Wouldn’t it be awesome if every adoptable dog had a loving home like yours? While you can’t adopt them all, you can help by volunteering. There are so many ways to help adoptable dogs, and every little bit counts. Here are a few ways you can help more homeless dogs find their forever homes.
Volunteer at a Shelter
Behind every animal shelter is a group of dedicated volunteers that keep it–and the pets–thriving. They can always use help with tasks like walking and feeding the dogs, cleaning kennels, answering phone calls and handling dogs at adoption events. Even just an hour a week is greatly appreciated by all, especially the dogs.
Train Shelter Dogs
Dogs who are already trained are more likely to get adopted. Talk to a shelter or rescue organization about helping to train its dogs. You can start by taking your dog to obedience classes. This not only teaches your dog good manners, but also lets you apply what you learn in the classes to the dogs at the shelter.
Share Your Talents
Do you like to take pictures? Share your talent and help adoptable dogs get adopted! Great pictures that show off dogs’ personalities are proven to help them get adopted faster. Ask your local animal shelter or rescue group if you can take pictures of their adoptable pets for their Petfinder profiles. For the best photos, use natural light instead of a flash, get down to the dog’s level, and use treats or toys to get him to look at the camera.
Do you have a knack for planning events? Are you a certified dog trainer or a professional groomer? Are you handy with tools or have a way with words? From planning a fundraiser to repairing kennels, writing a newsletter or grooming dogs before adoption events, there are many talents that could benefit a shelter or rescue group. Ask if you can contribute yours.
Foster an Adoptable Dog
Fostering an adoptable dog can be incredibly rewarding, and is very important for rescue groups. Foster parents care for adoptable dogs in their homes until they are placed with their forever families. It’s a big commitment, but the benefits far outweigh the challenges. In addition to giving these dogs food, water and a temporary loving home, these amazing pet parents also help socialize the dogs and prepare them for their future homes. Some adoptable dogs may have had difficult pasts. Foster parents may be the first to show these dogs what it’s like to feel safe, loved and comfortable. Fostering can also help alleviate overcrowding in shelters. At shelters, when a dog is brought into foster care, a space opens at the shelter, allowing them to help another homeless dog in need.
Spread the Word
In addition to volunteering your time, you can volunteer information. If you care about an adoption organization and its pets, spread the word about it! Share information about the organization on social media, and help promote their fundraising events. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool. Have a friend that could use a canine companion? Ask him if he’d consider adopting a dog from the shelter or rescue group. The next time someone compliments your dog, say, “Thanks! We adopted him from [shelter]. It’s a great organization.”
Every dog deserves a good home. Volunteering can help make it happen. When you volunteer, you’re not just helping adoptable dogs. You’re helping future members of someone’s family.