelessly to ensure that every animal in their care is safe, happy, and healthy. Unfortunately, these places also struggle quite a bit as they are usually either understaffed, underfunded, or both.
Anyone can give back to their community by extending help and resources to a local dog shelter. Even if you do not necessarily have the funds to donate to them regularly, that doesn’t mean that you can’t help out in other ways. You can donate your time, talents, facilities, and more. That being said, here are a few suggestions on how you can help:
Donating your time is a great option if you’re able to do so, especially to your local community. Every few months you can find an event that your local shelter is hosting and offer a few hours of your day to help out. A popular event is adoption weekends!
Volunterring isn't only limted to events. Many animal shelters can become overwhelmned by the amount of resuces being brought in when there's a limited staff. Signing up to volunteer a couple hours every week or month can make a big difference for them and the animals.
Many local shelter or animal rescue programs have a website that makes signing up easy.
Too busy to volunteer your time? That’s not a problem at all. One way to support your local dog shelter is to donate the items that they ask for. Even a well-funded shelter can struggle to get the necessary items for their shelter animals due to time constraints or overwork. Going out of your way to do some of the shopping on the shelter’s behalf is a great way to support them.
Pay special attention to wish lists that the shelter may have posted on their website. After determining what they need, purchase these items in bulk. For example, you could buy huge bags of dog food, or even order wholesale dog collars designed with the shelter’s name and logos if they need to replace old and worn-out ones.
Another easy way to gather items for donation is to ask your friends if they have any old or unused pet items they no longer need. Someone may have a collar too big or too small to keep, an old leash replaced, or some beds their pet outgrew. Providing these to your local shelters can be of big help!
Communally owned pets are becoming more with small to medium enterprises, and for good reasons. Having a store or office dog can help lower stress levels, motivate people to go to work more often, and teach your team the value of shared responsibility. There is also a marketing aspect to having a communal pet, as they can help bring in more customers, instantly give you a model for social media content, and more.
Brick-and-mortar businesses can adopt one of the shelter’s dogs and make them the official office or store pet? Not only are you giving a shelter dog a forever home, but you’re granting the dog the privilege of having multiple owners and caretakers.
Adopting instead of shopping can help a lot of the animals in shelters. Contrary to popular beliefs, many animal shelters are trained while they are waiting to be brought to a new home. Instead of buying, rescuing is a lot less expensive and allows you to spend toward spoiling your dog with yummy food and treats instead!
Millions of dogs & cats are put to sleep because of capacity limitations and overcrowding. Fostering an animal will give you a chance to be a huge help and allow these furry friends to experience the warmth of a home.
If you cannot take on the responsibility of owning a dog, you can volunteer to be a foster instead. It can be a big help to the shelter staff as they are usually quite busy with other tasks. Fostering can also be beneficial for rescued dogs who may be gravely ill, badly injured, and cannot function in a shelter setting. It’s like having a pet dog for a while; you’ll only have to care for them until they get adopted.
Renovations are usually the farthest thing from the minds of many local shelters, even if they badly need one. If you own a home remodeling business, why not offer your time and services to the shelter? You can offer your skills in carpentry and other DIY projects to repair the shelter facilities or just improve their overall appearance.
Generally speaking, you do not necessarily have to provide intensive remodeling on the shelter. Jobs like building a new kennel, installing new shelves, and giving the walls a fresh coat of paint will be much appreciated.
Another way to help support your local dog shelter is to utilize your social media following to get them more exposure. Your customers will see what you’re doing and sharing on social media, and it can improve the shelter’s online visibility .
So go ahead and follow your local shelter on social media. Become their biggest fan. Like and comment on their posts to boost their engagement. Make sure to share any announcements about dogs who are ready for adoption, too.
In most cases, animal shelter workers tend to be overworked, as their tasks and urgent concerns are seemingly never-ending. They also give a lot of their own time and money to doing shelter work, often experiencing heartbreak in the process. Hence, a small gesture to show your gratitude for all of their work will mean the world to them. These simple acts can help them feel more motivated and energized, which can create a positive environment, one that the dogs will pick up on.
As for how to do so, you can send thank you cards or a bouquet to their address. You can even order food for the whole team to give them a little treat. Just make sure to ask if any of the staff might have dietary restrictions before having any meals delivered to them.
You don’t have to donate money or become a volunteer at your local dog shelter to support it. As long as you take the time to figure out what they need, you can always find a way to use your platform and resources as a business owner to help out. Doing any or all of the items mentioned on this list can make a huge difference to the people working at the shelter, and you’ll feel good about yourself, too.