National Animal Shelter and Rescue Appreciation Week

Next week, November 6th to 12th, is National Animal Shelter and Rescue Appreciation Week.  The Humane Society of America estimates that there are 3,500 animal shelters in the United States that serve between 6 and 8 million homeless animals a year.  These numbers don’t include the animals helped by unaffiliated rescue groups.

At Pet Camp we think it’s important to celebrate the work of these amazing organizations every week, but that said, it’s great to have a week long shout out.  But what does this mean and what can you do to support our shelters and rescue organizations?  Here are five ideas from Friends of San Francisco Animal Care and Control on ways to help out right here in San Francisco:

  1. Volunteer: You might think you’re not the best person to volunteer because you don’t have a lot of time or don’t know a lot about dogs and cats – but be creative! If you can’t walk dogs or play with cats, maybe you can help with social media?  Don’t like big animals, try working with the “smalls.” Maybe you can help with fund raising or events? There are plenty of needs which means there are plenty of opportunities.
  2. Raise Awareness: In this world of emails, tweets, and posts, help San Francisco Animal Care and Control, SF SPCA, or your favorite rescue group get above the fray by sharing news of what your shelter is doing. “Like”, “friend”, or whatever else one does to help get the word out in this digital age.
  3. Collect Stuff: Ask your shelter what it needs and then go out and get it.  Many needs towels, toys, and treats.  Check first because many shelters receive donations they can’t use and then have to absorb the cost of finding them new homes or disposing of them.  Consider having a toy drive in your office lobby.  All of these are essential to ensuring an animals’ stay at a shelter or rescue is stimulating and stress free.
  4. Foster a Kitten or Puppy: Often there are kittens or puppies that are too young to be adopted or need special care. This is a time intensive effort – but unbelievably rewarding.
  5. Hold a Fund Raiser: There is always a need for cold, hard cash.  In San Francisco, there are a host of special programs at San Francisco Animal Care and Control that are not funded by the City of San Francisco.  These programs include Behavior & Training (which includes both evaluations, training and socialization of dogs), foster program support, and rabies and microchip supplies for quarterly clinics.  In addition there are rescue grants to support those organizations working with Animal Care & Control.  Lastly, there are purchases of equipment that the City has not included in ACC’s budget that enhance the well-being of the animals and staff.  Needs like these exist at shelters and rescue groups around the country.  If the mood strikes you, you can donate right here right now!

While we’ve given you five ways to support our local shelter, we suspect there are countless others.  Tell us what you’ve done to support your local shelter or rescue group.  And thanks in advance for supporting these groups in the year to come.

Thanks for reading.