Shelter Sweethearts

Most dog lovers walk into a shelter and want to bring every dog home with them as furever family members. Obviously that’s not possible, but there are many, many other ways you can help.

When considering ways to help your local pet shelter, you may want to think beyond Time, Talent & Treasure. Donations are the backbone of rescue operations, with many surviving solely on fundraisers and private donations. GoFundMe advises orgs to be specific when asking for donations, providing a breakdown of typical costs for supplies on the animal shelter donation list — or whether they’re raising money for veterinary costs or a specific shelter improvement — so donors know exactly how and where they can contribute. Also, contributing essentials such as old dog crates, blankets, towels or cleaning supplies is a huge help. Or you could give your time. Volunteer opportunities range from taking dogs on walks and/or cuddling, helping out at adoption events and even donating special skills if you’re an accountant, carpenter, writer, photographer, pet groomer, etc. Perhaps you’re very good at drafting grant proposals. Think outside the dog crate! You can also become a life-saving foster parent or send mailers, write newsletters, manage the shelter’s site or help them establish a social media presence, all without leaving home. Even sharing lost and stray dogs with your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram fans can make a huge difference, as can starting crowdsourcing fundraisers for specific causes.