(BPT) – The winter months, which are often considered some of the busiest for animal shelters, are approaching. According to the ASPCA, approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter shelters every year. Adding a shelter pet to your family can be fulfilling, but what if you’re not ready or able to adopt?
Hartz Loving Paws is committed to supporting companion animals in shelters through product donations and volunteer events. October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month, and Hartz is partnering with the Humane Society of the New Braunfels Area in Texas to share opportunities for you to give back to pets in need if you’re not ready or able to adopt.
1. Donate money or product.
Many animal shelters and rescue organizations have direct donation links posted on their websites. Monetary donations go toward pet food, medical attention and vaccines for the animals. Animal shelters and rescue organizations also often create Amazon wish lists with desired products. Shelters typically ask for pet treats, toys and grooming supplies.
Sarah Hammond, executive director of the Humane Society of the New Braunfels Area in Texas, said she is grateful for donations from Hartz Loving Paws, which has given more than $2 million worth of product to shelters and organizations, including her own, since its inception in 2016.
2. Provide a temporary home.
An increased number of animals placed in shelters need foster care before they are ready to find their forever homes. Foster needs range from post-op surgical care to puppy growth care and medical support.
Food, medication and other supplies are typically provided when fostering, and the length of time a foster pet may stay in your home varies depending on the animal’s needs. Contact your local shelter to fill out an application. Once approved, your local shelter will work closely with you to find the right foster pet for your household.
3. Volunteer at your local shelter or rescue organization.
Animal shelters and rescue organizations offer numerous volunteer roles, such as dog walkers, adoption support and training support. Many positions don’t require prior experience and can be applied for on your local shelter or rescue organization’s website. Volunteer positions vary in expectations and demand, so there is a position for everyone.
You can also volunteer to participate in a shelter rebuild project. Hartz Loving Paws renovates shelters twice a year in partnership with GreaterGood.org’s Rescue Rebuild program. These teams work with shelters to create playful and welcoming environments for animals.
4. Take photos of adoptable pets.
Help animals find homes sooner by taking adoption photos for local shelters. Many people search for adoptable pets online, and with a great profile picture, animals have a greater chance at being adopted. If you’re new to photography, there are free training videos available on the One Picture Saves a Life website that show how to take better photos of shelter pets.
5. Become an advocate.
Follow animal shelters and rescue organizations on social media and reshare their content. Talk to your family and friends about the importance of caring for shelter pets while they await their forever homes and share how they can help.