Social Moms

Shelter Animals: You Don’t Have to Adopt to Help

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July 6, 2012

So you love animals, want to help a homeless pet, but you can’t provide a home by adopting one right now. How else can you help?  There are actually many ways and not all involve money.

Donate Your Time

Shelters need help – lots of help.Volunteer to walk dogs for your local shelter. The dogs reap the benefit of getting out of the kennel, enjoying a walk and seeing new sights, as well as getting some exercise of both mind and body. You benefit too, with exercise, sunshine, and gaining the satisfaction of knowing you gave back and helped homeless dogs.

Another way you can donate time to local rescues – volunteer to help make referral calls, or any other needed paperwork. They’ll appreciate it, and you’ll be helping the homeless pets.

Provide Transportation

Rescues move a surprising amount of animals around the country and there are always transports going every which way. Volunteer to take a “leg” of a transport. A leg is typically an hour drive – you first meet the previous leg, get your passenger(s) and then drive to the next meeting point, where you hand-off your passenger(s) to the next driver. There is always a need for drivers, and it’s a great way to help.

Donate Items

Check around the house – you may have things rescues or shelters need. The list is endless, with items like bleach, large zip lock type plastic storage bags, leashes, collars, pet food, crates, paper towels, blankets and towels. “Kong” toys are great as well, they keep the dogs busy and aren’t easily destroyed. Ask your rescue – most have wish lists of needed items.


Do you love animals but can’t commit financially to owning one? Offer to foster! Fostering is a rewarding way to help one specific pet at a time. The animal learns to be part of a family, you help teach it manners and socialization, and provide a loving home until the happy day of adoption. The dog (or other animal) gets to live in a household with a lot of love and attention instead of a shelter. For some senior animals, this is a life-saver, as they are too stressed at the shelter. You get the fun and benefits of having a pet, without the financial obligations. Vet care is provided by the shelter or rescue, and depending on the guidelines of the organization, you either contribute by buying food, or in some cases, the shelters or rescues will provide it. This is an excellent way to enjoy different animals without a huge financial investment.

Donate Financially

All rescues and shelters need money. Vet bills can be staggering, and there are many mouths to feed, and a host of other expenses. Monetary donations are always welcome, as are gift cards for gas or pet supplies. Most donations are tax-deductible.

Memorial Donations

Was your deceased loved one a pet lover? Make a donation in their name. What a wonderful way to honor those we loved so much.

This is just a short list of ways to help. For other ideas, contact your local rescues and shelters and ask how you can help. You’ll be glad you did.

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