There are millions of dogs, cats, bunnies and other animals in need of loving homes all over the United States. If you’re considering adding a furry or scaly member to your family, consider adopting from a shelter or a rescued animal.
Alternatively, you can foster an animal until they’re ready for their forever home. Fostering is a great way to help an animal while also learning more about what it means to be a parent or guardian. Sydney and Alexandria, both 12, have fostered more than 25 animals! They say that “fostering is hard but very rewarding.”
Another great way to help animals is to support your local animal shelter or rescue. Shelters and rescues are always in need of volunteers with a variety of skills. You might be able to walk dogs, clean cages or spend one-on-one time with cats. Maybe you’re good at marketing animals online or organizing events. Or perhaps you want to work in veterinary medicine or learn how to train dogs.
You can also show your support by donating money to shelters and rescues. This allows them to focus on saving more lives and providing more individualized care. Your donation could pay for food, supplies, crates or even a full-time staff member.
When disaster strikes, HSUS relies on volunteer Animal Rescue Teams to help save animals in need. These volunteers travel from across the country to assist with large-scale animal cruelty cases, mass euthanasias, natural disasters and other crises. Volunteers report that assisting with these rescue missions is a life-changing experience. They learn new skills, undertake new challenges and travel to parts of the country they’ve never been before.
The people who work at shelters and rescue groups give their hearts to the animals in their charge, and they’re often overworked and stressed. A little something, like a thank you note or pizza, goes a long way to showing them how much they are appreciated. You can also get involved by promoting your local shelters and rescue groups on social media, visiting their sites, dropping off treats or supplies, fostering pets and more.
Many animals are victims of illegal pet trades, commercial breeding operations and other forms of cruel activity. You can help by educating others about the issues and encouraging them to make humane choices when choosing where they buy their pets. You can also take action by contacting your local and state officials to demand stronger laws against animal cruelty.
Farmed animals endure unimaginable suffering on factory farms. They are separated from their young a few hours after birth, live in cramped and unnatural spaces and are killed well before their natural lifespan. You can help by supporting animal welfare organizations that rescue farmed animals, and you can speak up when you see someone mistreating a stray or domestic animal.