Helping local animal shelters (even on a budget)
The holiday season is always associated with the spirit of giving. People want to give back to their communities, help the less fortunate, and show their love to family and friends with warm baked treats and festive gifts. For shelters and rescues, however, this is the time of year they see their charitable gifts and donations decrease the most.
The Cesar Millan Foundation would like to encourage you to remember our less fortunate friends of the furry persuasion this year, so we’re here to suggest some ways to help that don’t involve money!
1. Do some winter cleaning.
Go through your linen closet and bring any old towels and blankets to your local shelter, but also think beyond that. If you received a new space heater this year and your old one is still functioning safely, donate the old one to your local shelter. It can be used to warm up the outdoor kennels. Just make sure it has an automatic shut-off when knocked over so any happy wagging tails don’t cause a fire!
2. Remember the warm states.
Shelters in the Northeast and Midwest are often well prepared for winter storms, but when cold fronts hit their southern neighbors it isn’t always the case. If you live in a mostly sunny state and start experiencing some chilly weather, call your local shelters and see if they need extra blankets. The dogs will thank you for it.
3. Become a foster parent.
Shelters and rescues depend heavily on volunteers and this time of year their numbers are much lower. If you’re staying home for the holidays, contact your local shelter and see how you can help. Petfinder.com has a program that helps put fostering families in touch with shelters for the holidays. Click here to learn more and find participating shelters in your area.
4. Donate your time.
Fostering a dog, even if for a few weeks, is a large commitment to make. Maybe you live in an apartment that doesn’t allow pets, or you simply don’t have the time to have a dog 24/7. You can still help a shelter by volunteering to walk the dogs whenever your schedule permits. On the walk you give the dogs exercise, discipline, and affection. What better way to give back is there?
We hope that these ideas have inspired your to help out, because they definitely inspired us! One of our very own employees decided to be a part of the fostering experience and brought a dog home for the holidays. Read her story to get an inside look at the fostering experience from picking out a dog to returning her to the shelter after the New Year.