Shelters in America put an immense amount of work, time and effort into helping stray and surrendered animals find their homes. Whether that’s finding them new homes or returning to ones they were lost from, shelters just want the animals to be happy, healthy and secure.
Do you know the facts about US animal shelters?
There are around 3,500 shelters nationwide and there are an estimated 6-8 million homeless animals seeking refuge every year. That’s over 1700-2200 animals per shelter if the numbers were evenly distributed! And the truth of the matter is only half of these animals are adopted, that’s a sobering number. The rest of the animals are euthanized if not at a “no-kill” facility. This is the last thing shelters want to do and they do everything they to keep this from happening.
What can you do to help?
Well, there’s a lot you can do actually! From helping the shelters directly to your behavior with your own pets. We’ve put together a list for you.
- Find out more about your local animal shelters and groups
You might be surprised by just how many organizations and groups are in your area. From breed specific rescues to Humane Society shelters, many can use your help in a tangible way.
- Find your next family member in their ranks
Adopting a shelter pet is a rewarding experience. It can also be a challenging one. Learning more about what to expect before you adopt is a very good thing. Check out our post “What to expect when you bring your rescue home.”
- Check out their wish list
Do you have extra towels, blankets or comforters just hanging around your house? Those are just the items many rescues need for their animals. They’ll also have treats, toys, food and grooming items they may need.
- Click that Like button
It’s easy to do and it can help keep you informed about what your favorite organizations are up to. Liking and sharing their posts is also a great way to help them get the word out. You never know, maybe your share could help a pet get adopted!
- Volunteer and give them your free time
If you’ve already adopted a pet or if you can’t adopt a pet just yet, you can make the lives of these homeless pets better by giving them your time and attention. The rescue we got Lily from utilizes the skills of their community, from dog walking to construction workers, to donation collecting. Anyone and everyone can help.
- Helping from home
You can make their job easier by outfitting your pet with the proper collars and ID at all times. The Humane Society recommends a microchip AND ID tags, as a collar can come off. And then there’s spaying or neutering your pets, this will prevent unplanned for and unwanted litters and it provides serious health benefits for your pets including the prevention of certain cancers.
- Show your thanks
You can do this in so many ways! Shelters love to see that the animals who have moved on from their care are blossoming, you can show them just how much by sharing on their social media, email or a letter in the post. Volunteers are also hungry, so snacks are also appreciated.
The rescue my husband and I adopted Lily from is a bit further away from where we live so we’re not able to be as active as I would like, we make donations and wish we could be volunteer dog walkers and we suggest them to other families looking to adopt sighthounds. They’re a great organization and when there comes to adopt another dog we’ll definitely see what dogs are in their care.