5 Ways to Help
Your Local Animal Shelter

by Gary Le Mon

Would you like to help your local animal shelter but don’t have a lot of time or money? Consider these five ways. These ideas take little time or money, yet they can make a huge difference in the lives of shelter animals and volunteers.

Every Little Bit Helps

Dog in jail

You can donate money in ways that you will hardly even miss. Follow these ideas for collecting money to give to an animal shelter.

Once a week, empty the loose change in your pockets or handbag. After a month, send a check to an animal shelter in the amount of the money you collected.

If you get weekly discounts at the grocery store or use coupons, put the money aside that you saved by claiming the discounts or applying the coupons. Add that amount to your donation for the shelter animals.

If appropriate for your place of employment, place a donation jar for the shelter at the front desk. Small amounts of change add up. For example, if thirty people visit your office daily and half of them put just a quarter in the jar, you will collect $3.75 in a day. In a five-day business week, that’s $18.75 a week, or $75.00 a month. If you can get one friend to do the same thing at his or her office, the donations will add up to $150.00 a month.

Have a yard sale to get rid of the things in your attic and basement that are no longer wanted. Pledge a percentage of what you earn from the sale to help your local animal shelter.

Collect Coupons You Don't Need

When you find coupons you won't use yourself, but they can be applied to items an animal shelter uses, save them for the shelter. Just be aware of expiration dates, though, so you are not giving expired coupons.

Give What You Already Have or Look Out for Great Deals

Many shelters publicize a list of things they need such as cat or dog food, toys, kitty litter, cleaning supplies, paper towels, or blankets. Look around your house for any of the items needed. You may also find some of those items being sold very cheaply at a garage sale. Snatch up the great deals and then donate the things to the animal shelter.

You could also send the shelter's list of needs to your email contacts. You may find people who have items they would happily get rid of, but have never gotten around to it. You may be able to give them the gentle push they need.

Foster Care

Foster one or more of the animals waiting for their forever home. Be forewarned, however, that you may fall in love with them and happily keep them permanently. That's a good thing, though, isn't it!

Offer Your Skills

You may be really good at doing something that a shelter critically needs.

For instance, if you enjoy writing, offer to write newsletters for the shelter. News from a shelter always increases donations from people on their mailing list. The more frequently newsletters are sent out, the greater the donations. You will have helped your local animal shelter by doing something you love that has not cost you a cent.

If you are good at photography, take photos of the shelter animals and send them to your friends and relatives, or post the pictures at a public place or event. It is fairly easy for people to resist needy animals when they only hear about them. When people see the actual faces, however, those animals become real and harder to pass by. 

Usually, animal shelters have a long list of repairs that need to be done. If you have carpenter or handyman skills, seriously consider giving your time to help get those repairs done. Not only will you improve conditions for the volunteers and animals, you may even be saving the shelter hundreds of dollars. 

Even though you may not have much extra time or money, you can still help your local animal shelter during difficult economic times. Even small donations of time and money can add up to make big differences for shelter animals and volunteers.

Help your local animal shelter - USA

Help your local animal shelter - Canada

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