Can’t adopt? Find other ways to help!

All the time people tell me how much they love animals, wishing they could save them all from the shelter and adopt them. Whether it’s their living, work or financial situation, there always seem to be something that prevents them from adopting. That’s okay! Some believe that you have to adopt animals to help them when that isn’t the case at all. Here are several other ways you can help these creatures.


If you fit into the category of unfavorable living or financial situations, volunteering is the perfect way to give back.

Myself along with other animal-loving Kent State student volunteering at a local animal shelter
Myself along with other animal-loving Kent State student volunteering at a local animal shelter

By volunteering at your local animal shelter, rescue or humane center, not only will you be helping an animal find a forever home, but you will also help the shelter to continue saving more creatures. Shelters are mainly non-profit Many centers only require several hours of work a week, while some don’t require any regular help. Another bonus, shelters often hold their adoption events or other fundraisers on the weekend, so if even if your work schedule fills the week, you’ll still have the weekends to give back. Find out what shelters in your area need your help.


(Left to right) My mom Carol holding Charlie and my sister Haley hugging Stella.
(Left to right) My mom Carol holding Charlie and my sister Haley hugging Stella.

Contrary to popular belief, donation’s don’t have to be money-related, though they can be if you have the means. Anyone who has a tight work schedule, unacccomidating living arrangement or even in a tight financial state can donate items. Donations vary depending on the shelter or organization, but many need bowls, toys, collars or grooming tools. These don’t have to be brand new! Gently-used items are welcome as well. They even need non-animal related items such as paper towels, sanitizer or office supplies. For those that want to make financial contributions, you can during shelter visits, fundraisers or even online.

*Want to take it a step further? Consider virtually adopting an animal.


Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter shelters nationwide every year, yet 2.7 million of them get euthanized because no one adopts them.  For those who have a tight budget or temporary living situation, fostering is perfect for you. Fostering a pet is a step below adopting, and still requires a time commitment, just not as strenuous as an actual adoption. To foster a pet would be to take them into your care either before they’re available for adoption or to free up a cage at the shelter. This allows you to have the experience of taking care of a pet while they are transitioning to their forever home. Many shelters cover all the costs, including food and medical, for the pet you foster. I’m personally a big advocate of fostering since I recently began this program myself. By taking a creature into your home temporarily, you provide an open cage for another one to be helped. For more information on what fostering a pet entails, check out the ASPCA description.

*Please note, all fostering programs vary depending on the shelter’s needs and funds. Contact your local shelter to find out more*

Use your voice

Homeless animals outnumber homeless people 5 to 1.  Information travels rapidly when using social media platforms. We all know you’re checking in on Facebook or scrolling through Twitter or Instagram daily, so why not use your social media savvy skills to help animals? Promote the adoptable creatures or local shelters through your accounts to generate buzz and attention.


My sister with her horse, Trixie
My sister always promotes the barn she works at and her horse on her Instagram.


You never know who may be looking for a new furry friend. Want to go above an beyond? Make it official by becoming a Shelter Pet PublicistNot into digital? Consider becoming an animal rights ambassador through programs like the World Wildlife Foundation’s Panda Ambassador or ASPCA’s Advocacy Center.

Whether it’s only volunteering once a month, donating a bowl every now and then or signing a petition at ASPCA’s Advocacy Center, every little action you make can positively impact the lives of creatures around the world. Still feel like you don’t know how to help? Visit popular animal advocacy websites such as the World Wildlife Fund, Peta, ASPCA or the Humane Society of the United States to learn about more ways to help.

Stay tuned for more creature-friendly tips to come.





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