Helping Shelter and Rescue Dogs and Cats

The season of giving is upon us and many are considering how they want to give to those in need. We fill donation boxes, volunteer our time or write donation checks. Animal lovers may be looking for ways to help out their favorite animal rescue or shelter.

There are many ways to help animal shelters. You can walk the dogs or play with the cats, donate money or buy items off their wish list. If you’re looking for a few unique ways this year to share holiday cheer, consider these options to spread the joy!

’Tis the Season

There are no right or wrong ways to give, whether it’s your time or your money, so consider these options and enjoy spreading the love to all involved!

Donate your Hobby or Profession – Perhaps you’re a photographer, a blogger or you work with social marketing. You can offer these services for free at your local shelter as a way to help spread the word about the organization of your choice.

No money? No problem! – Money is certainly not necessary! If you have any spare towels, bedding, blankets, bowls, lightly used toys or anything else off a shelter’s wish list, this is a good way to declutter your home and give to those in need.

Foster for the Season – During the winter months, shelters fill up fast due to neglected animals being picked up or lost. Offering a warm home during these cold months will go a long way to helping them find their forever home.

Host a Fundraiser – Have fun baking treats, making animal ornaments or knitting dog sweaters! Then sell them and donate the proceeds to the shelter of your choice. You can do this as a group or have multiple individuals help, then donate the proceeds together.

Group Shopping – Make it fun! Pick a day in December (the first saturday is 50% off storewide at Goodwill!) and take a group of family or friends plus your local shelter’s wishlist and see what you can find. Grab a basket and fill it with goodies. This makes a fun game for little kids, too!

Donation Tree – This is a fun way to gather donations for shelters this holiday season. Set up a tree with ornaments (such as cut out pictures of dog bones, dog houses, etc) with specific gifts needed on the back of each one. Ask your employer, a local church or a school (or even set it up in your home for your family to participate in!) and let everyone pick an ornament. Set up a bin for the donations to be dropped off by a specified date and donate to the shelter of your choice!

Help with the Transport of Animals – A lot of shelters and rescues help each other by transporting animals to from high-kill to lower-kill areas, or to transport a particular pet for adoption. The shelter sets up transport chains where multiple people drive a set amount of time and meet up with another transporter and hand off the animal at that point. You can call up your local shelter to ask if they need any help with this or know of another shelter that does.

Donate your Time – As always, donating your time is a great way to help. There are many ways to help a shelter and each place varies on what they need. Here are a few ways you might be asked to help:

  • walk the dogs
  • play with the cats
  • clean litter boxes or dog kennels
  • do laundry
  • grooming (bathing, brushing, clipping nails)
  • doing the dishes
  • taking pictures for websites
  • greeting guests and answering phones
  • helping out at events or fundraisers

If you’re reading this in December, we are collecting donations Detroit Dog Rescue no-kill shelter, a rescue group we partner with and greatly admire, in the box in our lobby.

When it comes to helping animal shelters, anything you do is a gift for not only the animals, but for the workers who have dedicated their hearts and time to what they do. From the hearts of all shelters and clinics everywhere, we at Union Lake Pet Services thank you for your generosity.