Owning and caring for the life of a pet isn't for everyone. Life doesn't always offer that opportunity even though it's something you or your family would like or enjoy. Finances, time, space, ages of family members, allergies etc. all play a part in our decision in whether or not to own and care for a pet.
As an alternative, there are things you and your family can do that could provide you with that "wonderful pet fix" .
1. Consider sponsoring a pet through a rescue, humane society, or shelter of your choice.
Your sponsorship will help provide care for a particular pet while it waiting to find a new home.
2. Consider volunteering for a rescue, humane society, or shelter. Contact different groups to see what might be a good fit for you.
Note: If you sign up and follow through with the organizations requirements, be responsible. Be considerate and thoughtful. When you sign up for volunteer duty, show up.
3. Volunteer for off site projects
a. hold a neighborhood fund raiser for that organization
b. organize a supply drive to collect the things they need most (Organizations have "wish lists"). Don't take broken, unusable items that should be put in the trash bin.
c. Check to see if the organization can use blankets for cats and kittens (check to see what type of fabric should be used and the sizes needed)
d. Make cat toys. One idea - decorate empty plastic eggs or ping pong balls with permanent markers. These simple rolling toys are popular entertainment for shelter cats.
e. Make chew toys for rabbits and guinea pigs. Stuff empty toilet paper tubes with Timothy hay (available at pet stores). Rabbits and guinea pigs enjoy these tasty chewing treats.
**Always check with the organization to make sure your items are needed and appropriate. In volunteering your time, its important to remember your help shouldn't make more work for the organization workers.
4. Recycle things in your home (First - Always check with the organization to see if this is appropriate and needed)
a. old blankets and towels
c. shredded paper
d. empty cardboard tubes from toilet paper and paper towels
e. clean plastic shopping bags - used by dog walkers for cleanup
f. cans, aluminum and glass to be recycled. Better still, you recycle the items and then make a cash donation to the organization
5. Consider being a Foster home
Foster parents provide temporary care for cats, kittens, dogs and puppies. Some animals need as little as two weeks of care, while others may need care for a longer period of time. By offering your time, energy and home to an animal in need, you prepare the animal for adoption into a permanent home as well as help prevent overcrowding for a rescue, humane society or shelter.
For those of you interested in a particular breed, contact a breed rescue for information on fostering. Pet Finders is a great resource for specific breeds. Each rescue, humane society and shelter has their own set of guidelines. Always check first to see if this is a compatible fit for you, your family, and most important, the animal.
6. Organize a pet food drive and deliver food to the local food shelf to be distributed to needy pet owners. Check with the food shelf first to make sure they take and distribute pet food.
There are so many rewarding opportunities in any community. It's a way to make a positive difference. Remember the reward for a good deed is in doing it.
Resources and References used:
PAWS / Animal Humane Society / Pet Finders
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