Five Ways To Help Animals In Need This Holiday Season

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You can make a difference for homeless pets in your community and it’s so much easier than adding another pet to your family. As the holidays approach, shelters and rescues are in need of deliveries from Santa. The good news is that you can be Santa’s helper and make a big difference to animals in need.

Recycling for pets – Skip the recycling bin and donate newspapers to your local shelter. Old sheets, blankets and towels are also needed to help keep pets warm during the winter. Check out wish lists on local rescue’s websites and add some extras to your shopping cart like paper towels, bleach and other items.

Pet food pantries – When times get tough financially, some families must give up their family pet because pet food is out of the family budget. Many communities now have independent pet food pantries, run by non-profits or animal rescue groups, or offer pet food as part of their regular pantries. Donations of pet food, cat litter, collars, leashes, toys and pet bed are greatly needed.

Shopping for pets – You can help pets by searching and shopping online. Register with GoodSearch and your pet non-profit receives a penny each time you search. Use iGive and Adopt A Shelter and that group will receive a percentage of your purchase. Many groups have online holiday shopping sites that let you tackle two things at once – shopping and giving back. You can find cool holiday gifts from pet products to candles to jewelry and more while a percentage of your purchase goes back to help homeless pets.

Sponsor an animal – Many shelters and rescues have sponsorship programs to help pay for the care of certain animals. This time of year Tree of Hope and Giving Tree Campaigns also give you options for donating.

Volunteer – Organizations need help caring for the animals, fundraising, going to local events or assisting with community education and public relations. Some shelters need help even more after the holidays. Fosters are also needed and some groups may need temporary fosters during the holiday – it’s a great way to get started fostering without a longer-term commitment.

Kathy Mordini is a freelance writer that covers the Chicago animal rescue community and pet trends. She writes daily on Read her column online and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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