A lot of dogs we know belong in a loving and caring family. Unfortunately, not every dog is as lucky. There are still many dogs out there who are unwanted or mistreated, and it's up to the humans to help as many of them as possible.
In ways big and small, you can give back to dogs in your community. If you are wondering how you can do your part, choose one of these seven ways to get started!
The most direct way to help is to make monetary donations. However, be careful where you are donating to. There are many Facebook groups and other online communities that accept monetary donations to help dogs but they are not subject to audit requirements. It is therefore hard to hold them accountable for how the funds are used.
Other than money, you can also donate items that your local animal shelter needs. These items are usually listed on their website. Otherwise, you can always contact them to ask them what they are short of.
Even though more and more people are giving back to dogs in their community, it's still not easy to find fosterers for rescued pets. There are many reasons for this, which includes the lack of resources and the fear of saying goodbye. To me, it's even more noble to foster than adopt. If you are able to spare time and space to temporarily accommodate a needy pet in your home, consider fostering! You save more than one life by freeing up space for other pets in the shelter.
If you don't have time to help foster a dog in your home, think about sponsoring a dog instead!
According to Save Our Street Dogs (SOSD), "It is a great option for [people] who want dogs but [are not able to assume] full responsibility of pet ownership. Sponsoring a dog means they can come to the kennel to walk and play with their special dog, [while] SOSD [provides the] daily care and accommodation."
While giving your time to walk the dogs at the shelter is one way to go about volunteering, it is also a highly sought after task. It's no surprise too given that it can be pretty fun and interactive. However, many animal welfare groups are also looking for people to help with administrative and design and marketing work. If you have skills in these areas, they will be particularly valued!
How about your furry companion? Can they also do their part? The answer is yes! There are many avenues for dogs to volunteer their love and companionship. One of which is SOSD's Healing Paws programme, which aims to provide comfort and warmth to persons in need, such as the elderly, via Animal-Assisted-Activities. You can learn more about it here.
If an individual is able to make an impact by making a donation, imagine what it's like when a group of people come together to make a bigger difference! There are many platforms out there, such as GIVE, where you can set up a fundraising campaign all in a few clicks. Whether it's through your birthday or a company initiative, you can get people to act simply by asking.
6. Support Do-good Businesses
Your purchase decisions can also make a difference. There are many businesses out there that donate a portion of their profits to animal welfare groups. As much as you can, try to support them.
7. Spread the Word
Everyone knows the power of an idea. If you can just educate one person on animal welfare, and that person goes on to educate one more person, you are already changing the world. Simple acts like sharing a post on a dog looking for a fosterer and educating your relative about responsible pet ownership can save lives.
How do you give back to dogs in your community? Share with us your experience by commenting!
Feautured photo by Pragyan Bezbaruah