10 Fun Ways to Help Your Local Animal Rescue

11:36 AM

It's no secret that we here at Furry Paws Photography are crazy about animal rescue, and on a good day we feel like going out and saving all the homeless animals.  Unfortunately, that is not physically or financially possible.  Fortunately, there are many ways we can help save the lives of the many homeless animals in our area.  And best of all...volunteering is easy!

The first step is finding a local organization in need of your help.  I am sure there is someone you know, friend, family member, or acquaintance, that is involved with an animal rescue organization.  If not, search online for an organization near you and contact them to find out how you can help!  Here are some of our favorite ways we help rescue organizations that we support.
1. Go Shopping
That's right, shopping is a great way to help a rescue!  Animal rescues and shelters both large and small are always in need of food and supplies, and many organizations put Wish Lists up on their websites to tell the public of their greatest needs.  Many of these items you might even have around your house that you aren't using any more...crates your dogs have outgrown, food and water dishes, blankets and towels.  If your child is having a birthday party, encourage them to ask for shelter donations instead of gifts.

2. Donate Your Special Skills
Nearly all rescues and shelters operate with the help of volunteers, and if you are someone with a special skill such as a writer, photographer, social media expert, grant writer, handyman, or accountant, chances are your skills are highly needed!

3. Clean Animal Cages and Enclosures
All animals pee and poop and that means daily cage and enclosure cleanings.  This may not sound like a glamorous job, but someone has to do it, and the animals will appreciate it!

4. Volunteer at an Adoption Event
Many rescue organizations hold special adoption events either at their facilities or an off-location site such as a pet store, and they are always in need of volunteers that can either pass out information at a booth or be a dog handler and talk to prospective adopters about the dog.

5. Collect Food and Supplies at a Food Drive
Animals need to eat and since all rescues operate on donor funds, it is so important that rescues have ways to collect much needed food for their animals.  Sign up to man a table at a food drive.  It's a great way to interact with your community, spread the word about homeless animals in your area, and collect some much needed food for them.

6. Open Your Home to a Foster Animal
Have room in your home for another animal?  Being at a shelter can be extremely hard for many animals, whether they are dogs, cats, or horses, and many organizations lack a physical address and rely solely on people that can foster an animal in their home.  Most rescues will cover vet bills so fostering is not a burden on your wallet, but opening your home and providing love, attention, and training to a homeless animal is one of the best ways you can help.

7. Provide Transportation
Have a car?  Enjoy running errands?  If you said yes to either of these questions, then you are in luck!  Many rescue organizations are always in need of volunteers that can run errands for them around town, transport animals to the vet or adoption event,

8. Play
Many animals that enter rescues have been abused or neglected or otherwise have trust issues with people.  The more socialization they get, the more adoptable they become.  What better way to help out animals than to play with them!  This is also a great way for people to enjoy the company of animals that cannot have them for whatever reasons.

9. Share News on Social Media
Simply don't have enough time to physically volunteer with an animal rescue organization?  That's okay!  You can help your local animal rescues by simply sharing their adoptable animals and needs on your social media profiles.  By doing this you could play an important part in connecting an animal with their perfect forever home with a friend or family member, or help raise much needed funds.

10. Help Train an Animal
The best way to help increase an animals chances of adoption is through training.  If you are a dog trainer, or just love training dogs, volunteer to take a dog through an obedience class.  Many shelters hold obedience classes at their facilities.  Horses are other animals that benefit greatly from ground work and training.  If you are an experienced equestrian, find a local equine rescue that could benefit from your skills.

These are just a few of the many ways you can get involved with animal rescue and help save the lives of homeless, abused, and neglected animals in your community.  By volunteering your time to a worthy cause, you will not only improve the lives of animals, but you may just improve your own life in the process.

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