How to Get Involved with a Shelter this October
October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, but what if you’re not ready to adopt a dog?
Shelters are chock full of adorable, lovable dogs who need a home. Humane organizations like the ASPCA and the American Humane Association designated October as the month to drive awareness for shelter adoption. The education and advocacy campaigns showcase just how wonderful a shelter pup can be, but if you’re not looking to add a new furry family member, October is still a great time to get involved with your local shelter.
Apply to Volunteer
Check out your local shelter’s website. Nearly every shelter requires a volunteer application. Download and fill it out so that you can get the ball rolling. Once you’ve applied and been accepted, even if you don’t see an opportunity right away, you’ll be added to the shelter’s volunteer database and they will call you when they need help.
Find an Opportunity
Many shelters list their urgent needs. Find an opportunity that speaks to you, then call the shelter to figure out how to get involved. You may be required to go through an orientation session or attend a training class before you’re allowed to perform a specific task.
You might have your heart set on being a dog-walker, but be open to other opportunities, like serving as an adoption counselor. No matter what, shelters always need help, so be open to possibilities.
Make a Donation
What is the ongoing, constant need of every shelter? Funds. You can get involved with your shelter by either becoming a donor or by helping fundraise. Not everyone can give financially, but anyone can help solicit gifts for an auction or lick envelopes to mail out to past donors.
If you have an open heart and an open home, but you aren’t ready to adopt, sign up to be a foster family for a dog or cat in need. Foster families house and care for animals if a shelter is over-crowded or if the animal needs special care, like those recovering from surgery or undergoing heartworm treatment. Being a foster family is a rewarding experience, especially if you’re not ready to adopt a dog but are wanting to be involved in dog rescue.