How to Bring Joy to Animal Shelters

Animal shelters do a lot for animals. They help bring joy to animals’ lives by finding forever homes, which also brings joy to the lucky owner!  With over 6.5 million animals that enter shelters every year, most shelters do not have enough space or resources to meet the needs of so many animals. However, community support and outreach can make helping animals more doable for them! Below are some easy and simple ways to help your local animal shelter.

Donate Time
There are a couple of ways to donate your time to animal shelters. Physically volunteering and helping clean cages is always very helpful. But volunteering occupational skills is also another incredible way to donate time. There are always opportunities to serve your local shelter through marketing, photography, accounting, electrical knowledge, construction work, etc. Whatever your trade, more often than not the shelter could use your skill set.

Donate Unused Pet Food
Is there a particular cat or dog food that your pet doesn’t like anymore?Donating unused pet food to shelters is a huge help. Also, check your local grocery store for soon to expire pet food. Sometimes stores have the ability to give away those unopened products.

Give Away Old towels and Blankets
Doing some house cleaning and looking to toss old blankets or towels? Shelters are always in need of blankets and towels. Also, it is environmentally friendly to reuse products! It is a win-win situation.

Make Toys for Shelter Pets
Set up a space at your place and invite friends over to make dog and cat toys for shelters.  See Fanimal’s DIY cat and dog toy articles for ideas!

Educate Others
A recent study showed that over 3.5 million cats end up in animal shelters every year. That doesn’t even include the population of dogs in shelters. Making sure that animals are spayed and neutered is important too. Spreading awareness of animals who need homes and educating others about these issues are crucial ways to support shelters.

Run a Community Yard Sale
There are many fun ways to raise money for local shelters. One avenue in particular is hosting a yard sale. Not only are you benefiting a shelter but you are also giving away items you don’t really need anymore and providing others with a great deal. And, you get to interact with your community and donate money to an amazing cause. 

Donation Jar
Create a donation jar for animal shelters and place it on your desk or another location at work. Sending out an email to coworkers asking about donations is an easy way to spread the word. Also, you can ask your kid’s school about putting a donation jar in a classroom or in the cafeteria. Places of faith are other ideal locations for setting up donation jars.

Buy off of Amazon
Some local shelters have items listed on Amazon that people can purchase and have delivered to the shelter. That is a great way to contribute resources to shelters and meets their exact needs. The shelter’s website should have a link posted to their wish list on Amazon that takes you directly to there.

Market Your Local Shelter
Following animal shelters and supporting them on social media can help tremendously. Liking statuses and sharing events on Facebook is a wonderful outlet to help them succeed and have a greater reach online and in their community.

Say Thank You!
Have you taken a moment to say thanks to your shelter recently? Writing a handwritten letter never goes out of style and would mean a lot to your local shelter. Did you adopt your pet there or know someone who did? Leaving reviews about your experience and the pet you adopted is another great way to show support!

Sources: Chewy, Humane Society, In the Know Mom