Approximately 7.6 million pets enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Most of these shelters are run by volunteers who work out of the kindness of their hearts, for no monetary gain. When shelters fill up, foster families take the initiative to care for these animals out of pocket in their own homes until they can find a home of their own.

Acts of kindness like these surely deserve ones in return. Giving back to these local shelters and rescues not only helps the staff and animals, but also allows the organizations to continue to save lives. The best part? There are so many ways to help out at these shelters and rescues. We’ve gathered a few ideas for how you can give back to yours.




Volunteer Your Time

Lend a helping hand to the staff at your local shelter. Maybe they can use your help for an event or fundraiser. Or, you could assist them in cleaning or spending one-on-one time with their animals.


Spread the Word with Social Media

Encourage others to consider supporting their local shelters and rescues by sharing messages on your social profiles. Consider using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or even email to get the message out. Many shelters and rescues have websites, social pages and email lists of their own, and one of the easiest ways to spread the word is to share what they’ve posted with your friends. Or, consider sharing your own adoption story to support your local rescue or shelter. We’re sure your adorable pets would be happy to be part of it.


Make it a Group Project

Grab your friends and neighbors for the cause. Put up flyers, make an event or start a crowd-funding webpage to collect money for your local group or advertise adoptable pets.


Donate Gently Used or New Items

Collect gently used items from your own pets, or raise money with the community to purchase new things they can use. Here are some commonly used items at shelters to consider donating:

  • Exam Gloves
  • Collars / Leashes
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Detergent
  • Antibacterial Soap
  • Blankets / Bath Towels
  • Paper Towels / Baby Wipes
  • Rubber or Washable Toys
  • Food and Water Bowls (preferably stainless steel)


Have other ways to give back to local shelters and rescues? Share them with us on Twitter or Facebook!