The holiday season is a time for giving and sharing with family and friends (both human and furry). Consider taking the time to spread good cheer, help pets by supporting organizations dedicated to saving pets. There are many national organizations and local shelters that need your help during the holiday season, and year-round. Fortunately, there are many charities to choose from, each with a unique mission, and specific needs that you can help fill this holiday season.
Ways to Help Pets
If you don’t have a specific organization in mind, why not look for a local group that you can help by making a donation, giving items (towels, blankets, beds, food, etc.), or a few hours assisting with chores. All gifts provide much-needed resources and provide you with the joy of helping animals. Also, depending on the organization, your donation may be tax deductible.
Helping pets in need can even be as simple as purchasing a new bed for your pup or kitty! Have you ever heard of Best Friends Animal Society? Best Friends Animal Society developed a catalog for items that homeless pets dream of. It is called the Catalog of Kindness, highlighting items that homeless pets wish for. These items are toys, beds, blankets, car rides, and so much more!
What to Donate to Animal Shelters
Most organizations are in constant need of supplies to maintain the care and happiness of their animals. Why not buy an extra bag of pet food or treats to donate to a local pet shelter? Or send gently used blankets, pet beds, and toys to make the holidays extra special for pets waiting to be adopted. We all know how much fun it is to “spoil” our pets at home, so why not make an extra effort to “spoil” some pets that don’t have a home. You will feel just as warm and tingly by helping pets who really need your help.
Don’t forget that these organizations need supplies to provide daily care to their animals. There is always a need for cleaning supplies including laundry detergent, as well as kitty litter, towels, and pet wipes. Anything that you use to pamper your pet at home is something that would bring a smile to a pet in need.
Supplies to Donate to Shelters
- Wet and/or dry food
- Gently used blankets
- Gently used pet beds or pads
- Kitty litter
- Laundry detergent
- Pet wipes or pet shampoo
Donate Your Time
Perhaps the best gift of all, however, is your love and attention. Many organizations welcome volunteers to assist with daily chores, as well as the difficult task of giving belly rubs and scratches behind the ears. Of course, your time is appreciated, but if you do volunteer, you should be committed and do try to be someone that the animals can count on.
Foster or Adopt a Pet
Another terrific way to help animals is to foster a pet. Many animal shelters and rescues rely on pet foster parents when space is limited or when a dog or cat needs special attention. Organizations like Dogs on Deployment (DoD) offer a unique foster experience. DoD volunteer boarders care for the pets of our service men and women while they are deployed or honoring their service commitments. Helping pets and our military members, it’s a win-win.
Better yet, adopt a pet. The holiday season is a busy time for pet adoptions, and as with any pet adoption, please make sure that your family is ready for the responsibilities of welcoming a new four-legged family member.
Lastly, keep your eyes open for fund-raising events such as 5Ks, or in-store promotions that benefit animals. Look for local adoptions events, and keep track of rescue groups who often need help with transportation. Most of all spread the word about all pet-friendly charities and events on social media. And remember, a donation to a favorite charity in someone’s honor is a thoughtful gift that is certain to be appreciated – and there will be no need to worry about returns!