People often tell me how much they love animals and ask what they can do to help them. The obvious is to donate money to shelters and animal charities, but there is more you can do beyond that. Another thing you can do is donate your time by walking dogs or fostering them, but what if those just don't seem like the right fit for you? We asked Rocky Kanaka, host and creator of Save Our Shelter, what else people could possibly do to help, and as an expert in this arena, he had several suggestions.
"I always encourage people to think of what they enjoy," he said. Start by considering what you love and what you're good at. Maybe you take photos in your spare time. Call up a shelter and ask if they need someone to photograph the animals for adoption to put on the website. If it's something you excel at, chances are you'll take a quality photo that will help get that animal adopted. If you're an accountant, see if you can donate your services to a shelter.
Rocky points out that the thing about animal shelters is that they're very community oriented. "It's a neat community opportunity to get involved in your hometown," he said. "They're really a reflection of the community." So many people can get involved, because it takes skills and effort from so many people.
On the list of tangible items Rocky says most shelters need the most are:
- Vet care services
- Paper towels
- Cleaning supplies
- Office supplies
- Cat litter
"No one ever thinks of cat litter, because it's not as fun of a donation, but shelters always, always need it," Rocky said. "It's probably what shelters need the most."
Next time you want to pitch in with your local shelter, think outside the box and consider donating your skills or maybe cat litter. Anything like that would be more than appreciated.