We all see the heartbreaking commercials for homeless pets – I’m looking at you, Sarah McLachlan! – and wish we could do something. But if not now, when? It’s easy to be a pet hero and you can even do it from home! Here are five creative ways to be a pet hero.
1. Start a supplies drive for your local shelter.
Animal shelters are always in need of funds, but often there are specific supplies they need. Check your local organization’s website for a wishlist of goods. Pet food, bedding, toys and cat litter are the most common items in need.
Contact local pet and grocery stores for donations to animal shelters and reach out to friends and family over social media – maybe your Aunt Karen is an extreme couponer and has some extra cat food.
Spread the word! Even gently used supplies are helpful, so stress that point when asking for donations.
2. Register to vote!
Although this may seem like more of a human hero thing, there’s plenty of legislature concerning animals, too. Animal cruelty prevention, vaccination requirements and anti-dog fighting are all subjects of bills across the nation.
For information on animal rights politics in your area, check out the voter’s pamphlet you get in the mail. Additional information can be found online.
3. Be a foster pet parent.
If you’re unable to permanently adopt or have extra room in your heart and home, consider fostering! Animal shelters are frequently overcrowded and short on space; some organizations rely entirely on foster homes to house their animals.
Requirements for foster pet parenting vary from shelter to shelter, so check before you apply. Having existing pets at home can also affect your foster eligibility, as homeless cats and dogs can be shy at first.
4. Share shelters’ social media posts.
The internet has led to a boom in pet adoption – with thousands of adorable, adoptable pets at our fingertips, it makes sense we would be giving more pets forever homes. Animal shelters are taking advantage of the web’s cute overload factor, posting pets’ pics on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Even if you’re not looking to adopt, odds are someone who sees your posts is! Retweet, share or regram homeless pets to get them more than 15 minutes. If you’re feeling particularly heroic, post pet pics firsthand.
5. Create for a cause!
Are you an artist? Many photographers, designers and artists donate portions from their total sales or purchases of a specific piece to charity. Others give animal shelters coupon codes, which they can use themselves or use to fundraise in raffles or silent auctions.
Consider creating a specific work and donating the proceeds to your local animal shelter! Or if you’re a pet photographer, donate your services to a shelter; high-quality, flattering photographs are needed to promote the animals online and help them get a forever home.
The Healthy Paws Foundation donates money to homeless pets with every single free quote. We also run a social media contest every quarter – visit the Healthy Paws Rescue Race page to learn more about participating organizations that qualified for grants.