National Animal Shelter Appreciation WeekEvery first week in November, the Humane Society of the United States celebrates National Animal Shelter Appreciation week. This week gives us the opportunity to raise awareness on behalf of the 3,500 shelters across the nation and the 7.6 million animals they serve each year. If you’ve been waiting for the right time to help your local shelter, now’s the perfect time to do it, and we’ve got some ideas of ways you can help.

Adopt a pet

You can help your local animal shelter by adopting a pet. A shelter’s ultimate goal is to see that all pets have loving families, but most animal shelters struggle to find room for all the pets they care for. When you adopt a pet, you are saving two lives: the life of the pet you are taking home with you and the life of the pet that will replace yours in the shelter. Every pet adopted brings us one step closer to achieving our goal.

Donate stuff

Shelters go through a lot of supplies caring for pets, and we are always needing something. Consider donating pet food, bleach, laundry detergent, newspapers, pet beds, or cat litter and litter pans. For a full list of items you could donate check out our wishlist on Amazon.com. You can use  it as a reference for donations to your shelter or you could donate to us. Anything you purchase on our wishlist will be shipped directly to us.

Donate time

Volunteering at a shelter can be a very rewarding experience. Shelters often need help walking all the dogs, playing with all the cats, washing food bowls, and unfolding newspapers. We welcome volunteers during our office hours Tuesday-Saturday from 10AM-6PM and we have many events where volunteers are needed. To learn more about volunteering with us check out our website.

Be a responsible pet parent

One of the many ways you can help your local shelter is by being a responsible pet parent. Have your pets spayed/neutered to help reduce the number of unwanted pets in shelters. Also, don’t buy your pets from pet stores or flea markets. These animals usually come from puppy mills and are kept in abominable living conditions. Buying pets from these places enables puppy mills to continue to abuse more animals. Also, make sure your pets have proper ID. Only 26% of dogs and 5% of cats who come in as strays are returned to their owner. Having a proper tag or microchipping your pets increases the likelihood that they will be returned to you.