At Variety Pet Foods, we continue to champion pet shelters across the country because of the invaluable service they provide–often contributing far above and beyond with their time and funds and other resources to try and help animals find new and loving homes. They deserve plenty of attention and support in return! That’s why we’re so happy the first week of every November is National Animal Shelter and Rescue Appreciation Week!
Practically everywhere–from the biggest city to the tiniest town–has shelters. Where there are people, there are animals, and sometimes those animals need caring for when they’re sadly abandoned or lost or otherwise separated from their family. That’s where shelters become so vital. They keep the animals warm and fed until they can hopefully be reunited with their owners or otherwise find a new home.
There are around 3,500 shelters in the nation that serve nearly 8 million animals annually! That’s not even counting foster programs or local rescue groups. It’s obvious there’s a huge need for this network to be supported. So how can you join in to celebrate all the amazing things pet shelters and rescuers do?
Obviously one big thing is to help your community be aware of the shelter or rescue program. Spread the word! Put up fliers in appropriate places, hand out brochures, talk to family and friends…there are so many ways to raise public shelter awareness.
Find a way to say “Thank you!” to the shelter. This could be in the form of a financial donation, volunteering your time, or even bringing in a plate of cookies for the staff every now and then. Oh, and if you’ve ever adopted from that shelter, warm their hearts by sending them occasional photos or videos of your pet enjoying their new life.
If you haven’t adopted a pet, the next time you’re wanting to do so, go to that shelter rather than a pet store. You’ll know that dog or cat has been well-cared for with love, rather than just used as a window display.
Get your pet spayed or neutered! This is a biggie because the main reason why shelters have so many millions of animals to deal with is because of out-of-control dog and cat populations. The more animals that are neutered and spayed, the more those stray populations can be reduced, thus lessening shelter demand.
Lastly, touch base with your shelter and simply ask them what they might need most right then. Or check out their website. Many shelters will have a “Request” or wishlist posted, prioritizing what would help them keep functioning at their best.
Have you gotten involved with a local shelter or two? We’d love to hear about your experience! Or have you ever adopted from a shelter? Post a pic of your adopted pet on our Facebook page so we can celebrate a life saved!
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