woman working in animal shelterAfter the holidays, when we are reminded of all of the wonderful things we have to be grateful for in our lives, we are often compelled to add “helping others” or volunteering to our list of new year’s resolutions.

Maybe this is true for you and your family, and you are currently looking for great missions to assist in the coming year?

For those of us who adore and care for pets, animal charities, shelters, and rescues seem to be the right choice for our philanthropic efforts. Whether you choose to give your time in the form of hands-on work or are gifting a favorite cause with a monthly donation, by donating to animal shelters you help the animal nonprofits that rely on the generosity of friends like you.

Donating to Animal Shelters: Ways to Help in the Year Ahead

There are an inexhaustible number of ways you can help improve the lives of animals, and you probably have a few favorite charities in mind. Here are a few creative ideas for giving back and lending a hand.

  • Donate pet supplies – Many shelters have to spend thousands of dollars every year on food and supplies. Some common items needed are food, dog beds, fleece blankets, cat litter, and toys.
  • Ask for donations instead of gifts – Have a birthday party or a wedding reception in the works? Many people choose to request donations in place of personal gifts. Get the family involved by allowing your children to choose one gift for a favorite shelter or animal rescue in place of a birthday or holiday present.
  • Host a fundraiser – Whether it is a bake sale, car wash, or dance marathon, individuals are raising hundreds of thousands of dollars each year for homeless animals. It’s a wonderful way to connect with neighbors and make new friends who care about animals.
  • Volunteer your time – Shelters and other animal nonprofits rely on the skills and talents of volunteers, whether they come in the form of office work, public relations, photography or through direct care. Get personally involved with the pets by walking dogs and cleaning litterboxes. All services are appreciated and welcomed.
  • Help with a blood drive – Did you know Oakland Veterinary Referral Service has an in-house blood bank for pets in need of emergency transfusion? We are always seeking life-saving blood donations from healthy dogs over 50 lbs. Please call us if you would like to participate.
  • Change policy or laws affecting animals – Are you a big picture person? Why not help to legislate change for animals by speaking to your local representative and helping create humane municipal bylaws?
  • Participate in an outreach campaign – Volunteer your voice and ideas by tabling at an animal related event or festival. You can also help spread the word on issues related to pet overpopulation and the importance of spaying and neutering among friends, family, and neighbors.
  • Adopt or foster – If you have room in your home and the time and resources, adopting a pet who is in need of a forever home is one of the best ways to save lives and reduce the number of animals in shelters. If adoption is impossible at this time, shelters and rescues are in serious need of foster homes, where pets will be happier, healthier, and better socialized.
  • Report animal cruelty – If you ever see an animal being abused or neglected, please be his or her voice and report the situation to the Michigan Humane Society or your local police right away. Your action may result in saving a life or sparing an animal additional suffering.
  • Become a monthly or one-time donor – Nonprofits require funding to operate, provide services, and create meaningful change. You need not be wealthy to make a lasting difference when you sign up for monthly giving tailored to your budget. There are many ways to give, so we encourage you to call your favorite nonprofit and inquire.

We at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services would also like to remind you about our charitable endeavor, The Emergency Animal Relief (TEAR) Foundation, which provides emergency medical care for sick and injured animals. If you are looking for a great cause to sponsor or assist, please consider TEAR and help us in saving the lives of animals in need of emergency care.

Thank you for all you do for animals!