How You Can Help Your Local Animal Shelter
Animal shelters need help year round. The high cost of keeping a pet coupled with the continued pet overpopulation problem means shelters are regularly packed with adoptable animals. However, the winter season brings with it a number of additional seasonal concerns. Here’s what to be aware of and how you might be able to help.
#1 Lack of Funds
During the winter and particularly around the holiday season, every charity is asking for donations. At the same time, people are spending a bit more money out of their household budget. They’re buying gifts, spending money on traveling, and paying for traditional holiday celebrations. In short, demand for funds is high and donations are low. This is one of the most challenging times for animal shelters. The number of animals in shelter generally increases during the winter months, which means the demand for funds increases – yet donations tend to decrease.
#2 Lack of Volunteers
People tend to drop off around the holiday season. Volunteer needs increase. This is particularly true around the holiday season when volunteers need time off to go out of town and celebrate the holidays. Additionally, as people stop in to find adoptable pets to give as gifts, more staff is required to manage the demand. It’s the perfect time to start volunteering if you’ve ever considered it.
#3 Increase in Pets
The wintertime is also a difficult time for animal shelters which can become overfilled with adoptable animals. More dogs get lost during the winter than any other season, which adds to the increase. People realize they cannot afford their pets during the holiday season, too. And many animals that were given as gifts during the holidays are soon relinquished to the shelter. Giving animals as gifts isn’t always a good idea.
How Can You Help?
There are many ways you can help your local animal shelter this winter. Consider volunteering either in an administrative capacity or by working with the animals. You can foster a pet in your home, thus leaving more room in the shelter for animals. You can also donate your money to help pay for the expense of sheltering animals during the cold winter months.
If you don’t have time or money to donate, consider donating pet care supplies like food, bedding, toys and equipment. Most local animal shelters have an ongoing need for cat and dog supplies. Finally, consider stepping in to help out during the holidays when adoption rates are usually at an all-time high. It can be extremely rewarding to help people and families bring home a new pet.