6 ways to help animals during the holidays
As the holidays roll around, you may be looking for ways to give back to your community. If you are an animal lover, chances are good that you’re looking for ways to help animals in your area. Whether it’s time, money, or supplies, giving to these animals helps to make their lives a little bit better, and can start a new holiday tradition of charitable work. There are plenty of ways to get involved. Check out the list below for six of the best ways you can.
1. Volunteer at an animal shelter. One of the best ways you can help animals at any time of the year is by giving your time to the local animal shelter. No matter how much time you can spare, your effort can help ensure the safety and care of future pets, not to mention make lighter work for shelter workers. There are so many ways you can get involved, from walking dogs and cleaning cat cages to helping at adoption events and fostering animals that are too young to be adopted. Check out the shelter’s website for more information on volunteering.
2. Donate to an animal shelter. If you have home goods like towels or blankets that you don’t plan on using anymore, you can give them to an animal shelter so they can be used as cage bedding for cats and dogs. If you have a pet, consider donating some of their old toys (or ones they don’t use) to the shelter. This helps to keep pets comfortable and occupied as they wait for their forever home.
3. Host a supply drive or fundraiser. If certain circumstances (like allergies) prevent you from being able to volunteer, and you don’t have anything to donate, consider giving your time and effort towards coordinating an event to benefit your local animal shelter. Encourage coworkers or neighbors to donate supplies or money to the shelter. Bringing the community together takes careful planning; by committing your time to this, you are helping shelter animals in a crucial way.
4. Donate your leather goods to a thrift store. If you no longer want to wear your leather, fur, or wool goods, do not just throw them in the trash. Bringing them to a thrift store instead is a much better choice. By doing so, you are providing warm clothes to those who need them while also discouraging the manufacturing of new animal-sourced clothes. In essence, this helps your giving efforts to go farther.
5. Encourage adoption. If you know people who are looking to get a new pet, do your best to suggest that they adopt one from an animal shelter instead of buying one from a pet store or breeder. Adoption is the better option as it helps to cut down on the overpopulation of animal shelters, which is an ongoing problem. There are many myths out there about adoption, so do your research and make your best effort to dispel this misinformation. Emphasize the wonderful diversity of these shelters — there are so many types of animals and breeds to choose from!
6. Give to a food pantry. Did you know that food pantries for families in need also stock pet supplies? Keep them well-stocked by donating pet food, bedding, litter, and other goods. This enables families to keep their pets, which in turn helps to control the population in shelters, and ensures a better life for pets themselves. Conversely, you can volunteer your time at a food pantry to keep things well organized and easy to find.
10 Ways to Help Animals for the Holidays [Humane Society]
9 Ways to Help Homeless Pets this Holiday Season [Chicago Now]