5 Ways You Can Help Homeless Pets

Happy birthday, Petfinder! Petfinder is celebrating 15 years of pet adoptions with "Adopt the Internet Day." In honor of petfinder's big day, dogster is partnering...


Happy birthday, Petfinder! Petfinder is celebrating 15 years of pet adoptions with “Adopt the Internet Day.” In honor of petfinder’s big day, dogster is partnering with petfinder and all of today’s featured blogs will focus on pet adoption. To find out how you can participate and include your blog in this great event, visit petfinder’s Adopt the Internet page.

Before I move on, I’d like to thank petfinder for two fantastic dogs I’ve adopted from the site – Her Royal Chowness, Mokie, and my angel Saint, Monte, were both petfinder rescues!

In honor of pet adoption day, here are 5 ways you can help homeless pets:

  1. Put your talent/skills to good use! If you are a photographer (professional or amateur), see if your local shelter or rescue needs help getting pictures of adoptable pets to be listed on the website. Often, when I waste spend hours gazing at petfinder, I wonder how many of the pets who have no photos on their listings get adopted. Visibility will increase adoptions – offer your camera and photo editing services to help increase exposure and adoption rates! Technically savvy? Perhaps the local rescue or shelter could use a volunteer who is willing to help develop, promote, and maintain their website. If you are a “handyman” (or woman), shelters always need help with maintenance. If you tend to like writing, submit some samples to your local shelter director and volunteer to write bios for the adoptable pet. If you love exercising, consider offering to walk the resident shelter dogs. If you are an artist and love painting animals, raffle off a pet portrait and donate the proceeds! Accountants may be able to help shelters with maintenance and review of the “books” and finances. Pet professionals, like dog trainers, groomers,and veterinarians, can donate or offer discounted services to local adoption organizations. Kennel operators may offer temporary boarding services when space allows to help alleviate overcrowding.
  2. Organize a “wish list” drive – most shelters and rescues have wish lists (which may be posted on their websites but can usually be obtained via email as well) listing materials they’d like to improve their facility. This list frequently includes old towels, blankets, kitty litter, canned and dry dog and cat food, feeding and water dishes, newspaper, unused/unwanted crates, etc. You may also have some dog toys that your dog happened not to like, these can be donated as well. Find out what’s on your local shelter’s wish list and organize a drive at your school or workplace.
  3. Train your dog – many of the dogs that end up in shelters may have been able to stay in their homes provided they were able to get the training that they needed to be great companions. If you need help, find a local professional you are comfortable with. Even if your dog is well-behaved, it doesn’t hurt to familiarize yourself with the local professional training community – that way, if a friend is having trouble training her dog, you can refer her to a qualified local behavior professional and potentially, help her prevent her dog from becoming a shelter statistic.
  4. Host an event. I recently heard of a shelter organization which held a “Zumbathon” to raise money for the pets in their care. What fun! People get to have a great, fun workout and feel like they’re helping animals in need. Win/win!
  5. Volunteer! Shelters are always looking for volunteers – people to do home visits, interview potential adopters, participate in transport, feed, groom, and exercise the animals, clean the facility, and yes, many rescues and shelters need foster parents to provide temporary loving homes until forever homes can be located for adoptable animals.

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