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Animal shelters do such awesome work in the never ending task that is caring for cats in need. It’s a difficult job, and not one that everyone is emotionally equipped to deal with — we sincerely applaud those that work and volunteer at animal shelters. More than admiration though, these organisations need real, practical support for the good work that they do.
So let’s look at ways you can help your local shelter from the comfort of your own home.
1. Sponsor a Special Event
Have you reached that age when you’re not that bothered about birthdays? If you’ve got enough fluffy slippers and bath salts, then for your next birthday set up a Just Giving page to benefit the shelter. Suggest to your nearest and dearest that they donate what they would have spent on a present to the rescue, rather than give a gift you don’t need.
2. Use Your Skills
Everyone has skills. From taking photographs (for pawesome adoption pictures) to writing cat bios, you always have something to offer. If you are an accountant by day, why not be a super-hero by night and offer to keep tabs on the shelter’s accounts? Or if you’re a legal eagle, donate a few hours a month for shelter contracts. From handymen to web designers your skills will find a warm welcome at the shelter.
3. Get Crafty
Love to make things? Then put that talent to good use. Support your local shelter’s fund raising events by making or baking items to sell at fetes or open days. Indeed, many shelters have a shop where they sell goods to raise funds, so homemade cakes or handcrafted cat toys can be a big hit. Alternatively, see if your shelter want cat-themed costumes making up to raise awareness, or perhaps T-shirts appliqued with “Adopt Don’t Shop” for fundraisers to wear.
4. Makes Wishes Come True
Shelters all have a wish list of things that they need. This is often practical stuff such as cleaning equipment, cat litter, beds, toys, towels, or even newspaper. Keep an eye on their wish list and collect items towards it. If this seems like a drop in the ocean, just think what would happen if everyone played some small part, it would mean an end to need.
5. Cat-alogue Shop
Your local rescue might be part of a larger organisation that has a cat-alogue. Lend your support by purr-chasing from that catalogue. This saves you from trailing round the shops and you can pick up unique gifts that are delivered to your door. Be it Christmas cards, wrapping paper, or cat themed gifts, your hard earned cash is well spent when it supports a charity.
6. Foster a Cat
Not all cats thrive in the shelter environment. From elderly to anxious cats, or those with special health needs, rescues are always desperate to find more foster carers. This means looking after a needy cat on a temporary basis in your home, until their fur-ever home is found. This is a hugely rewarding thing to do, especially if you love cats but personal circumstances dictate that you can’t own one of your own at the present time.
7. Practice What You Preach
Make sure your own cats are desexed, microchipped, dewormed, and vaccinated. It wouldn’t do to be an advocate for cat welfare via your local shelter, and not be up to scratch yourself.
8. Share on Social Media
Support your local shelter on social media by liking their Facebook page and sharing posts. Spreading news of their content to your followers is how stories go viral, and it raises awareness of cats in need of adoption to friends in your local area as well as further afield. There’s nothing quite like genuine enthusiasm for raising awareness, so participate in Facebook threads by leaving comments, and then cross pollinate with links on Twitter.
9. Blog About Adoption
Perhaps you have adopted a cat from the local rescue. Well, why not blog about it? Blogs are easy to set up, free, and a fun way to reach out to likeminded people. Share your experience of choosing the ideal cat, settling her in, and the experience of owning a rescue cat. It could inspire people to decide to adopt and increase understanding of all the wonderful things that rescue cats have to offer. Plus, it’s a great excuse to post your cat pictures online!
10. Say “Thank you”
Last but not least, keep up morale amongst those who work at the shelter by showing your appreciation. Simple things like baking a cake for the workers to eat at coffee break goes a long long way to making a bad day better because they know their efforts don’t go unnoticed and are appreciated.
How do you help your local animal shelter? We’d love to hear about the work you do in your community and any other ideas you have to support the work of animal shelters and rescue organisations.
This blog post is part of the quarterly campaign for Be the Change for Animals – advocating to make the world a better place for all animals.