How to Help Shelter Pets This Holiday Season

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Christmas is the season of giving and what better way to give than to help an animal in need?Thousands of animals this holiday season will spend the most magical time of the year in a shelter awaiting their forever home. However, you can help them and their caretakers have a great Christmas by partaking in some of the kind acts on this list and spreading a little love and joy this holiday season!

1. Donate, Donate, Donate!
Most shelters run solely on generous donations from the public and the holiday season is an especially important time to donate, as many shelters see an increase in animal surrenders around the holidays. Any amount of money you can spare will help with the buying of food, medicine and other accommodations for the animals, but it’s not all about the cash! If you’re feeling a little tight in the wallet, consider donating used toys, leashes, beds, blankets, or towels. Even empty peanut butter jars and old toilet paper rolls are appreciated. For a full list of donate-able items, check your local shelter’s online ‘wish list’ or stop on by and ask a caretaker. Even a small donation can have a big impact for an animal in need!

2. Volunteer Everyone is busy around the holidays but if you find yourself with a little extra time on your hands, consider volunteering for your local animal shelter! Volunteers serve as the lifeblood for busy shelters who might not have the money or the means to accomplish every task that needs to get done. Spend time walking some dogs outside or socializing with the cats. Ask if you can clean cages, give baths, or do laundry. If you have a special skill like carpentry or sewing, seek out ways this can benefit the shelter and then put your talent to the test. Even if you only have an hour or two to spare on the weekends or after work, any amount of time spent helping homeless pets is time well spent!

3. Shop Smart
Odds are that when you begin your holiday shopping you’re going to be doing a lot of it online. Luckily, there are ways that simply sitting down and doing this can help to benefit shelter pets! Websites like¬†will actually take a percentage of your purchase and donate it to a charity of your choice, many of which are animal related. Amazon Smile is exactly like the regular in every way except that when you make your final purchase you can feel good in knowing that you’re helping homeless pets too. And all by just doing your regular holiday shopping!

4. Trade Gifts for Donations
One big way you can make a difference for homeless pets this Christmas is to ask for donations to your local animal shelter in lieu of presents. Rather than unwrapping another pair of socks, consider asking your friends and family to donate the money they would have spent on you to an animal shelter or rescue in your name. Even if you only ask to replace one present per person you can make a big difference, especially if you have a large or extended family! Plus, you might just start a trend of holiday donation giving!

5. Consider Fostering
Adopting a pet is an important and serious decision, one that takes time and commitment. However, if you’re not able to make that long-term commitment right now, consider something more temporary. Fostering an animal from a shelter or rescue is a very rewarding experience, especially around Christmas time. Shelters often see an increase in animal surrenders during the holidays and the more fosters they have to take a pet home for a time, the more space opens up for more pets to come in. Plus, it gives the animal you’re fostering the experience of being in a home and feeling that special bond of love and affection. What better way is there to help a homeless pet this season?

6. Share the Love
Much of our modern world and lives takes place online, and shelters are no different. Since so many people nowadays communicate through social media sights and email, it’s important for shelters and rescues to post their fundraisers, events, and adoption profiles through these media. By simply going online and liking or sharing these updates with your friends and family, you can help spread the word on homeless pets and possibly get them adopted faster. The more traffic shelters can get on their websites, the better chance an animal has of finding it’s forever home and spending Christmas with it’s new family!

7. Keep it Going all Year Round
Christmas is the perfect time of year for giving a little extra to your local shelter or rescue, but the truth is that shelters need help all year round. According to the ASPCA’s official intake tracker, approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter shelters every year nationwide. That’s a lot to care for! However, with the help of people like you who foster, donate, volunteer, and of course adopt, these shelters help change the lives of all these animals for the better. If you want to keep that Christmas feeling going all year round, helping out your local animal rescue would be a great place to start. Plus, we’re pretty sure you’ll make it to the top of Santa’s nice list!

Helping out a homeless pet this Christmas can be as easy as sharing a post or sitting down to start the holiday shopping. But whatever way you choose to help just know that you’re making a big difference in the life of an animal in need, and that’s the best gift you could hope to give! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from everyone here at Roscoe’s. May your season be merry and bright!

Ready to join the pack?