(ANIMAL SHELTERS/PETS) According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), around six to eight million cats and dogs enter shelters every year. While three to four million of these animals are adopted, approximately 2.7 million healthy, adoptable dogs and cats are euthanized. Having limited funds and staff, local animal shelters are in constant need of help and support from the community. Read the article below for more facts on animal shelters and see how you can help make a difference in the lives of these animals. — Global Animal
Photo Credit: Roman Samokhin via Depositphotos.com
Approximately six to eight million cats and dogs enter animal shelters every year, according to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). Photo Credit: Roman Samokhin via Depositphotos.com

David Smith

Supporting Your Local Animal Shelter

Volunteer work not only benefits other people, it is also highly valued when it comes to the animals in our communities. Local animal shelters are institutions that are in need of volunteer support, and the donation of your time, or other resources, can be extremely helpful. These shelters are necessary in our societies because of uncontrolled breeding and irresponsible pet guardians. This results in abandoned and homeless pets that cannot survive on their own, which is where the shelters come in. However, many shelters have limited funds as well as staff members and are unable to take in or care for all the animals that end up in their facilities. This is why the support of community members can be vital in order to help the animals through this process and find loving homes.

Facts About Shelters

  • Not all shelters are the same and can be government-run or private facilities.
  • The quality of the individual shelters varies according to the people running them and the funds available to them.
  • The good shelters are staffed by professional, dedicated people and provide open-admission.  These types of facilities will provide treatment to sick and injured animals and the animals are kept in a clean and safe environment.
  • The shelters with poor conditions provide an unhealthy environment for the animals that end up there, where they are often exposed to neglect or abuse.
  • Many shelters are forced to euthanize animals that have not been adopted because they no longer have the space or funds to care for them.
  • “No-Kill” shelters do not euthanize animals that have not been adopted but will also turn away many animals because they do not have enough space for them or consider them to be unadoptable.
  • Most animal shelters provide a space for the temporary housing and care of homeless pets.
  • Animals that are turned away by shelters usually end up left on the side of the road or, in some cases they are disposed of in ways that result in their death or injury.

How You Can Help

Volunteering for a local shelter is one of the most effective ways to get involved and support a humane existence for all living creatures. Your efforts will lend a hand to others working with animals and you can help improve the lives of the animals in their care. You can achieve this in various ways with the use of your time, skills or even donations. These are some ways that you can contribute:

  • Work to spread the message of animal protection and responsible pet guardianship.
  • Find a shelter that needs help with cleaning and caring for animals and lend your time to them to keep the facility in good condition.
  • Support with general office work at the shelter.
  • Use skills to help promote the shelter, or help people find or adopt pets, with photography, web design etc. 
  • Foster pets until they can be placed in a permanent home.
  • Donate food, or other items such as blankets, toys or grooming supplies, to the shelter.
  • Help transport animals for visits to the vet.
  • Offer to help walk the dogs in the shelter.
  • If you don’t have the time to volunteer you can always donate cash resources.
  • You can also call your local shelter and ask them about their specific needs.
Volunteers can be a vital resource for animal shelters and contribute to the well being and quality of life of the animals there. Limited budgets and staff members can make it difficult to care for all the animals that end up in your local shelter, but your dedication and support can make the lives of everyone involved a little bit easier.

Author Bio: David Smith works as the Online Marketing Coordinator for VolunteerCenter.com. His interests lie in alternative rock, the occasional glazed donut, and finding opportunities to better the local community.

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