Monday, November 22, 2010

good deeds ~ furry, four-legged friends!

happy thanksgiving week to the U.S. folks! can you believe it's that time already?! and along with a week full of {hopefully} turkey, family, and giving thanks, i have another fun community service idea - this time it's a hairy one {no, i don't mean grandpas}!

there are tons of animal shelters and rescue organizations who have taken in stray, sick, abandoned, and death-row animals who could use a variety of support. here are some ideas on how you can do some good for our furry, four-legged friends.

for those of you who are looking for a pet this holiday, i highly encourage you to seek out and adopt those loving animals who have been rescued, especially adult animals who are harder to find homes for (bonus - adult animals are already housebroken, calm, and quite cuddly!). there are also lots of kittens and puppies, if you want to start at the beginning. i was actually told that it is currently kitten season and many shelters are overrun with cute kitties right now {bah!}.

another great idea is fostering. i used to think fostering would be hard on animals, but talking to some volunteers set me straight. fostering is an awesome idea for dogs and cats {also horses, birds, rabbits, etc.} because:

1.} dogs & cats in shelters are stuck for long hours in small cages, all by themselves. having a foster home means being around people, going on walks, getting fresh air, playing in the grass, watching the birds, and getting exercise!

2.} having foster homes means more room in the shelter to rescue other animals. there are hundreds of animals in need of being rescued every day, but the shelter can only accommodate so many. providing a foster home means you are helping the shelters save more lives {you'd be a hero!}.

3.} fostering ultimately helps animals get adopted into loving homes faster. when you foster, you act as a sort of walking advertisement to reach more people who may be looking to adopt. dogs get “adopt me” scarves to wear on walks, and foster parents are encouraged to let their friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors know about an animal in need of a home. since you get to know the animal, you can honestly let potential owners know if the dog or cat is what they are looking for in a pet.

a note on fostering - all of the food and supplies are provided by the shelter, so you don't have to let a tight budget be the one thing that stops you. if you choose to buy things for the animal then keep those receipts because it's all tax deductible as a donation. most shelters also provide a reduced adoption fee if you fall in love with your foster animal and decide to keep him/her forever!

of course, not everyone can adopt or foster - they are both big responsibilities! but that’s totally okay. many shelters need people to give just a little bit of their time to volunteer with:

* playing with the animals at the shelter
* giving them a good brushing or scratching
* helping run adoption events
* taking the dogs on walks {some shelters even let you take them to the beach or mountains!}
* washing animal beds & blankets
* giving them lots of love!

of course, shelters also need people to donate money and supplies. however, i know for a lot of us, donating time is more practical than donating money. it is my hope that we can all find a way to do some good with whatever level of support we are realistically able provide.

i'm planning to foster soon {hopefully the beginning of the year}! in the meantime, i’m hoping to take some cute dogs on a walk this week. care to join me?


  1. I would love to join you! This is another brilliant post, Kim. I spoke with one of my friends who knows lots about this stuff awhile ago. Volunteer organizations also need last minute help rescuing animals from being killed, so that's another thing people can do. And she mentioned that when it comes to donations, it's best to send money to a volunteer organization where every cent will be used to help animals rather than to a shelter (you could inadvertently support practices you disagree with).

  2. I want to adopt so bad! ALthough I love puppies, I hate training them. Such a pain. I am going to adopt one day!

  3. This is such a wonderful post! I think animals are my number one favorite cause to fight for and donate time and money too, because they make our lives so much better and because they can't speak up for themselves. I can definitely see myself being a foster mama in the future, just to know that a sweet little fur baby has the love and interaction they deserve while they're waiting to find a home!

  4. yes, yes, yes, YES. Although I would love to adopt (or foster!) I am living with a roommate while still in college who is allergic. My hands are tied for the next year and a half.

    However, VOLUNTEERING at a shelter is so amazing. You get to see the animals and interact with them, get an idea of their personalities (and tell others about it), plus you're helping those animals get out of their cages for another couple of minutes during the day.

    You'll feel so good and I swear you'll be just as happy as the animals if you go in. There's no better way to immediately add a bit of love into your life!

  5. My aunt actually has two dogs that were originally fosters that she ended up not wanting to let go - so she adopted them!

    Such a wonderful post lady!

  6. i love this! both of our kitties are rescues, i would never get a pet any other way. i need to research volunteering in the atlanta area. thanks for posting!!

  7. What a great post, and so very true. Our four-legged friends are always in need of our help. Thanks for raising awareness on an important issue!!

  8. I love these good deed posts, particularly this one. My adopted kitty is the best part of my day. I adore her! And I can tell that she is so happy to live in a good home. I wish that more people would adopt instead of going to breeders.

  9. I am loving your posts full of ideas for supporting others, animals included!

    I'm looking at my cat right now, all curled up on the couch by the fire, and thinking how awful it would be if he were outside in the cold with no warm house to come in to... (and now I'm getting all weepy, oh dear!)

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful ideas! You are a gem.