Pittie with volunteerAdopting a pet is one of the kindest things you can do! But we know that not everyone can bring in a pet right now. Luckily, there are still many other ways you can make a positive impact to help the shelter and rescue pets in your community. Here are nine ways you can make a difference for adoptable pets today:

  1. Volunteer: The shelter can be an extremely stressful atmosphere. A foreign place and small space, other stressed animals, endless barking, a constant influx of new animals and people – it can be a very unnerving experience. As anxiety grows, volunteers who come walk with, play with, and love on animals become a saving grace for many pets. The attention and interaction that volunteers can offer brings much needed comfort to shelter animals. Consider volunteering at your local shelter and enjoy the rewards of helping improve and enhance lives!
  2. Donate: Whether you have $10 a month to spare, supplies you can donate, or have collected newspapers in your neighborhood to give, your local shelter can use and will appreciate it! Most shelters and rescue groups have a wish list of materials they need in order to keep saving lives. Instead of throwing away that old blanket, check with your local shelter to see if they need it. Reach out to your friends, and have a towel drive or ask everyone to donate one small bag of dog food. Instead of birthday gifts, have your friends donate to a rescue group of your choice.
  3. Foster: If you can’t adopt a pet yet but want to enjoy the company of an animal, consider fostering a lucky dog, cat or bunny! Foster homes are the lifeline for rescue groups, allowing them to save animals and keep them safe while looking for their forever home. Fostering a pet can be so much fun, and it’s a great way to get your furry fix without making the adoption commitment. When you foster, you’re a pivotal part of the animal’s rescue, offering rehabilitation and love while they way for their forever family.
  4. Take pictures or video: Animals is shelters and rescues need glamor shots! A picture is worth a thousand words and a beautiful picture can make the difference between adopted and waiting. Even more, nothing captures a pet’s personality like a video! Shoot a mini pet movie and you’ll be creating an excellent way to capture a pet’s personality and help adopters fall in love. Use a regular digital camera with a video setting, and no editing software needed – it’s easy and it really helps. So get those cameras charged and ready!
  5. Be a techie for the animals: The internet has made pet adoption a whole new ball game. Having bios, photos, and video of animals who need homes increases their exposure and their chance at adoption. You can also do some “social PETworking” by posting a shelter pet on your Facebook page or via TwitterACritter and in doing so, you will be spreading the word about specific pets and help save them. Networking animals online helps them get adopted or rescued, right from your very couch or desk chair!
  6. Spay or neuter your pet: By simply taking responsibility for spaying or neutering your own dog or cat, you’re doing your part to fight pet overpopulation. There are so many reasons to spay/neuter your pet, from behavioral advantages to health benefits to social consciousness. There are many low-cost clinics if financial matters are a concern, and even organizations that will help cover those costs for you. By spaying or neutering your animals, you’re a part of the solution and we thank you for that.
  7. Link it up: Ask animal-related businesses in your area to post a link to Adopt-a-Pet.com on their web sites! By adding a link to our nonprofit website, people in your community can find adoptable pets and get involved to help their local shelters or rescue groups. Google to find out trainers, groomers, pet stores, dog parks, and veterinarians, in your community and politely ask them to add a link to Adopt-a-Pet.com to their website! It’s easy and oh-so helpful for promoting pet adoption – widgets and search boxes can be found at http://www.adoptapet.com/public/links/index.html
  8. Adopt and commit: When you’re ready to bring a pet into your life, please choose adoption as your only option! You’ll want to make sure you’re ready for the long-term commitment to have a pet, as the greatest gift you can give homeless pets is simply to keep your own for life. If everyone did this (and spayed and neutered them), the number of pets in shelters would be drastically decreased! Remember that no pet is perfect and all require a little work and a lot of love – please stick with them through thick or thin just as you would with a child. Animals are not disposable, and when you make a lifelong promise to your pet, that’s one fewer animal in a shelter. If nothing else, feel GREAT about being wonderful to your own furry family members– you may not be able to save every animal in the world, but it means the world for the ones you do save.