When it comes to causes, animal well-being is one of the best to become involved in. Not only are animals underrepresented in many communities, but it doesn’t take a lot of money to become a part of animal advocacy. All you need is time, willingness to work, and a strong desire to make sure all living creatures are treated with dignity and respect. Here are some ways you can get involved.
Volunteer at a local animal shelter
If you have the time, there’s no better way to be an animal advocate than volunteering at local animal shelter/rescue center. Not only will you be doing a great service to the stray and abandoned animals in your community, but you get to spend time hanging out with cute animals. It’s a win-win. Animal shelters are in constant need of help. You can offer to walk dogs, clean cages, and assist in medical procedures. Talk to your local organizations to find out if there are any sort of requirements for volunteer work. You may have to volunteer a certain number of hours per week, and you may need to undergo some sort of training. The above photo is from the Richmond, VA SPCA. The girl in the picture is taking part in the facility’s reading program, which greatly benefits both the shelter pets and the children who participate.
Raise money for local animal organizations
Your local animal shelters, rescue and adoption centers, and walk-in vets need money to properly care for all of the animals that come through their doors. If you have the money to simply donate, there’s nothing wrong with that. By all means, do it. Your money will go a long way. Fetching Apparel always donates 40% of profits to help shelters, rescue groups and spay/neuter programs. Buying a Fetching tee, or other Fetching products, is another great way to make a difference for animals in need. This month (August 2017) Fetching Apparel is helping the Richmond SPCA. Use coupon code: SPCA to get free shipping.
For those on a tighter budget there are still ways you can make money for your local animal advocacy organizations. You can organize a community yard sale with the proceeds going to your favorite animal organization. You can set up a 5K or a pub crawl where the entry fees and any donations all go to an animal shelter. Get your kids involved – have them run bake sales or lemonade stands to raise funds. Ask local businesses to donate items for a raffle.
Besides the money, the benefit of fundraising for a cause is that it also brings awareness.
Adopting an animal from a local shelter is perhaps the best way to express your animal advocacy. But not everyone can handle the commitment and cost of taking on a 10-20 year responsibility. If you love animals and want to help, fostering can be a great option. There are many reasons an animal shelter may need the help of foster parents. Maybe they simply don’t have enough room in the shelter. Maybe the animal needs a safe place to recuperate from an illness or surgery. Maybe the animal is too young to be adopted and needs a place to stay for a few weeks while it reaches the right age. Not only that, but when you take in a foster dog you are also:
…helping the shelter or rescue learn more about the dog so he can end
up in the best home possible, socializing the dog to a home environment
and possibly getting him used to being around other pets and different
types of people.
— From the blog Spoiled and Fabulous
Whatever the reason, opening up your home to foster animals is one of the most rewarding experiences an animal-lover can have.
Write your local representatives. Ask for more funding for animal advocacy. Find issues that you care about and take action. Start online petitions. Schedule a rally. Get involved.
Promote animal health
You can influence other pet owners in your area by setting a good example. They may not be neglecting their pets, but due to time constraints or mobility issues, they may not be giving them the attention they need. For example, make sure your dog is getting plenty of exercise by taking them on lots of walks. When your neighbors see you walking your dog, it will be a reminder to them to do the same. You might even offer your services as a dog walker to neighbors who you know have trouble exercising their pets. There are plenty of low-cost ways to be a great animal advocate. All you need is a love for animals, willingness to work, and enough time to volunteer.
The rewards of advocating for those who can’t advocate for themselves are immeasurable.
Featured photo credit: Richmond SPCA/Facebook
- animal advocacy – http://www.wildlifelandtrust.org/wildlife/living-with-wildlife/becoming-an-effective-animal-advocate.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/
- requirements – https://www.animalhumanesociety.org/volunteer/volunteer-requirements
- dog you are – https://www.petfinder.com/animal-shelters-and-rescues/fostering-dogs/what-is-dog-fostering/
- dog walker – https://www.rover.com/dog-walking/