by Melody Keilig
We've talked about supporting shelter pets before, but what are some new innovative ways to encourage people to adopt? Bring awareness to Celebrate Shelter Pets Day on April 11th by digging in and helping out!
Because it's so important to find loving homes for shelter pets, sometimes it takes finding new and more effective ways to spread awareness. So, how can you celebrate shelter pets today and help them find their furever home? Check out these new tips!
Offer to Walk the Dogs
Whether you're an experienced dog walker or want to help, offer to walk the dogs for the shelter. By volunteering your services, you're helping the dogs get outside for much-needed exercise. Bring business cards from the shelter to hand out to people approaching the dogs to know that the dogs are waiting for adoption.
Or, if the shelter requires a certification for walking their dogs, you can work on getting an official license to be a professional dog walker.
Some towns or cities may need this license if they limit how many dogs you can walk at one time. Your area may also have animal leash laws that you must follow.
Take Professional Photos for the Shelter
Animal shelters have been utilizing professional photos of the pets under their care because it helps them get adopted. Photography can make a difference in whether an animal gets adopted or not. For instance, with a typical low-light photo of a shelter pet, their personality will often get distorted negatively.
When the lighting is bright, either with a studio light or natural light, it brightens the twinkle in the animal's eyes. Plus, when photos show the animal outdoors or playing, people looking to adopt will see their true personality shining through.
A low-quality photo of an animal sitting on the cold, metal table in the shelter gives the wrong impression. Imagine getting a photo taken for your professional resume or portfolio. If the lighting is terrible and the background is bland, you would be concerned about the picture ruining the hiring manager's first impression of you.
So, if you have photography experience, volunteer your services to give each animal waiting for adoption a photo session.
Volunteer With Your Professional Skills
According to the Humane Society for Shelter Pets, 75% of workers at animal shelters are concerned with the state of finances of their local organization.
If you have professional skills, like fundraising and outreach efforts, the animal shelter could use your help in getting funds or sponsorships to support them financially.
Shelters are a business and have offices, so if you have experience in this line of work, offer to volunteer (or interview for a paying role). Possible positions could include roles in development, adoption events, facilities, finances, and marketing.
Adopt From “Kill-Shelters”...Yes, Really
Before you assume the worst, let's break down what "kill shelters" are and how they operate. These shelters use euthanasia when their population is too high and cannot make any more space to house the animals. Gruesome? Definitely. But that's why it's important to adopt from these "kill shelters" because you end up saving more than one animal’s life.
But why do these shelters allow euthanasia in the first place? Because they have a contract with the local government, this agreement obligates the shelter to take in any animals that they can house. So, even if the shelter knows they cannot take in one more cat or dog, they must accept the animal by contract.
Is it a double-edged sword? Yes. But wouldn't you rather save the lives of multiple animals by adopting one? Because of the unfortunate stigma behind these shelters, more animals end up being put down because of the lack of housing space. If there's a consistent flow of supporting "kill shelters" by adopting their animals, fewer animals will face euthanasia.
So, before you call off these shelters for good, consider the benefits to the animals when they get adopted. You'll help make more room for the animals entering the shelter.
Love Shelter Pets, Unconditionally
No matter the shelters you volunteer for, work at, or adopt animals from, always remember who you are helping the most: animals who need a loving home.
Unfortunately, many people avoid adopting animals from specific shelters due to some of their practices, but we must remember that these animals are the same as any other shelter animal.
They need the same love and attention from us, so let's give back to all animals in shelters!
To best celebrate pets on National Pet Day this April 11th, spread awareness about helping shelter animals and volunteering. Imagine how much of a difference you and others can make for the numerous animals waiting for adoption into loving homes.
So let's do our best and celebrate the fantastic dogs and cats waiting for our help!