News & Thoughts > Pet holidays: Christmas > 7 Easy and Free Ways to Support Animal Adoption this Holiday Season!

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12/20/2011 12:05:15 PM by HAFowler   Send Message to HAFowler  3103  views, category: Pet rescue, Pet holidays: Christmas view all blogs


Give the Gift of Hope, Even When Times Are Hard

This time of year brings out the best in us – the goodwill and happiness, the joy of giving, and the desire to share the blessings we enjoy with those who may not be so fortunate. The holiday season is the number one time of year for charity and giving love and warmth to those who have no one to care for them – with homeless animals spending the holidays in shelters near the top of that list. But times are tough. Many of us can’t afford to donate money or adopt so what can we do to help to encourage adoption, or make the lives of animals waiting in shelters for their forever homes a little easier?

There are ways you can help find forever homes for pets in animal shelters without having to take out your already strained wallet. We can work to earn donations for shelters, help spread awareness, and give a voice to homeless pets with these ideas:

1. Volunteer.  There is absolutely nothing besides money that shelters need more than kind hands and hearts. You can help clean, socialize pets, walk dogs, or simply play with them. You can also donate your time at fundraising events – or even organize your own – to help encourage people to find a new four-legged friend. Giving of your time and affection can mean more than money to a lonely, frightened, or sick dog, cat, or other small animal.

2.  Call your local shelter or check out their website – you will often find a “Wish List” listing things the shelter needs like food, dishes, toys and treats, leashes and collars, blankets, pillows, towels, cleaning products, and more. See what you have around your house that might just be taking up space or that maybe belonged to a pet who’s passed on, and donate them to your shelter. That’s a tough one, but it's a way that you can perhaps make a dog or cat happy in honor of the one over the Bridge.

3. The internet presents literally endless ways to support pets waiting for a forever home. Of course, they all need money and volunteers, but there are ways that many of them fundraise just from your clicks. For example, you can support your favorite shelters and organizations just by clicking "like" to advertise your favorite shelters and charities to your Facebook friends, and invite them to do the same. Increased awareness is priceless! Once you do this, you an also find special promotions by pet-related companies. They may offer, for example, to donate necessities to shelters in exchange for “Likes” or clicks.

4. Play games to help support shelter animals! That’s right! If you’re a trivia addict, try the daily question on Over on, you can fill your need for everything from solitaire to bubble popping, and the organization donates to shelters for all the time you spend there playing your favorite games!

5. Take part in campaigns such as writing letters or signing petitions for government officials or others in support of homeless animals. or are good places to search for current campaigns. You can also set up email alerts for causes you care most about so you’ll be alerted in the future if your help is needed!

6. Use the GoodSearch toolbar. Based on the Yahoo! search engine, anytime you make a search with the GoodSearch toolbar, you automatically donate to your choice any of dozens of charities, many of which are focused on animal welfare. You can even use the GoodSearch toolbar to do a search: “Free ways to help shelter animals” to discover more ways to help!

7. Probably the BEST thing you can do to support adoption is – adopt. But isn’t the point to not spend any money? Well, from now until the end of the year, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Angel Canyon Utah has a special campaign this year, offering an opportunity for people do adopt senior pets for free! We talked last month (November is Adopt-a-Senior-Pet Month) about the blessings of bringing home a senior forever friend, and what better time than the season of giving to put that desire to help into practice! Some of these seasoned cuties can even be adopted without the trip out to Utah. Check out the Best Friends website for details!

If you feel a little guilty because there’s just not enough money to support your local shelters or national homeless pet organizations the way you might like to, try some of the above, and know that you are doing something that might not happen otherwise – showing pets without forever homes some badly needed love over the holidays!

About the author: I'm a freelance writer and novelist from the very far reaches of Upstate New York. I've had pets all of my life, and can't bear a household that isn't full of furry life. Besides my extremely spoiled pair of cats, I also love writing, reading, tra... more >>

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