11 Jan 16

7 ways to help animals now – w ...

By Nancy E. Hassel, LIPetPlace.com & American Pet Professionals

7 Ways to help animals now – with no powerball winnings!

Imagine winning the Powerball lotto this week?  I have asked the question, what would you do with all that moola on my Facebook page and the majority of the answers from my pet loving friends was; “I would open an animal sanctuary!” or “I would adopt all the pets from our locak animal shelters.”  We are pretty full to the brim with pets for adoption here on Long Island (dogs, cats, puppies, kittens, horses, chinchilla’s, birds and even some reptiles) – so those answers are great ones indeed.

However, chances are that you may not win the 1.4 Billion jackpot, now don’t get me wrong, you could win it (ever the optimist here!), and you could open that animal sanctuary – make an amazing place, help countless homeless animals.  It would be a wonderful thing.  But since the odds unfortunately are against you, like they are against our homeless animals in this country, how about thinking of some ways you can help now.

I know some of you may be screaming at your computer screen reading this, “But Nancy, I already do help, I donate, I volunteer, I share photos of dogs and cats needing homes, I go to the events…” Ok, please don’t yell at me, I know so many amazing pet people who do this.  So from the bottom of my heart (and Cody’s!) THANK YOU – keep up the AMAZING work.

BUT, for those or you that are saying they want to open a sanctuary if you win, and deep down inside you know you want to help right NOW –  here are some ideas you can implement today, without all the winnings from the Powerball:

  1. Foster - Becoming a foster pet parent is SOOOOOO needed here on Long Island, and everywhere across the country.  I know some people are wishy washy about fostering, “I don’t know how I could give them up.” Or “I just don’t have the time to add a foster to my schedule,” I get it, but think about how happy that dog or cat that has been sitting in the shelter for years will feel being in a warm, comfy, loving home?  Our rescues here on Long Island are in desparate need of Foster homes from little Yorkies to Rotties and everything in-between.
  2. Donate Your Services – Now if you are a dog trainer, chances are you may have done this already – volunteered at an animal shelter, helped with a case here or there. And I get it you need to make a living.  But if you volunteer your services 1 time a week to a local animal shelter OR volunteer to help someone who may need help (i.e. they are thinking of giving up their dog due to something as simple as puppy chewing – no joke, sadly this happens all the time – and 99% of the time it is the owners fault the puppy is chewing and NOT the dogs).   So maybe offer your services to them at a discount or for free and with the understanding that they won’t turn the dog into the shelter.  Pet Photographer? Donate your amazing photography to help get their pets seen in a better light than just from an iphone picture.
  3. Be a Billboard – Ok so your friends may know that you are heavily involved in rescue or just love your pets way more than they do! Become an informational human walking billboard so to speak, about the things that are needed by our rescues or a rescue that you work with.  If you do this in a way that is educational, informational and from factual and correct info – you will be taken more seriously.  If you’re working the 9-5 at a corporate office, more than likely there are many of your pet loving tribe is already there – see if you can get your, co-workers, boss or company to take on dogs/cats/horses each month by sponsoring them.  Tell them what their monetary (should be tax deductible too) will do for each and every animal. This is where your billboard comes in.  Maybe you might even get some co-workers to foster!
  4. Volunteer Your Expertise – Are you a social media guru? Can you volunteer a few hours a week to a non-profit rescue to help them with their social media?  Most rescues need a lot of administrative help as well.  Can you help with grant writing and/or applying for grants for them for funding?  Are you an animal lawyer that could help them with contractual legalize?  Are you an event planner extrodinaire?  Help your favorite rescue with their gala event to help raise funds for the animals in their care.  Are you a video producer, you can shoot footage and put together short videos of pets available for adoption to be shared on social media. You get the point.
  5. Teach Compassion – If you are a teacher, there are a few things you can implement (with your principals ok of course), you can have a rescue come in and talk to your class. The rescue can teach your kids about what they do on a daily basis, about the animals they rescue, how the importance of being a kind, loving and responsible owner is, and how they can help even at a young age.  Many kids get inspired by this and figure out a way to help on their own.  You could organize a class project to pick out a rescue to work with throughout the semester, or even better full year.  The possibilities are endless.
  6. Host an Adoption Event – Have a retail store or business location that would not nessecarily be associated with a pet adopt-a-thon?  Host an adoption event at your location with your favorite rescue.  Many of your customers will love this and it will help educate the every day non-pet industry person about the dire need for adoptions.
  7. Adopt – But of course – open your heart, home and life to a homeless animal.  You will be a much better, happier person for it and you will have just saved 2 lives (the pet you adopted and the space you opened in the animal shelter).

This list could be about 100 ways to help without winning the powerball – as us pet pros know, but I hope it helps open your mind to helping, to the possibilities of what you can do right now without all that dough to help.   Our rescues and the animals thank you.  Now get out there and help! ;)

Have fun, easy ways and ideas to help out that you do – that you think others can do as well???   Comment in the Facebook comment section below – would love to hear them and share!

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