My pack currently consists of 5 pets, including 2 dogs, all residing in our city apartment. We've had more than 5 pets before, and I suspect that someday we will again but, for now, we're maxed out. I know not everyone is as lucky as we are. Some apartments don't allow pets at all. Some people may love animals but be allergic to them, or financially unable to care for one of their own. If adopting a pet in need isn't in the cards for you right now, but you'd still like to help animals in need have no fear, there's lots you can do to help!
- Foster: Many animal shelters utilize a network of foster families to help care for homeless animals. Caring for animals in foster homes means that they are not submitted to the stress of living in a cage at the shelter. It also opens up more space in the shelter so they are able to take in and care for more needy animals. Having animals live in foster homes can help them get used to living in a home environment, so that when they get adopted they are already well adjusted to home life. If you can't afford to adopt an animal of your own, fostering might be a great way for you to help out. The shelter or rescue you foster for usually pays for fees associated with the animals care such as for their vet care. All you usually have to provide is your time and love.
- Donate: Donations are always welcome! Donated money, even if you only give a little bit, can go a long way towards helping to pay for the care of homeless animals. If you are unable to donate money, consider donating items such as pet food, toys, and supplies. Even things like paper towels, old blankets and bath towels, garbage bags, cleaning supplies, or office supplies are usually highly appreciated.
- Donate services or your time: Volunteer! Many shelters are largely staffed by volunteers. If you don't want to or can't volunteer to directly work with the animals, considering offering your services to help instead. For example, if you are an electrician or a plumber, see if the shelter can use your services. You could also help advertise, run a donation drive, or use your creativity to make things to sell then donate the profit. The possibilities are endless! See if you can find a way to use your talents, hobbies, or skills to help out.
- There's an app for that: My home (and hands) are currently a bit too full for me to take on any fosters. I have a hard enough time, sometimes, walking my own two dogs! While I don't currently want to add another leash into the mix there is a way I help shelter pets during my walks. Last year I blogged about a phone app called Walk for a Dog that not only helps you track your walking stats but also lets you help raise money for rescues just by walking! Since I blogged about that app friends have showed me similar apps that do the same thing, so hopefully everyone who wants too can find one that is compatible with their phone.
Can you think of any other ways to help? There are plenty of ways to make a difference in the lives of homeless animals, even if you can't adopt one yourself.