January 24th is Change a Pet’s Life Day! This event was created 10 years ago by a group of animal lovers who wanted to recognize the hard work that shelter staff and volunteers do, encourage adoption of shelter pets, and raise awareness about the challenges of animals in shelters.
Actions you can take in support of Change a Pet’s Life Day include:
Volunteer at a shelter. Dogs and cats in shelters need companions too! Volunteers walk and play with dogs, snuggle and pet cats, and just give them love! Some shelters need volunteers to run events, take photographs, make repairs, and assist with general upkeep. Contact your local shelter to see if they are recruiting volunteers.
Volunteer at a rescue organization. Different organizations have different needs. Volunteers are often needed for the basic tasks of feeding, watering, scooping litter, and cleaning cages, as well as socializing with the cats and dogs on a daily basis. Volunteers are often tasked with running fundraising events, helping with the adoption process, and taking photos of, and writing biographies for, each pet to be adopted. Connect with a local rescue group and see if there something that you can offer to them.
Become a foster parent. There is only so much space in shelters and rescue organizations; fostering enables more animals to be cared for. Fostering provides loving, safe homes for pets until they are adopted, and even the opportunity for personalized care. Foster parents sometimes care for pets that are recovering from surgery, injury, or illness, and pets that need behavior rehabilitation or “a break” from the shelter environment. Many shelters and rescue organizations provide the food and veterinary care for the animals – all you do is provide the love!
Make a donation to a shelter or rescue. Donations to shelters, rescues, and sanctuaries go towards the rescue, rehabilitation, care, and adoption of animals that have been relinquished, neglected, or abused. These animals may require medical as well preventive health care. Your donation not only means the world to these organizations, but to the animals that are being cared for – without donations, many shelters and rescues would not exist! Have extra blankets or towels? Contact your local shelter to see if they need them.
Adopt a pet. If you have the resources, time, space, and love to give, consider adopting a pet. Cats, dogs, rabbits, birds, and pocket pets alike, are all looking for forever homes.
Appreciate the staff. Staff at shelters and rescue organizations have a difficult job. Each day they encounter situations with pets that have been relinquished, neglected, or worse. Consider treating the staff with a gift card for a local coffee shop!
Many of us have already changed the life of a pet – give your pet an extra snuggle and play time today!