There are many ways you can help dogs! The way (or combination of ways) you choose will depend on your time, budget, and how much you can help at a given time. It is overwhelming when you realize how many options you actually have, but it is great that there are so many opportunities to save canine lives. While we can’t save them all, we can try our hardest to find loving homes and provide care for the dogs that need it.
Animal shelters and rescue organizations always need an extra set of hands. Taking care of dogs takes lots of time and effort, and volunteers are very important in keeping these places running. Volunteers support staff with cleaning, feeding, training, walking, socializing, and providing medical care. These places always need people willing to drive dogs to and from the vet and adoption events. Most have flexible schedules so you don’t have to feel obligated to show up more than you can. They also work with you to improve your dog training skills and provide information to make you more knowledgeable. Volunteering provides help for dogs, but also gives you the skills and experience to help dogs in the future.
If time is hard to come by for you, shelters and organizations always need monetary funds. It’s very expensive to feed and provide care for multiple dogs. Some dogs need more help than others and require costly procedures and medications. Litters need extra attention to make sure they grow up healthy. Spaying or neutering dogs is necessary in an attempt to lower shelter numbers, and vaccinations ensure the dogs will be healthy enough to go to a forever home. All of these add up and can be extremely costly for shelters. Your donation will keep things running smoothly for current and future dogs. Shelters and rescue groups also take donated supplies. They usually need towels, blankets, dog beds, food, treats, bowls, toys, leashes/collars, and office supplies. A little goes a long way and any amount can help.
Some people are able to welcome rescue dogs into their homes. Fostering is a great way to provide direct care and support for an animal. Organizations and shelters will provide information and expectations. You might need to go to adoption events in an effort to get the dog adopted. In any case, when the dog leaves your care, you will know that he or she is going to a family that will provide unconditional love. Many dogs become “foster failures,” which isn’t as negative as it sounds! Dogs fail the foster part and go straight to adoption when foster families decide that no one else can take care of a dog as well as they can. The dog is welcomed into the family and then their hearts. Adopting is one of the best ways you can help homeless dogs because it ensures that the dog has a home, adequate care, and a family for the rest of his or her life.