Animal Rescue; How You Can Help
It’s the time of year when rescues are full to bursting but how can you help if you can’t adopt?
There are loads of things you can do to help out this winter, here’s just a few.
Try to support a small. local rescue if you can. These are the ones who will be feeling the pinch more than ever and a small donation or offer of help will be greatly appreciated. Google rescue sites close to where you live, there are so many and some are being run by just one person from their own home.
Do some research and find out which are the good ones.
It’s not just dogs and cats that need our help, there are hundreds of wildlife rescues which are overflowing too. Hedgehogs, foxes, birds and other small animals are in rescues, recuperating from illness or just not strong enough to be returned to the wild.
Did you know there are rescues for every type of domestic pet? Rabbits, guinea pigs. hamsters and gerbils find themselves homeless too!
You may think that your small donation wouldn’t make a difference but every little bit really does count.
It doesn’t have to be a cash donation, here are some other ways you can help.
Trust me the dogs don’t care if you lose the occasional stitch or use up your leftover colours, they just need something warm. If you’re new to knitting or crocheting this is a great way to practice!
Get the kids involved too, it’s a great indoor activity during the Winter months. Patterns can be found online for basic jumpers or just create some lovely squares and sew them together for a snuggly blanket.
If you are a more accomplished knitter, make something and donate it to be used as a raffle prize or sold at a Christmas Fayre.
If you used to knit or crochet but stopped, gather up all the oddments of wool and hand over to someone who can make something warm out of them.
Dog beds can be made of old jumpers with some small adjustments and old duvets and covers can easily be transformed into a dog or cat bed.
Anyone who loves to craft can donate greetings cards, teddies, flower arrangements for the next fundraising sale. Handcrafted items are always a massive hit and sell really well.
If you love to walk but your life is too busy for a pet, volunteer at the local dog rescue and take a furry friend with you next time you go.
Maybe a long-term commitment is a bad idea but you have times in your life when you could take care of a dog for a short time, maybe until he/she finds their forever home. Fostering is so important because the dogs are kept in a home environment and assessed thoroughly so that potential adopters know exactly what to expect.
For my dog fostering stories, read here.
There are so many fun ways to raise money and make animal loving friends too. Connect with a school or church and have get-togethers to brainstorm unique ideas.
Make a little hamper of pet goodies and take to the local shelter. It could contain a couple of good quality canned meat, a small pack of treats and a toy. A little gesture can make a huge difference.
Enquire about sponsoring a dog who cannot be rehomed. Some dogs must sadly stay in rescue for long periods of time. You can donate a small amount each month to a particular animal and get updates and newsletters through the post to let you know how they are doing.
Do you have a car and a few hours spare each week? You can volunteer to transport dogs and cats around the country, either into foster homes or so that a meet can be arranged with a potential adopter. You could do trips to the vet for sick animals or collect fundraising donations.
Could you promote a local rescue on your Facebook or Twitter feed and maybe do regular updates on how they are doing. Or just write something to raise awareness.
You can look on recycling sites for items like bedding, blankets, and towels which may be otherwise thrown away.
Call local businesses to see if they can donate surplus stock etc
Rescues are always grateful to have any of the following in their contacts list.
All these and much more can contribute to rehoming an animal just by making a life skill available.
Next time you have a decluttering session in the home, look out for any of the following which can be used as fundraisers
Ornaments you no longer use but could still be sold.
Perfume, beauty items that don’t suit your skin.
Books that have maybe only been read once.
Nearly new clothes that just don’t fit.
Baby clothes that have been outgrown but are still in great condition.
Shoes and handbags, maybe not quite the right colour?
Cuddly toys your children would like to pass on.
Finally, if you have a birthday, Christmas or other celebration coming up but you don’t want friends and family to buy presents, ask them to make a small cash donation and send to a named animal shelter.
Here is a poem I wrote about the plight of older dogs in rescue
The kennels were quiet
Now the gates were closed
The puppies had left for forever homes
Old Patch and Old Billy remained in their pen
Not surprised to be staying again
Their eyes were cloudy
Their muzzles grey
The people would stop then just walk away
For Old Patch and Old Billy there was no surprise
They didn’t want oldies, loyal and wise
They wanted the young ones
Eager and small
But the years weren’t always kind to them all
So, next time you visit with a new home in sight
Consider the oldies and their sorry plight
For Old Patch and Old Billy deserve a break
Their eyesight is failing
Their muscles ache
Next time you visit there is your match
Look no further
Than Old Billy and Old Patch