7 Simple Ways to Help Out at Your Local Pet Shelter

By Crystal Sykes, blogger at Simply Playful Fare

We love our pets.  We bring them into our homes, feed them, care for them, and then something magical happens.  They become part of our family – in a way that can’t be explained.

But there are so many dogs out there that don’t have the loving homes we give to our own pets every day. Some people are able to adopt additional pets to share their loving homes, but for many others, that’s not an option.

What can we do to help ease the burden?  What can we do to help these fur babies as they are waiting for their forever homes? Thankfully, there are lots of easy, no-fuss ways to help out your local pet shelter.

  1. Donate Your Old Blankets and Towels to the Shelter

This is an easy way to hit two birds with one stone.  You get a clutter free house with more closet space, and your shelter gets supplies they need to bath dogs and keep them warm.  There’s no cost to you.  It helps them out.  It’s a win-win.

  1. Watch the Shelter’s Social Media Pages for Need Requests

Shelters use their social media pages to communicate with their fans to show their appreciation and to ask for much-needed items.

“Liking” or following your local shelter is a great way to keep up to date on news, current events (like fundraisers), adoption stories, and requests for supplies.  You can even “share” their requests with your family and friends to help spread the word.  You don’t even have to get off your couch!

  1. Add Your Loose Change to A “Donation Jar” for the Shelter

Grab a jar and label it with your local shelter’s name.  Every time you walk past the jar, search your pockets for loose change and drop it in.

Just got back from the grocery store?  Throw those extra quarters in the jar.  You’ll be surprised how fast the jar fills up, and how fast the money adds up too.  The spare change probably doesn’t mean much to you, but it can have tremendous impact at the shelter.

Take your change to the bank and exchange it for cash.  You can take your donation directly to the shelter, or mail them a check.

  1. Call the Shelter and Ask Them What They Need

If you really want to know what your shelter is in desperate need of, call them and ask.  They will be happy to tell you what supplies they are low on.  Buy the supplies and take them down to the shelter.

Many times they will tell you money is the best way to give, because they can spend it on what they need most at the time.

  1. Drop off a Bag of Food to the Shelter as a Quick Donation

The next time you’re buying food for your pet, pick up an extra bag or a few extra cans.  Take it down to the shelter when it’s convenient for you to drop it by.

Those shelter pets eat a lot of food.  Just make sure to take food that’s unopened.  For safety reasons shelters can’t accept opened bags.

It’s also a great idea to grab an extra toy.  Those shelter animals could use a little fun too.

  1. Save Your Old Newspapers and Take Them to the Shelter

From puppies who aren’t potty trained, to nervous dogs, to old dogs who can’t quite hold their bladder anymore, accidents happen all the time.

Your local shelter can always use old newspapers.  They can line cages and pens for quick accident clean-up.

If you want to get really fancy, grab a bag of potty pads the next time you’re at the pet store, and drop those off instead of newspapers.

  1. Watch Your Local Ads for Savings on Necessities

Buying supplies on sale is like hitting the jackpot at the grocery store.  You can feel good donating supplies while saving money, or you can buy a little extra if you’ve decided to budget a certain amount.

Shelters are always in need of a variety cleaning supplies for many reasons.  Sales are also a great way to stock up on dog food, treats, toys, and other essentials.

What Should You Do Now?

Tackle one idea on the list, or tackle a few.  Think about other ways that you can help out at your local shelter.  Get your family involved.  Volunteer to go sit with the dogs at the shelter.

Challenge your family and friends to do a few activities on the list.  Turn raising money for the shelter into a competition.

No matter what you decide to do, make volunteering work for you.  Get creative and see what else you can do!

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