Have you ever helped an animal shelter in your area? Maybe you have thought about it but volunteering, adopting, and fostering are not feasible for you right now. Not to worry! We have come up with 5 ways, no matter your circumstances, that every single person can help a local animal shelter without breaking the bank, taking up an enormous amount of time or requiring a long-term commitment!  These 5 simple things will allow you to support a shelter near you, keep the spirits up of both the animals and the workers, and see that these more than deserving pets receive the care and love they deserve! Download our 5 Ways to Help a Shelter infographic to share with friends and get the word out about how they can help.

1. Do your part at home

You can make a positive impact on your local shelter by taking proper care and precautions with your own pets at home! Make sure your dog or cat is always properly outfitted with collars and identification (ID tags/microchipping) to keep pets who have loving homes out of shelters. It is crucial to give room for the animals who truly need a haven. Having your pet spayed or neutered is also a key component to avoiding overrun shelters. The more manageable the number of pets at a shelter the better care the animals will receive and ultimately aid them in becoming adopted into their forever home.  Do your part at home, and feel good knowing you are helping local shelters while doing it!

tabby cat with ID tag and collar

2. Give household items

There are things right under your nose at home that would make any shelter feel like it is Christmas morning!

  • Non-toxic cleaning supplies is something they can never have enough of. Think about how much you use it with your pets at home, accidents in the house, muddy paws, slobbery licks on whatever they can get their mouths on, while always worth it of course, the list of messy clean ups could go on forever.
  • Towels and blankets are another thing that our furry friends could always use more of. For safety and health reasons the types of crates and containment spaces shelters use can be cold and uninviting. A towel or blanket that has sat at the back of your closet for years could become the comfort an animal needs to keep their spirits up.

3. Engage their Social Media

Yep, love it or hate it, you can help a shelter in a BIG way just by engaging their social platforms. Social media has a HUGE impact on people, communities, and businesses. Find your local shelter’s Facebook page, Instagram handle, or even their website and ENGAGE! Especially in the world we are living today, COVID-19, Social Media  is one of the best ways a shelter can get information out about animals up for adoption, their greatest needs, and volunteer opportunities. By simply “liking” their page or sharing a post you can help them firsthand reach hundreds and even thousands of people in the community that they otherwise would never be able to reach on their own. Even sharing the link to this blog will help to get the word out to other who will take up the case and start doing their part. Never underestimate the power of social media and your actions taken on it. Your engagement could mean a forever home for a well deserving dog or cat.

Are you local to Plymouth, MA? Here are social media links to shelters here in Plymouth:

Helping Hands for Plymouth Animal Shelter

Friends of Plymouth Pound

Papa’s Pets

woman using facebook and engaging in social media

4. Donate pet food

Pet food is one of the greatest costs that shelters face daily. Before plotting your pet food donation call your local animal shelter to find out what they are currently feeding the animals. It is important to provide the same food they already use to avoid any allergies, dietary restrictions or upset tummies. Generally, the food they provide is inexpensive due to the volume of feeding. So, if you have the means, why not throw in an additional bag of food to your Chewy cart. Have it delivered to your doorstep hassle free and help a shelter breathe a little easier with your generous donation! If you are in Plymouth, MA consider a donation to America’s Hometown Pets in Need.

5. Toys & Fun

Can you image being an animal sitting in a shelter just waiting for your life to truly begin? Toys, treats, and other fun things to play with and chew on will go an exceptionally long way for a lonely animal anxiously awaiting their forever family to arrive. These are things you can toss in your Chewy cart (if you can’t tell we are big Chewy fans! But there are other ways to purchase as well, of course). Sticking to a specific budget? The Dollar Tree has an entire section devoted to pets! While I cannot vouch for the poop bags they sell (professional tip, do not buy poop bags from the Dollar Tree, you will wind up with a palm full of poop) they have excellent toys, treats and other exciting items for pets! Again, always find out what the shelters greatest needs are, for instance they may need cat toys more than dog toys or treats would be better than toys. Give them a call to ensure your giving gesture will be as helpful as it is kind and then load up on fun!

shelter volunteer holding adorable pug dog

National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week

Every year the first full week of November is National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week. 365 days a year, shelters across the nation take on the tireless job of bridging the gap between stray pets and finding their forever homes. Did you know there are a staggering 70,000 million stray animals in the United States? WOW! The work our local shelters do is not easy or cheap, but we may not all be able to help in the ways we wish we could. Volunteering can be inconvenient and even heartbreaking, not everyone has the means to adopt or house an animal as a foster parent, and money doesn’t grow on trees. Start by making sure your own pets are spayed/neutered and always have proper identification. Donate household items you don’t use anymore and when you are on social media take a moment to support a shelters page. Then budget in a small food and toy donation to ease some of the shelters financial burden. Voila! You have made a positive impact that will set the ripples in motion for others to do the same. So instead of settling for a sweet “Thank You” let’s also strive to do more. Try out these 5 easy ways to help a local animal shelter and let us know how it goes. Share your experience in our comments to inspire others to do the same!

Just Around the Corner offers pet care of all kinds, including daily Dog Walking , Dog Hiking, and Pet Sitting in Plymouth, MA. To learn more about how Just Around the Corner can help, check out our Services Page. You can also Contact Us for more information. Be sure to Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Instagram!

JAC Mascot Quinn, brown Newfie

JAC mascot, Quinn, says Thanks for Reading!