Surely if you are an animal lover you have ever wondered how you could do more for them. It is not strange to find news that tells of abandoned or abused dogs and cats with terrible stories that need help to recover and find a new home. You know about the work of different animal protection groups and you would undoubtedly like to be part of that movement, but you have not yet decided to take the step. So what can you do?
Of course, most of the aid that we will share is both for the protection of companion animals and for foundations, shelters and reserves of rescued animals that cannot be adopted, but need help to be returned to their habitats or to receive the necessary care.
Choose the animal protection association
First of all, once you have decided to help, you should know what the difference is between a kennel and an animal shelter. Kennels often receive public subsidies to take over a collection of cats and dogs from a given territory. Although the animal movement is pressing for zero sacrifices to comply with all of them, the truth is that, beyond the legal time in which the animal must be in the facilities in case its owner appears, they can be euthanized. This does not mean that all kennels slaughter by the system when the animal arrives on a certain day, but, in general, it is strange that in these types of centres there are infants, sick or animals that require some intervention …
It is very important, therefore, to help the kennels to be emptied and some associations precisely focus their efforts on this.
But perhaps you prefer to promote another type of treatment of animals in which in no case their sacrifice is reduced if it is not strictly for humanitarian reasons. For this reason, we will focus on the following sections to explain how to help animal protectors that have a zero killing policy in place.
Volunteer at animal centres
When talking about how to help animal welfare many people think only of the financial contribution. And although money is vital to be able to continue with your work, there are other ways to help that do not involve contributing money if you are not in a position to do so. To do this, it is best to contact the protector in question directly and ask what they need.
Many are looking for volunteers to come from time to time to walk the dogs, brush them or request drivers to be able to make transfers, especially to the vet. But there are many more tasks that, although they do not involve direct care of the animals, are equally essential for the proper functioning of the shelter.
For example, make repairs on the premises, improve computers, print or make posters, attend stalls in markets, take care of social networks, etc. Value what you can or are good at doing and offer your services.
By the way, contact them before going. If you show up without warning, they probably won’t be able to attend to you.
Be a foster home
But if your thing is direct contact with animals, you have the option of being a foster home parent. This way of helping, which is becoming more and more protective, consists of taking care of an animal collected from your own home while they cannot find a home for it. It is a very satisfying activity.
Taking in an animal, sometimes in poor physical or psychological condition, recovering it and delivering it to a home where it will continue to be cared for is a very rewarding experience, but also a very hard one.
It is not uncommon for the host to end up adopting the animal due to the impossibility of letting go.
On the other hand, some people start with the reception to find out if they could take care of an animal in a definitive way.
If you are interested in this option, comment on the conditions with the corresponding protector. Normally, they bear all the expenses, but on many occasions, the host decides to assume them as additional help. Some protectors even pay. Of course, it is the protector who manages the adoption.
But if you still have doubts about whether or not to be a foster home, in the following sections we explain how to help the animal protectors in other less compromising ways.
Become a godfather or godmother. Sponsorship
Sponsoring or sponsoring a protector animal is an increasingly popular option. Each protector has its own rules in this regard, which will have to be discussed, but in general, it is a matter of choosing one of the animals collected and paying a monthly or annual amount to help defray their expenses.
Normally, in return, you receive specific information, photographs, videos and you even have the possibility of visiting the chosen one.
If you are interested in how to help abandoned animals, this may be a good alternative, since it allows you to establish a special relationship with an animal, but without committing to taking it home.
Donate materials or money
Surely if you have wondered how to help the animal protectors, you have already valued the possibility of becoming a member. It is a very good way to contribute to its maintenance with the amount and the periodicity that you choose. Remember that contributions to NGOs are tax-deductible in the income statement, which will cost you even less.
The normal thing is to associate, but the protectors also accept specific donations, especially when they have to attend to an emergency.
Of course, you have to know that to organize they should have partners because that way they know what money they have and when. In this sense, more and more protectors, reserves and shelters are implementing in their donation system the so-called “teaming”, which consists of making micro-donations of very few dollars per month.
Although it seems a very small amount, if we add up all the monthly micro-donations, it is possible to help the animals that reside in the shelters a lot. For this reason, it is a much more accessible way of helping them for all those people who do not have the resources or time. If you can, become a teamer of one or more protectors.
Another way to help that some protectors offer is to buy products that they have for sale, such as t-shirts, calendars, lottery, second-hand items, etc. These associations have very numerous and diverse needs. For example, winter blankets, collars and leashes, food, dewormers, etc. Many even have a list of products they need on platforms like Amazon. Ask before so that they tell you what is urgent.
Adopt, don’t buy
Finally, do not hesitate and, if you can, adopt. Of all the ways that we have explained about how to help animal protectors, associations or shelters, taking charge of one of their collections is the best and, perhaps, for this reason, the most difficult and scarce.
But adopt only if you can truly commit to caring for that animal. Only if you have the time and resources. If you are not sure, try to be a foster home first. And, if you don’t make up your mind, you always have the option to spread the word about the benefits of adoption versus buying animals to help raise awareness. If you decide to adopt, check out what to consider when you take the dog to the vet for the first time.