What can you do today? Animal shelters are the cornerstone of animal welfare in our communities and are often times the first point of rescue for lost, injured and stray animals. While awareness of their extraordinary work is growing, they need our support. Public animal shelters have to fight for every penny they receive, and private shelters struggle to find enough donor support to keep their doors open. Yet day in and day out, staff stretch their limited resources and work tirelessly to save as many lives as possible. We believe that these unsung heroes deserve our appreciation and support, and we think you do too! Here are somethings you can do today to thank shelter workers for their unwavering commitment to your community’s homeless and suffering animals:
1. Send letters to the editor about the good work your community shelter is doing! Most people in your community likely do not know the volume of animals that enter the shelter, the number of animals nursed back to health from cruelty cases,or the community outreach that shelter staff is doing to keep pets in homes.Writing a letter to the editor can help change that, and highlight the great work your local shelter is doing.
2. Work with the shelter staff to set up an Amazon.com supply list. People often are willing to donate to their local shelter but they don’t know what’s needed. Helping your shelter set up an Amazon.com supply list not only makes it easy for people to help, it ensures shelter staff gets exactly what they need, when they need it. If your shelter already has such a list in place, help them by spreading the word, especially around the holidays!
3. Volunteer for a specific project.Shelters need regular volunteers to help with daily activities like cleaning and socializing animals, but there are often special projects they’d love to do but simply but don’t have the time for –things like building feral cat houses, creating play equipment for the dogs, even landscaping the outside of the shelter building. Ask the shelter what they’ve been dreaming of getting done, gather friends and knock a project off the list!
4. Bring the staff some treats.Imagine how good you would feel if someone stopped by your work just to quickly say thank you and leave behind some cookies or coffee! Remember that the holidays, July 5thand days after bad weather are the busiest days at the shelter. This is a great time to pop in, say thanks,and leave some much appreciated treats behind. And don’t forget to leave some special treats for the animals, too!
5. Do a community supply drive. There are certain times of year when shelters need blankets, towels, kitten and puppy food, etc.. Check in with the shelter and get to know the times during the year when a supply drive for specific items would be helpful. Leave bins in local pet stores, places of worship, clubs, and the local coffee house. Before you know it the demand for supplies will be met! • Attend a local government meeting and speak up!In most meetings of local officials, the general public has the opportunity to make comments for the record.
6. Take a minute to talk about the good work the shelter is doing or the value to the community. Not comfortable speaking in public? Write a letter and ask that it be read into the record.The people in your local shelter are saving lives every day, often under incredibly difficult circumstances –they’d love to know their hard work and dedication is appreciated by their community.
The smallest act of appreciation from you may be just the boost they need to keep going. For more information: http://www.humanesociety.org