Friday, December 28, 2012

Easy ways to help animals all year long

Last month, we talked about ways to help pets during the holidays. Sadly, pets need help year-round, don't they?

So here are some easy ways you can help pets all year long. Some of these I've already mentioned in other posts... but some are new.

Shelter Drive-bys:
The concept of the shelter drive-by was so simple that it's worth doing year-round. Iams and the Helen Woodward Animal Center in California have a compiled a list of shelters across the country, and many have wish lists on their websites.

Find out what simple things the shelter by you needs -- hand sanitizer, kitty litter, paper towels, laundry detergent, that sort of thing. The next time you go to the store, pick up some things. Then just bring it by the shelter.

Ever heard of U Promise? The program came out about 10 years ago. Companies offered kickbacks for people who bought items using U Promise, and the money would go to college.

Adopt-a-Shelter is essentially the same thing, only it helps shelters.

There's three steps: Pick a shelter and shop hundreds of companies through the Adopt-a-Shelter site. Every purchase made means a commission for the shelter you select. All the money goes to that shelter. So if you're shopping online anyway, why not make the extra step and help a shelter?
Play a game every day, and win free food for shelter dogs and cats. is one of the most visited rescue donation sites on the web. And Halo Pets is the official sponsor, donating thousands of pounds of food every year to shelters and food banks around the world.

The Animal Rescue Site:
Another place were a simple click and help rescue animals get food. The Animal Rescue Site is a  partner of, the animal rescue site. Buying items from the site can also help.

Know any other sites that worth adding? Let me know and I will add them! I am keeping this post up year-round.


  1. Right now we're talking to the shop owner about making the Giving Tree for the Humane Society a year-round thing and not just for Christmas...And mom plays Free Kibble every morning...sometimes she even picks the right answer :)

    1. Awesome idea! My mom played Free Kibble, but I hadn't done it yet. I was amazed at how really easy it was.

  2. The drive-by is a great idea. I know that wet food for the dogs and cats, and towels and blankets, are needed at my local shelter. Collecting airmiles is another one that's easy if the rescue collects them.

  3. I like to encourage people to research the organization they are planning to donate to (money, services, or tangible needs), and support those who have proven that they are effective in the change that you want to support.

    For instance, check what percentage of pets the shelter saves (and if you support that), if the organization you want to donate funds to lobbies for legislation -- or if they mostly pad their pockets and paying large salaries to their leadership... yep, unfortunately this is an issue in animal welfare, and so on. Do you believe in reducing shelter deaths? Some rescues actually support the opposite to receive funds from certain places - something to look into. Do you want to help the homeless pets that are local to you? Might want to check where does your local shelter get their pets - from the city, or do they cherry-pick other areas while killing their "less adoptable" or older pets. This happens sometimes, and Google research can help you learn about great organizations to support, and perhaps ones that you may not want to finance/support.

    Check out what percentage of your hard-earned funds goes to the cause you want to donate to, vs marketing and salary. To me, personally, this is important. Some organizations (that you have heard of for sure) spend well over 90% on marketing, salary, and paying telemarketers. One well known organization spends less than 1% on the pets they market to you with (yep, that kitten on Sarah McLauglins lap receives less than 1% of your money). This is usually not true of the local small rescue, where most or all of the funds go directly to the pets they save.

    If you are donating tangible goods, make sure that the organization needs or uses what you are leaving there. They may have a million towels but no kibble (or vice versa), desperate for newspaper or don't use it at all.

    Sorry it's not links, but just a few ideas that I hope might help off the top of the head. :)


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