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Sunday, January 4, 2009

Make 2009 the year for animals!

Make this year the year for animals!  If you truly care about the welfare of animals, this is your year to prove it!  If you have only one hour or one day available, there is something you can do!  I recommend donating to smaller, local shelters.  The larger, more established shelters have many supporters while smaller organizations generally have only local residents supporting them.

Things you can do for a shelter:

Offer to help at adoptions, set up cages, take down cages and anything in between!
Return calls (to people who want to donate, people who want to relinquish their cat or dog, someone found an animal, or lost an animal, etc) or make calls to recent adopters to see how the animal is doing in their new home (you can do this at home!).

Volunteer to do laundry (at home or at the shelter if they have the facilities).

Foster an animal! Fostering an animal means that the animal lives with you and you help socialize that animal and learn more about their likes and dislikes and personality which makes for a very informed adoption when someone comes asking about that particular animal. Check with the shelter to see if the food, litter and vet costs are covered. Some shelters only offer paying for vet care, others, like the one I volunteer for pay for everything.

If you have extra money consider donating towards their medical care or food costs.  If you would rather buy items (instead of giving money) buy cat toys, dog beds, cat trees, chew toys for dogs, scratching posts, etc.  With so many animals, supplies can wear out fast!

Walk dogs for a local shelter or help socialize cats.  Animals in shelters benefit immensely from human contact.  Having a play session, being brushed or getting a pet behind the ears calms them and reduces their stress. (Which makes for happier cats and dogs on adoption day!)

Have computer skills?  Design a shelter's website, create invitations for upcoming events, design flyers to promote adopting an animal, etc.  The possibilities are endless!

Anything, really anything, you can give to or do for your local animal shelter will be appreciated. We always need an endless supply of air tight containers to hold dry food, newspapers, blankets, towels, pillows, toys, cat litter, treats, wet food, high quality dry food, flea medications (NOT over the counter meds-only Frontline, Advantage) laundry detergent, dryer sheets, hand soap, Purell, we use Swiffer Wet to clean the floors, plastic bags (for cleaning up after dogs), plastic baggies (ziploc-type bags of all sizes), trash bags, plastic measuring scoops for accurate amounts of food (not the glass cups), Clorox wipes, paper towels, latex gloves, cotton balls, q-tips, KMR-powder, kitten formula, KMR- powder, 2nd step, Royal Canine-small bite kitten formula.  These are things that we use daily and can always use.
Other things that we use that we don't necessarily need as often are collars, leashes, harnesses, food bowls, water bowls (stand alone and ones that attach to cages), cages, carriers, beds, scratching posts, cat trees/towers, brushes, cat window perches, anything that the cats can scratch on, not necessarily just scratching posts (cats have different preferences on scratching), night lights, rotating floor fans, space heaters, brooms, dustpans, trash cans, clip boards, pens, bird feeders, bird seed and anything else you can think of.

Whether you buy treats for $1.99 or a cat tree for $199.00, it will be appreciated! The more you donate, the more money shelters have to save more animals!

A little bit can go a long way when you help out a local animal shelter! Most of the people there are volunteers and are not paid anything. Some are a more commercialized and have very few volunteers with mostly paid workers. Those shelters have generally been around longer and have more supporters and get more donations.
And lastly, support the no-kill shelters! Why would you want your money to go to kill an animal?

What do you do for your local shelter?

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