How to Help Animal Shelters: Nine Ways You Can Make a Difference

| 6 min read Financial Assistance

There are hundreds of humane societies and SPCA shelters in Canada alone, taking in over 100,000 dogs and cats each year combined. Sadly, only about half of these animals ever find a home. There are many ways to help pet shelters, from volunteering at a shelter to fundraising for animal charities. The more we all do our part to help animals in need, the easier life will be for homeless pets and those awaiting adoption. Learn how to help animal shelters below.

Start an animal fundraiser

Nine ways to help pet shelters

There are many ways to help animal shelters, and most of these involve a donation of some kind—whether that’s raising animal shelter donations through crowdfunding, or donating your time as a volunteer. Let’s take a look at nine great ways you can help pet shelters, and how fundraising can help amplify your impact.

1. Support spay and neuter programs

Animal overpopulation is a growing problem, and can be greatly reduced by spaying and neutering your pets. Overpopulation contributes to overcrowded shelters and the 10 – 15% of the animals face euthanasia each year. Start an animal fundraiser to support spay and neuter programs in your area, and share your fundraiser on social media to spread the word about your cause.

2. Sponsor a shelter animal

One generous way to help pet shelters is to sponsor a shelter animal. Your donation will go toward food and supplies, and can help with veterinary bills for the dog or cat you sponsor. A sponsorship donation helps to relieve some of the expenses animal shelters face, allowing them to make the most of each dollar. Share your idea with family and friends, and ask if they would be interested in sponsoring a shelter animal of their own.

3. Organize an adoption event

You can organize an adoption event through your work, church, or other community organization. In some cases, you may even be able to partner with a local animal shelter to help them organize a successful event. Paired with a fun community event, like a photo contest, your adoption event can even double as a fundraiser to help animal shelters.

4. Fundraise to adopt a pet

Adopting a pet can be expensive, with many costs going toward adoption fees and pet supplies. Every animal adopted from a shelter must also be spayed and neutered, as well as have their shots up to date. Starting a fundraiser to help cover adoption costs can be a wonderful way to help homeless animals find a forever home, while freeing up space in animal shelters. 

5. Raise money for shelter supplies

Crowdfunding can be a great way to raise money for necessary shelter supplies. Among the top supplies animal shelters use the most include dog and cat food, kitty litter, chlorine bleach to stop the spread of disease, and collapsible wire crates to transport animals. Be specific when asking for donations, and provide a breakdown of costs. Within your fundraiser, include a list of typical costs for shelter supplies, so donors know exactly how and where they can contribute.

6. Raise money for new shelter facilities

New and improved shelter facilities can make a big difference in the quality of life for homeless animals. New facilities are designed with efficiency in mind, and can usually hold more animals than older shelters. Many new shelters also include indoor and outdoor exercise areas for dogs and cats. Start a fundraising campaign to secure animal shelter funding, and get your local government involved. Write to your local representatives explaining why a new shelter is needed, and collect public signatures in addition to donations.

7. Start a veterinary fundraiser

Many homeless shelter animals require veterinary care, and sometimes this means expensive surgery. Starting a fundraiser to raise money for surgery costs can make a huge difference in the quality of life for a shelter animal. Your donation can even increase the chances of adoption, as animals with medical issues are more difficult to adopt.

8. Volunteer your time

Animal shelters are in constant need of dedicated volunteers, and you can do your part to help your favorite animal shelter by volunteering your time. Volunteer duties include socializing dogs and cats, taking dogs on walks, cleaning kennels and feeding animals, and helping with the adoption process. You can also volunteer as a foster parent so you can provide a loving, temporary home to shelter animals. 

9. Start an animal rescue

Starting an animal shelter can be a lot of work, but starting an animal rescue is an easier option. Animal rescues often operate through a network of volunteers, offering temporary homes to dogs and cats awaiting adoption. A meaningful way to help rescue animals is to start a rescue organization of your own. Reach out to your friends and family to find volunteers, and ask your network to spread the word about your animal rescue on social media. Partner with an animal shelter, so you’ll be the first to receive animals if the shelter is full.

People who started fundraisers for animal shelters

Take a look at the ways others are using fundraising to help animal shelters.

Emergency relief for animal shelters

Nicole Simone founded Redemption Paws after the devastating Hurricane hit Houston in Aug 2017. Since then, she’s made it her mission to rescue dogs from disaster areas, rehome them in Canada. She has raised tens of thousands through a number of campaigns in support of her mission.

Raise funds for adoption fees

Andrew started a fundraiser to support adoption fees for the Abilene Animal Shelter in Texas, where he volunteers. Unfortunately, the shelter is not a no-kill shelter, so finding each animal a home is an urgent and important need. Andrew was able to raise more than his $2,000 goal, helping support the adoption of dozens of animals.

You can raise animal shelter donations today

Knowing how to help animal shelters is the first step in making a difference in the lives of homeless pets. There are many ways to use crowdfunding to benefit shelters, and each is uniquely rewarding for both people and pets. Sign up today to create your fundraiser, and help animal shelters in your community.

Start a fundraiser

Written by caitlin