This is J here, and well I’ve been pondering a lot on some financial issues we have been having with the rescue I foster for.
I have compiled here a list of ways that everyday people can help independent rescues and Shelters. Some of these things take money, others, merely a few hours of your time a week.
Volunteer: There are always ways to volunteer your time. If you look around you can find shelters and Rescues alike that need dog walkers and cat cuddlers. You can help build a new dog yard, or bring a hose and wash some of those muddy pups down!
Foster: This one is Huge, but take a lot more commitment than just walking a dog once or twice a week. Fostering has many benefits, for both pet and Foster family. As aFoster you see first hand how the dog (or cat) behaves outside of a cage. You are able to see when something isn’t quite right more easily than a kennel operator or Shelter volunteer. On top of that the dog gets social exercise, meaning they get used to being a round people and other pets. The benefits for you and your family are pretty impressive too. Household stress levels go down over all (even if the dog makes trouble, your over all stress is reduced), and if you are in a ‘Foster to Adopt’ program, you get to decide if the dog is right for your family, without having to pay all the adoption fees until you make your decision. Then you have Failed Fosters, which are dogs that bond so closely with their foster family that you just cant bear to give them away.
Donate: Not just money. Food, toys, Litterboxes. Any pet supplies is greatly appreciated.
SHARE SHARE SHARE!!!: Social media has increased pet adoptions worldwide by such a huge amount that animal advocates are STILL trying to crunch the numbers! The average dog is adopted after just 10 shares on FB. All you have to do is like a local Rescues FB page, and share then they post an animals bio.
Advocate and Vote!: Laws are passed every day, and most people don’t pay all that much attention. In Chicago, about four years ago, a law was passed that made it nearly impossible for independent rescues to save dogs, because they now needed permit that cost thousands of dollars. If not for advocates and voters the law would never have been repealed. And yet, outside those that fought the law, not many have heard of it. Laws like that are passed all the time, and still other laws that would save many lives, are beaten down.
Take Maine’s Puppy Mill law, In 1980 a law was put forward that would have made it nearly impossible to run a puppy mill. Yet law makers put the bill down over and over. Finally in 1995, enough people voted for it that the laws came into being, and now Maine is one of only a small number of states that make Puppy Mills a Felony offense.
Many people put off helping because they don’t have the money or the time. But if you check FB every day, you can do several of these.
Another way to help out is to hold Fundraisers. Nothing Fancy, a $20 dog wash in your back yard (bring your own soap saves money) heck you can just go to one of your usual fundraisers (a bake sale for the school or local library or such) and post pictures and biographies of the pets at the local shelter or with a rescue you know of.
There is no such as no way to help. You can help, you just have to try.