Want to help an Ontario Shelter/Rescue?
(Last updated November 2012)
There are several ways that you can help animal rescues and shelters. Check them out below.
1. Consult the shelter or rescue's website. Most shelters/rescues have a website with information on how to help them out, how to volunteer or foster and also what items they most need. Consult this information first for the most current and specific ways to help!
2. Adopt or foster. This is an amazing way to help your local animal shelter/rescue! Are you considering getting a new pet for your family? Your local animal shelter or rescue is the best place to look for one! This is because not only are there many animals looking for a home, you have many animals to choose from, they will have vaccinations and are almost always spayed/neutered, plus you have experienced staff/volunteers to give you information and help you find the perfect pet for your family! Fostering is another great option as some animal rescues don't actually have a facility and rely on foster homes. Other shelters may need some animals to have a little extra attention before they can adopted. Depending on the shelter/rescue requirements this could also answer many parents desire to teach their children the miracle or birth. You could foster a pregnant cat, happy in the knowledge that she and her kittens will then be spayed/neutered and adopted out to loving homes!
2. Donate Money. Shelters/rescues are almost solely run on public donations. Without donations, they cannot take in more animals or provide the necessary veterinary care. Spay/neuter programs also rely on donations as do the day to day costs of running any facility. Consider 'sponsoring a pet' or becoming a general member. How about donating on behalf of a loved one or as a birthday present.
3. Donate Items. For a list of items that a shelter/rescue is in desperate need of, check out the wish list on their website or give them a call. Not only do the animals in their care need many things like food, litter and toys; shelters/rescues can also sell items that are donated to them in a store or through auction sites. The money from this can then be put back into the shelter/rescue. Items that most organizations need include cat/dog food, kitty litter, pet toys, paper towels, office supplies, small animal food and housing, carry cases and Canadian Tire money.
4. Volunteer. Shelters/rescues are also almost solely run by volunteers. Duties could include anything from desk work, feeding animals, building and outside maintenance, socializing animals, transportation or education programs. People with specific skills like web development, legal know-how and veterinarians are always in hot demand. You may even be able to volunteer for a one-time event like a fundraiser or being a volunteer driver.
5. Donate Services. Are you a craftsman, lawyer, web developer, photographer, veterinarian or behaviourist? Shelters and rescues are always looking for people to help them with various goals, like putting up new fencing for their horses, becoming a non-profit or registered charity and continuing to provide wonderful care for their animals. If you can donate even an hour of your time, you can really make a difference!
6. Hold a fundraiser. Raise money or goods for your local shelter/rescue through fundraiser. Make sure to get the proper permissions (from where you are hosting the fundraiser) and ask the shelter/rescue if they could provide any materials or maybe even a representative to talk with people at the event. If you want more ideas and tips on fundraising check out the fundraising factsheet.
7. Advertise. Do you have advertising space available on your website, newsletter or store? Maybe you would like to help out your local shelter/rescue by advertising what they do and encouraging people to donate time and money. If you don't have actual advertising space you can still help spread the word of how amazing your shelter/rescue is. Donate your status on Facebook or Twitter to your local animal organization and encourage people to learn more. You can even write a blog post about them or contact your local news agency and have a story written for them!