It’s not easy working at an animal shelter. The employees take in sick, injured, unwanted, and abused animals every day. The fortunate ones go home with their new forever family, but sadly, this isn’t the case for all shelter pets. Shelters must euthanize some animals because there simply aren’t enough people willing or able to provide a loving home.
According to the Humane Society of the United States, 3,500 shelters in this country take in six to eight million animals every year. The organization started National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week in 1969 to highlight the important work of shelters and to give people in the community the chance to support them.
How You Can Support the Work of Animal Shelters in Your Own Community
Even if you’re not in the position to provide foster care or adopt a new pet, there’s plenty you can do to support homeless animals and the shelters that take them in. You can start with something as simple as sharing a graphic on Facebook stating that you support your local animal shelter. Social media is also a great platform to share pictures and stories of pets waiting for their new family to find them. You can find these adoption ads on most shelter websites. Here are some other things the Humane Society of the United States recommends:
- Look on the shelter’s website to see what supplies it needs the most and then buy some of them the next time you go shopping. Alternatively, you can order supplies from our online store and donate them to your local shelter.
- Use your crafting skills to make special toys for shelter pets who often have very few of their own.
- Volunteer to walk dogs, repair electrical problems, write fundraising ads, or whatever your special talent is to help support the mission of your local shelter.
- Follow the shelter’s social media pages to stay current with events and pets needing adoption. If you adopt a pet from a shelter, be sure to express your thanks for the opportunity and send a picture later to show how well your new pet is adjusting.
- Before going through with pet adoption yourself, make sure you have realistic expectations of pet ownership so you don’t end up so frustrated that you return your new pet.
Schedule a Preventive Care Appointment for Your Newly Adopted Pet
Adopting a pet from a shelter is a wonderful thing if you’re ready for the responsibility. We recommend scheduling an appointment for a preventive care exam as soon as you get your new dog or cat home. This ensures the best possible start in your new life together.