Ways to help animals for Free
Written by Christina McNeair
I wanted to cover many of the ways that people can help animals for free. Most people think that adoption and fostering are the only ways to help animals in need. It’s the most direct way to help animals but there are so many other ways to help. I’ve covered a few of the basics below.
I can’t talk enough about volunteering. Many animal shelters have a minimum volunteer age of 16. I was 13 when I started volunteering thanks to the local shelter recognizing the need to create a group for those who are too young to be true volunteers.
This group soon became Pet Partners, which soon became a 4-H club which opened lots of opportunities to go to different events and assist with funding. I held the position as secretary which led me to become a summer camp counselor for 3 weeks over two consecutive summers, taken a trip to Gainesville with the other officers to represent the club at a 4-H convention, and I’ve been a part of several adopt-a-thons.
I have since gone to volunteer for a cat rescue group that partners with PetCo to show their adoptable cats, visited cats at a local humane society to socialize and pet them. Volunteers are always needed; most organizations have a volunteer orientation that you would need to attend so they can go over basic rules.
Volunteer duties range from cleaning cat litter boxes, feeding cats, walking dogs, washing out dog kennels to washing dogs or just simply playing with them. Dogs and cats do get bored while waiting for their forever homes so they need to be played with, talked to and given some love so that they know there is good in the world.
|Volunteer and go help socialize homeless pets in need.|
Donations are the cornerstone to most animal organizations, many of which are nonprofit or survive on the very meager funds from the city or county. If the funding is provided they can cover basic things like electricity, water, and some animal food.
|Old blankets and towels are a good donation to shelters.|
General office supplies like printer paper, pens, pencils, markers and such are in demand as well. Many of the organizations are non-profit so they depend on donations from the community.
Not sure where there’s a shelter/rescue near by or what is really needed? Check out this link. http://www.aspca.org/adoption/shelters
Click to Help
The most basic way to help, no you won’t actually see the benefits of this directly, but it still helps. There are two main websites I’ve found that will allow you to click to help assist in feeding homeless/shelter animals. http://www.animalrescuesite.com and http://www.freekibble.com (dog kibble) and http://www.freekibblekat.com (cat kibble). Both websites will allow you to share on facebook, post on twitter and like their facebook pages. The free kibble website has some interesting trivia that they ask and whether you select the right or wrong answer kibbles are donated. With animal rescue site you just click and food is donated.
|Helping can be as simple as a click of the mouse.|
Sharing via Social Media
|Share on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, and more!|
Adopt a pet has a wonderful tool that can be used for twitter that will allow you to tweet the name and information of an adoptable pet in your area. http://www.adoptapet.com/twitteracritter/
Sharing statuses of animals that are lost, in need, or links to auctions is a great way to help spread the word. There are a lot of different auctions that go on, you don’t have to participate in the auction, but you can share the status to help spread the word.
I would recommend with starting with Fatboy Babushka’s facebook page, he has a list of chip-in pages for kittens in need and asks for a dollar donation to have your pet (or yourself) dressed up. If you can’t afford the dollar share the links. He and his mother verify that all links are accurate and correct.
There’s also TLC Auctions that holds auctions for cats in need with help for with vet bills. This facebook page is run by Tuxie’s mom. She has shared other auctions and I’ve been lucky enough to win a few auctions and can testify that it goes to a good cause and the items were received.
Those events range from barktoberfests to adopt-a-thons, dog washes, dog walks, and other pet related events. Check local newspapers, local animal organization webpages for these events, many of them need volunteers to help run, as well as donations or mention it to your friends that you’re going to go. If you have a facebook page or a blog, write about it. You never know who you may meet there or what you may learn. Most public events like the barktoberfest features local businesses that offer special discounts, do silent auctions and you never know who you may meet there.
At the local Barktoberfest this year, I got to meet author Sharon Miner who writes horse stories. I also networked with the local SPCA so that I can feature some of their adoptable animals on my facebook page to help spread the word.
My best advice is to not be afraid of helping animals. Sometimes it’s overwhelming because you want to help them all but remember you are but one person. Together as a community of animal lovers we can help many, but you just have to take the first step towards helping that one.
I would also recommend learning more about low cost spay/neuter programs and if you have kids get them started early on learning about animals.
Original image URL: http://www.flickr.com/photos/usaghumphreys/7005486330/Title: Pet Fest
About the Author
Christina McNeair is the author of the Peace, Love, & Whiskers blog. If you've never visited it, I highly suggest you do! She is an advocate for animals. She spreads the word about pet rescue and animals who are in need, adoption, volunteering, and much more. On her blog, you will find many articles and stories about animals, as well as interviews with animals. Christina loves cats (as well as other animals) and has four of her own.
|Christina also advocates animal abuse prevention. Reporting animal abuse is another way to help animals without spending money. Image courtesy of Christina McNeair.|
Thanks again for sharing such a wonderful topic, Christina!