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The holiday season is a time of giving and sharing with family, friends, and loved ones. It is also a time of giving back. This year consider spreading a little holiday cheer by giving back to furry friends who are still waiting for their forever homes.
Here are a few ways you can give back to animals without breaking the bank or taking all the pleading faces in the shelter home with you.
1. Be a Short-Term Foster Parent
Get in touch with a local rescue organization or animal shelter and offer to be a short-term foster parent for a pet in need.
Rescue organizations are able to pull dogs and cats from local shelters with the help of foster parents who provide temporary, loving homes and socialization for shelter pets. Each foster home that takes in a pet frees up another space for a pet in the shelter.
2. Donate Supplies to a Shelter
Most animal shelters operate on small budgets and rely on donations of money and supplies from the community.
Animal shelters are always in need of the following:
Check out your local animal shelter’s website for a specific list of needed items, as some shelters use specific brands of pet food and particular types of collars, leashes, or harnesses.
Many shelters and rescue organizations also post their specific wish lists on Amazon, making it easy for you to purchase items to help needy animals while doing your own holiday shopping. Additionally, if you purchase through the Amazon Smile Program, Amazon donates 0.5 percent of the proceeds from eligible purchases to the charity of your choice.
If you are considering adding a pet to your family this season, consider adoption. Search for adoptable pets in your area or visit your local shelter to meet dogs and cats who are waiting for loving families.
4. Volunteer Your Time
Perhaps your finances are maxed out this time of year and you don’t have space to foster a pet. Consider volunteering your time with a local shelter.
Your time is a valuable resource and any amount you can spare would be much appreciated by the animals and the shelter staff. Shelters can always use extra hands to help care for and feed animals, clean parts of the shelter, walk and socialize dogs, transport animals to and from the veterinarian, fill water dishes, shred papers, and assist with many other vital tasks.
Be prepared to give belly rubs, shake paws, and scratch behind ears.
Call or stop by your favorite shelter or rescue to find out about volunteering. If you don’t know where your local animal shelter is located, find a shelter or rescue organization in your area by using the Petfinder search tool.
5. Use Social Media
Share a cat or dog in need with your social network this holiday season. Your share just might be the one that leads to that pet finding a forever, loving home.
If you already use social media platforms, try following a favorite shelter or rescue organization on social media. Better yet, engage with them. Like and share their posts. This will not only boost traffic to your social media, but it will increase traffic to the rescue’s social media and website! Ultimately, increased traffic to their site will translate into more animals getting adopted into loving homes.
6. Pet-Friendly Gift Giving
Not sure what to give the animal lover on your list this holiday? Consider shopping companies that give back to animals in need.
Hendrick & Co. is one company that offers a variety of gifts, from jewelry and clothing to mugs and pet products. Ten dollars from every item goes toward saving a homeless animal.
The Animal Rescue Site offers a wide selection of gifts for everyone on your list while donating a portion of the proceeds to feed animals in need.
Not sure what to get the animal lover on your list? Consider making a donation to a rescue in memory of a beloved pet.
So, as you are shopping for loved ones this holiday, take a moment and think about giving back to our four-legged friends. They will appreciate it more than you know.
Guest Blogger: Lauren Lee
PetFirst Pet Insurance is here to help give you peace of mind during the season of giving and all year long. Make sure your pet is covered for any illnesses and accidents that might occur – get a quote today.