It’s officially the season of giving and what’s more satisfying than helping out innocent shelter dogs in need? Sure, if you have a few dollars to donate to your local shelter, they’re always in need of extra funds. But there are other creative ways you can help out the canines that don’t involve spending a dime.
Read on and then share your creative ways for helping out shelter dogs in the comment section below!
1) Donate Supplies – One Man’s Trash Is A Shelter’s Treasure
Often times, shelters are working on limited resources and donations are greatly appreciated. While it’s best to pick up the phone and ask the staff at your area shelter what’s on their “wish list,” here are some items that all shelters typically need:
- Blankets and linens
- Dog/cat beds
- Cleaning supplies
Do you have any of this stuff just lying around your house? Chances are, you have gently used bedding tucked away in the back of your closet or you’re holding onto an old dog crate that your canine companion grew out of years ago. Maybe you still have your dog’s puppy collar and it’s in great shape. Whatever the case, if you have any of this stuff then it may be a great time to declutter your house and help out the shelter animals!
2) Offer Your Amazing Photography Skills
Shelters usually post a profile photo of the adoptable pets available on their website. An eye-catching and quality photo could make all the difference in helping an animal find their forever home a little quicker. If you are a professional or recreational photographer then grab your camera and offer up your skills!
3) Get Social On Your Media
Do you have a lot of friends on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or another social media site? Then use your platform as a way to spread the word. Share posts from your local shelter, highlighting the animals up for adoption. Or, if you adopted your pooch from a shelter, then share your success story on social media. Let your dog-loving friends know where they can adopt too.
4) Participate In Events
Back when I was working as a television news reporter in Pennsylvania, I often covered events hosted by the local animal shelter. They hosted regular adopt-a-thons, spay/neuter clinics, and fundraisers. Plus, they would set up booths at area fairs and parades to help spread the word. This is a great way to help out! Check out the shelter’s website or give them a call to figure out when they will be hosting/participating in events. Plus, ask how you can get involved! You might be able to help sell tickets, hand out flyers, or simply show up to offer support.
5) Volunteer Your Time
When it comes to animal shelters, they’re always in need of a helping hand. Some ways that you can help out:
- Strap on your sneakers and take the shelter dogs for a walk.
- Play and pet the animals. A little affection is always appreciated and so important.
- Grab your cleaning gloves and start scrubbing. There are always bowls, crates, and kennels to clean.
- Bring a book along with you and spend some time reading to the shelter animals. Yes, I’m serious! According to the Humane Society of Missouri, where they host a program called The Shelter Buddies Reading Program: “Reading to the dogs helps to bring comfort to and reduce the anxiety of shelter pets … Participants sit outside of the dog’s kennel and read to them.” (If you have young human kids, this is a great way to have them practice their reading skills)
6) Download An App & Walk
Imagine this: You wake up in the morning and take your dog for a walk around your community. Before your pup’s paws hit the pavement, you open up an app, which turns your steps into cash for shelters. How cool would that be?
Well, now you can do just that with apps like WalkForADog by WoofTrax. When you download this free app, you get to choose which shelter or rescue organization you would like to walk for. I walk for the Humane Society of Charlotte, but you can select your own state and area. Add your dogs to your profile and just hit the “Start Walking” button. The app tracks your distance and your impact!