When it comes to helping our local shelters, a monetary donation is often the first thing to come to mind. But for those of us that either don't have the money to give, or who would like to help in some other way, here are a few less common (but certainly not less appreciated!) ideas:
Volunteer/Spread the word: Shelters are always looking for people willing to volunteer their time. Hanging up fliers, transporting animals, and sharing adoption profiles on social media are just a few examples. In addition, many shelter animals don't get much one-on-one time with people. These pets definitely appreciate being able to get out for a walk or snuggle up for an impromptu cuddle session!
Donate Wish List Items: Every shelter has a wish list of items, whether it's food, toys, bedding, litter, crates, or cleaning supplies. Just ask!
Scan Websites for Freebies: Websites like Freecycle, eBay, or Craigslist often post free or low cost items that would be useful to a shelter.
Call Local Hotels: Local hotels often have older bedding or towels that can't be used by paying customers but would still make a plush bed for a shelter pet. They may also have cleaning supplies that they would be willing to donate.
Office Supply Stores: Nearby office supply stores may also have items they are willing to donate toward the human side of the shelter (think office items like printer paper, ink, envelopes).
Get Crafty: Turn your old bedding, t-shirts, or jeans into cozy blankets for the animals!
Donate Professional Skills: Shelters could always use the help of a lawyer or an accountant. Even if they are not-for-profit, shelters still need help with paperwork and keeping track of expenses.
Dog Trainers: A dog that knows basic commands is more likely to get adopted than a dog that doesn't. Volunteer your time to teach some of the animals at the shelter basic rules like sit, lay down, and how to walk on a leash.
Writers: Offer to help update pet’s profiles on their adoption page or contribute to their newsletter.
Photographers: A picture is work a thousand words, especially to a shelter pet who's profile pic can mean the difference between getting adopted or not. High quality photos show off an animal's personality and are indispensable on adoption profiles, but many shelters can't afford to hire a professional photographer.
How will you help?