12 resolutions to help homeless pets in 2012

We’re ringing in 2012 with 12 ways you can make a difference for homeless pets. Whether you resolve to do one throughout the year, or try a different one each month, you’ll be sure to spread a little joy to homeless pets with these New Year’s resolutions:

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1. Get yourself new sheets and towels — then donate the old ones to a shelter or rescue group. You’ll be recycling, helping homeless pets stay warm and comfy and getting new linens. Want to beat that? Ask your friends and neighbors to do the same!

2. Print out and post adoptable pet profiles at your office, dog park or grocery store.
Does your local dog run, your office or your grocery store have a place
for fliers? Ask if you can post a new adoptable pet’s profile there
each week. Simply click the print icon on a pet’s Petfinder profile to
get a printable page with all the pet’s info!


3. Give a list of local shelters to your vet’s office.
Vets
are often the first place pet parents go for recommendations on anything
pet-related — including where to find a specific kind of pet. Give
your vet’s office a list of local shelters and rescue groups and help
get the word out to people who may not otherwise adopt. View shelters and rescue groups by state to get started!


4. Photograph or video an adoptable pet for their Petfinder profile.
Help shelters and rescue groups show off their adoptable pets by
donating your artistic skills. A great photograph or cute video might
just convince someone to come visit that pet — and hopefully take him
home. Check out our blog post about how to take great photos of shelter dogs and tips for taking adoptable pet video.

5. Help lost pets get home again. Join a nationwide network of 650,000+ PetRescuers keeping an eye
out for lost pets. Sign up to receive lost pet alerts from HomeAgain when a dog or cat goes missing in your area.

6. Volunteer your lunch hour at a shelter. Even one
hour a week can make a huge difference to shelters and rescue groups.
Find an adoption group near you and ask what kind of help it needs.
Volunteers can take on a lot of different roles doing anything from
walking dogs, cuddling cats, cleaning cages, washing dishes, answering
phones and even helping screening potential adopters. (Learn more about volunteering at a shelter here.)

7. Organize a pet food drive. Help pets and people too
by organizing a pet food drive at your office. Simply put a box in your
office where coworkers can donate a can of cat food, a bag of dog food,
treats and other pet supplies, then bring them to your local shelter or
rescue group. (Call ahead of time to find out if there’s a brand of pet
food the shelter needs most.)

8. Help your dog overcome his fears. If your dog suffers from anxiety, you can buy a Thundershirt to help ease his tension and 15% of your purchase will go to the Petfinder.com Foundation to help homeless pets. (Find out how one Petfinder staffer helped her dog overcome his fear of thunder.)

9. Help an adoptable dog overcome his fears. Don’t have
a dog that needs a Thundershirt? Lots of shelters and rescue groups do!
Donate a Thundershirt to a participating adoption group and help an
adoptable dog overcome his fears, increasing his chances of finding a
home. Simply visit Thundershirt’s donation page and pick a participating group from the drop-down list at checkout.

10. Publicize adoptable pets on your website. Add a free adoptable pet widget
to your website and show off adoptable pets all year long! The widgets
pull information directly from Petfinder’s adoptable pet lists so
there’s no need to update or manage the information.

11. Publicize pet adoption on Facebook. Have a Facebook brand or business page? Add our free “Why Adopt a Pet?” custom Facebook tab and give your visitors four great reasons adoption is the best option. Add the tab to your page here.

12. Sponsor a homeless pet. If a particular pet on
Petfinder touches your heart — but you can’t foster or adopt him — you
can still make a difference in his life. The Petfinder.com Foundation’s
Sponsor a Pet program lets you sponsor a homeless pet by donating toward the cost of his or her care while in the shelter. Find a participating shelter near you.

Of course, it should go without saying that adopting or fostering a homeless pet is a great resolution any year.

Tell us: What’s your pet-related New Year’s resolution?

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You might also like:

Blog:
Our top pet-related New Year’s resolutions

How to start a pet food bank

How to take better photos of dogs in shelters

Make any pet more adoptable with a great photo!


Tips for photographing shelter cats

Tips on photographing shelter pets

Articles:
Volunteering at a Shelter

What is Fostering a Cat?

Why Foster a Dog?

Video:
Filming Your Pet

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