Monday, June 24, 2024

ANIMALS 101 – LENDING A HELPING PAW

Bookmark
Bookmarked

HOW TO GET INVOLVED IN ANIMAL WELFARE AND HELP US SAVE LIVES.

Helping animal welfare can lighten the heavy load for the rescuers. Animal welfare is not just an 8h00 to 17h00 job! It is a job, that most do not get paid for and where your heart is shattered every day! Physically and emotionally, it drains you! If you ask a rescuer for help, that rescuer probably had at least 10 other people ask for help too on any given day. They do this along with running to pick up, drop off, going to the Vet, saving lives, feeding, care, bottle feeding, cleaning, medicating, and answering messages, while sometimes even having a full-time job and a family. It is particularly worse during the Christmas holidays!

YOU CAN HELP BY GETTING INVOLVED

Get involved with a local shelter or organization and be an animal hero. As a bonus, you’ll be surrounded by dogs, cats and other animals, and who doesn’t like that? Another bonus of building a relationship with shelters includes a direct link to the right people when you have a problem or emergency and can’t get hold of a vet.

First, find a reputable shelter and then contact them.

  • Call the shelter or drop by and ask to speak to the volunteer coordinator.
  • Introduce yourself – give your name, and age, and say that you live in the area.
  • Ask if they could use a volunteer or if there are other ways to help the shelter.
  • Find out how the shelter works by asking more questions – it will help you figure out better ways to help.

Sometimes they need volunteers to help feed, wash or walk and play with the animals. If you can’t or don’t want to work with the animals directly? Here is a list of just some other things you can do for the shelter:

  • Clean cages, the backyard, or even the shelter’s office.
  • Make phone calls or do other general office work.
  • Make holiday decorations for the shelter’s office and waiting room or for themed holidays.
  • Good with websites or social media? Help manage pages or groups and share posts.
  • Help educate others. Take pictures for the shelter(if instructed to do so) of new animals and learn how to put them up for adoption and network them.
  • Become a foster home for animals the shelter doesn’t have room for.
  • Assist with lost and found animals so they don’t become the shelters “problem”.
  • Offer any professional skills you might have like accounting, IT, plumbing, etc.
  • Help with fundraising ideas and projects.
Helping animal welfare – Image by The Paw Company

WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO TO LIGHTEN THE LOAD?

  • Make the time to read the resources we share even if it does not apply to you at the time.
  • Help us educate others, so tell at least one person what you have learned.
  • Spay & neuter your pets and don’t support any breeders,”free to good home” ads, pet shops, or animal dealers.
  • Always adopt, but from reputable organizations only!
  • Keep your animals safe in your yard so that your animals are not the ones that create an extra burden on the system. Microchip them and make sure the chip is registered on multiple databases otherwise, it’s useless.  Have an ID collar on too as that is a faster way to find the owners.
  • Get involved with reputable local organizations and learn how they operate, what their mandate is and what they need. 
  • On social media – like their posts, and share their post, especially adoption posts.  Commenting helps the algorithms, tag a friend, post a picture or a story update and leave a review!
  • If you can’t give money, you can help with fundraising events and support their events in other ways.
  • Look after the staff and rescuers or other volunteers who deal with the tough and heart-breaking parts of animal welfare every day. Buy a coffee or lunch, leave a note of encouragement, etc.
  • Support only reputable organizations that have proper adoption policies, who are transparent financially, etc.
  • Don’t’ get an animal if you cannot provide for all their needs.
  • Don’t give animals away, rather contact a local organization to facilitate a responsible adoption.
  • Don’t just move without including your pets in the long-term decisions.
  • Don’t blame shelters for what is happening, blame breeders, animal dealers and irresponsible owners.
  • Don’t support cruel practices or industries including zoos, aquariums, circuses with animals, petting farms, animal rides and more. This is stolen freedoms and exploitation of animals for human entertainment.
  • Join if they offer membership and help us hold them accountable by attending AGMs etc.
Helping animal welfare – Image from Pexels.com

PLEASE KEEP IN MIND

Animals always need help everywhere and we are grateful for everyone who helps! Sadly, too often we hear the phrase “someone do something”, including a picture of an animal that is dumped, hurt, or lost. Every animal welfare organization is already overwhelmed, which I can guarantee. Many people take in an animal that is hurt or dumped or lost and that is the right thing to do, but the problem comes in with the next step.

They call one of the organizations and just want to hand the animal over, feeling that they did their part. They get angry when the organization says can’t help at the moment and these individuals may even share this on social media. Usually, they do not offer to even donate food or funds or take the animal to someone, because they think the ”rescue” was enough. You are someone, you can do something.

Maybe the organization doesn’t have the resources to help at the moment.  The local SPCA for example is one of a few organizations with paid staff, but they are responsible for almost 20 towns.  If you phone them and the Inspector is in Delmas handling a cruelty case, then they can’t just jump in the car and drive back immediately because you demanded they help now. The organization probably already has at least 10 more animals than they can handle. Organizations are constantly overwhelmed with “do something” cases. You can lighten the load by helping one animal! If you don’t know what to do, there are many resources available and many rescuers will guide you too. You are someone, you can do something!

Also, read about pet loss and the grief that accompanies it.

There is a way for every person to help! It really takes a village and animal welfare organizations are constantly overwhelmed, especially during this time of year. Your time, skills, or funds can make a difference in the lives of animals.

Next week we will look at some pawsome new years’ resolutions.

WHEN YOU KNOW BETTER, DO BETTER!