Animal shelters are a critical part of keeping the many homeless and abandoned animals safe and sound, but as time goes on, these shelters struggle more and more to maintain themselves while being understaffed and underfunded. We all want a better world for the animals we love, so below we’ve detailed some ways to get involved in the fight for the better treatment of animals.
Volunteering at animal shelters is an excellent way to support their mission. Volunteers can help with various tasks, such as cleaning cages, feeding and watering animals, providing exercise and playtime and assisting with adoption events. Most shelters everywhere are at capacity, with the sheer number of abandoned and stray animals putting strain on them meaning every pair of hands is valuable, making for a rewarding role where you can make a tangible difference. Plus, it’s just a great way to meet new people who share your love for animals.
Donating to animal shelters is another crucial way to support their work. Monetary donations can go a long way in providing essential resources such as food, medical supplies and vaccinations. Most shelters are also more than happy to accept donations of supplies such as food, towels, toys and blankets. Many shelters also have wish lists on their websites, which provide guidance on the specific items they need. These shelters often struggle a lot due to the number of animals under their care, so every little amount donated helps.
Fostering and adopting
Other means of support can include fostering animals, sponsoring a pet’s care and spreading awareness about animal welfare issues. Fostering involves providing a temporary home for an animal until they can be adopted. This helps free up space at the shelter and provides a more comfortable environment for the animal. Sponsoring a pet’s care involves covering the costs of their medical expenses, food and other necessary supplies. This helps ensure that the animal receives the care they need while waiting for their forever home. Spreading awareness about animal welfare issues can also help raise the profile of the shelter and encourage others to get involved in supporting their mission.
Shelters in your area
As you’re looking to see which shelters to get involved in, remember to do your research. Look into the different shelters in your area and their specific needs. Some shelters may require a background check or training before you can volunteer, so be sure to check their website or call to inquire about any requirements. Some shelters may require a regular weekly or monthly commitment, while others may offer more flexibility. Consider your schedule and what you can realistically commit to before deciding which shelter to support.
How to support your local shelter
A great example of a local animal shelter is the Humane Society. The Humane Society is a non-profit organization that works to improve the lives of animals and stop discrimination and violence against them by fighting against practices such as fur farming and trophy hunting, along with championing change to the way animals are treated in farming and cosmetics testing.
The Humane Society offers volunteer opportunities in a variety of areas, including animal care, adoption support and fundraising events. There are a variety of methods to volunteer through their website, and there are volunteer positions available across the US.
They accept monetary donations through their website and rely on these funds to continue their mission and fight against animal injustices. You can donate any amount you choose through their website, and they accept donations made via card, Venmo or appreciated stocks. If you want, you can even donate on behalf of others or in memory of loved ones, to create a lasting legacy with a dedication to an important cause.
The Humane Society of New York encourages individuals to spread awareness about animal welfare issues, including the abhorrence of the fur trade industry and the benefits of adopting from animal shelters as opposed to breeders. You can also get in contact with local representatives to find out more and better spread the word. The Humane Society of New York has a contact page for the New York state director.
While these are some fairly specific examples, they’re far from conclusive. There are an almost endless number of other ways to involve yourself in the fight for animal rights, along with organizations that fight for them. If you’re curious about local animal shelters, one way to find them might include checking with your local government or searching online.
It is through the support of local shelters and charity organizations that work to dismantle the industrialized cruelty towards animals that we can make real positive changes to their wellbeing. Ultimately, the method doesn’t matter, just that you’re working to make a difference in your own way. Be sure to take your time in finding the best way to contribute that recognizes your own limits and availability. Once you find the perfect way to help, you’ll be able and ready to make a lasting impact in the lives of animals forever.