Five Ways to Help a Shelter Dog


This one is pretty obvious. The best way to help a homeless pet is to adopt a homeless pet and make his or her life awesome while making your own life awesome. Many dogs end up in shelters through no fault of their own and make wonderful pets.I guarantee it will be the most rewarding thing you’ll ever do.

  1. Foster

If you can’t commit to a lifetime, but have a few months where you don’t have a lot going on, an amazing way to help is to foster. Be careful with this, you could easily become one of the thousands of foster fails and end up doing #1, which is falling in love with and adopting your foster dog. Fostering a dog does a number of things. 1) Gets one dog—your foster dog—out of the shelter. And 2) Makes room in the shelter for another dog in the shelter—boom you just saved two dogs. It also gives a dog a chance to get used to living in a home, get socialized, and adjust to the human world and makes them more adoptable.

  1. Sponsor

Don’t have the time or resources to take in a dog, but have some extra cash?Reach out to a local shelter and ask them if you can sponsor a dog. There are vetting fees that go along with each rescue dog.Here in DC it’s usually about $250 to sponsor a dog. When you sponsor a dog, you give a rescue organization the funds to pull a dog from a high-kill shelter. You provide the funds for all the dog’s initial shots, physical exam and spaying/neutering. This often covers transport from the high-kill shelter to the rescue (hopefully a foster a family). So now with $250 and 30 seconds on paypal you’ve saved one dog and you’ve made room for another dog.

  1. Volunteer

Different shelters need different things. There are literally thousands of ways you can help: adoption counselor, home visits, transport, handling dogs at adoption events. These are just a few ways you can volunteer time when you have it without making a huge commitment. Call your local shelter or rescue organization to find out how to help.

  1. Donate Time, Money, or a Special Skill

Last one is donating. Every shelter and rescue needs resources. There isn’t a ton of money in the rescue world. Who would have thought, right? You can donate money to help a specific dog (as explained in #3), or you can donate money to the general fund to help organizations buy blankets, dog food, crates, pay for transportation, unexpected vet fees and a number of other things. You can also donate your time by taking dogs out for walks, or volunteering (see #4). Finally, you can donate a special skill. If you are great at photography, you could take photos of the dog to post on social media to get the word out.If you are a writer, you can write a blog or help them write funny and endearing profiles for the dogs. If you’re super well-connected, you can help plan fundraisers. Now pick one and gimme five!!

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