Kind Acts for Animal Shelters – Doable ideas from Humane Society of the US

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

10 Reasons to Adopt a Cat

Cats make up approximately 70% of shelter population. It’s sort of obvious what you should do…ADOPT! Don’t Shop! There are many advantages when it comes to adopting cats from shelters. Many are already spayed or neutered. They are also current on their shots. Shelter volunteers are there for one reason: the good of the animal. They aren’t interested in a profit and any donation you make goes right back into helping more animals in need. I love cats, how about you?

by Julie E.H., Animal Rescue Site blog
theanimalrescuesite.greatergood.com

Part III – I Came from the Deep South

IMG_1424 - Version 3I’ve had two names in my time.  Maybe three, if you consider no name a name.  At the beginning I was part of a brood of too many puppies in an overpopulated, under-inoculated part of the world: rural Alabama.  I was named Delaware by my rescuers, who named the 50 of puppies each a state name.  One day when I was four months old, I became Lucy.

People walked through the rescue’s kennels every day.  Some were caring for us, some were looking to adopt one of us.  I noticed a woman walking through with the shelter director.  The woman was talking about wanting an older dog.  Oh well, I thought.  When the woman walked by our kennel, I sat down and looked up at her, willing her to choose me, choose me, choose me.  We locked eyes for a moment, but she walked on.  Seconds later the woman backed up, as though drawn backward by an invisible force.  I like to think it was my intent.  She leaned down and put her fingers through the gate.  I looked into her eyes and gave her fingers a gentle slurp.  The woman sighed, slid her eyes to the side, looked back at me, then walked on.  I watched her as she went through the swinging door and disappeared from sight.  I turned back to my kennelmates.

A half-hour later, the shelter director came back, clipped a leash to my collar and led me to an outdoor pen where the woman was saying patting Jenny, the sweet black pitbull who had been in the shelter longer than I had been.  She watched the pitbull leave then turned to me and smiled.  As I ran up to her, she stooped down to greet me.  Mine.
   …to be continued.   Part I     Part II

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