Seven ways you can help a shelter or rescue

Most Afghan Hounds do well with a Large PlexiDor Dog Door Most people want to help homeless animals, but it can be hard to know where to begin. Not everyone can send money, and money itself doesn’t solve all problems. Here are some ideas on how to help a shelter or rescue – and being able to help save animals – without breaking the bank.

Volunteering is rewarding and appreciated. Many shelters need help with caring for the animals. Some need help with cleaning, others with socializing pets. There’s usually something to do. Contact your local shelter or rescue group and see if they need help.

Another great idea is donating your skills. Maybe you’re a great photographer, good with computers, or know how to edit videos. Good photos and videos of shelter pets help them get exposure, and can make the difference between a pet finding a new home or staying in the shelter.

Donate gently used items. Most shelters and rescues always need extra supplies. Contact them first to see what they need, and clean any supplies before taking them over. Many shelters and rescues ask for towels, blanket, pet beds, water and food bowls, toys, collars and leashes, and brushes.

Many shelters and rescues also ask for household items. Common items on the wish list include cleaning supplies, old newspapers, paper towels, and office supplies. Call and ask them what they need before going over.

Foster a cat or dog. Rescues are always looking for fosters. Some pets need a place to stay overnight, others for weeks or even months. It is a rewarding experience that saves a life.

You can also donate pet food and litter. Shelters and rescue groups go through enormous amounts of pet food and cat litter. You can actually enter to win 1,000 lbs of dog food right here, and donate to your favorite rescue – the contest is open until November 30, 2014.

If you’re throwing a big party, getting married, or have an upcoming birthday, you can donate part of your event registry. It is a rewarding experience that makes everyone feel good.

And naturally, if you’re thinking of adding a new friend to your home, consider adopting a shelter pets. There are all sorts of pets waiting for new homes. Petfinder.com lets you search for available pets in your area.

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