November is traditionally a time to give thanks, and we as dog lovers and fans of felines can show how thankful we are for the efforts of those who care for our homeless four-legged friends during National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week.
Established by The Humane Society of the United States, the pet holiday is celebrated annually on the first full week of November.
By shining a spotlight on the estimated 3,500 animal shelters from coast to coast and the approximately 6 to 8 million companion animals who find themselves in the US shelter system each year, the observance stresses the need for potential pet parents to adopt rather than shop for a furry family member.
Taking Part in National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week
If you are interested in lending a helping hand to shelter staff in your neighborhood, you can:
- Volunteer: Give thanks by giving your time to the paws cause! By taking an adoptable dog out for a stroll, socializing a stray kitten, laundering snuggly blankets or taking appealing pictures of adoptables to post on social media, you will bring joy to a canine or cat…and that happiness will help to attract potential pet parents!
- Foster: Open up a much-needed kennel space at your local shelter at opening your home on a temporary basis to a dog or cat in need. You could potentially be saving two lives– that of the animal you have welcomed into your residence, and the homeless pet who now has a place at the shelter thanks to the cage you have made empty.
- Donate: Make a cash contribution, or donate pet toys, blankets, or daily cleaning items to your local shelter. Don’t know what to purchase? Many animal shelters have posted a wish list of items that are desperately needed. Also, if your area animal shelter has a fundraising thrift shop you can clear out the clutter in your closet, with the sales of your “previously loved” items helping animals who want a special someone to love!
- Spread the Word: It’s been said that a picture speaks a thousand words, and snapshots of shelter animals can speak volumes to potential pet parents! By simply sharing photos of shelter animals from Petfinder, AdoptAPet, PetHarbor or Petango via social media channels you can help a dog or cat in need picture a better life.
- Adopt: If the time is right for you to welcome a fur baby into your family, look for your “puppy love” at your local shelter. From one-of-a-kind mixed breed canines to our purebred buddies who bark (who make up an estimated 25 percent of dogs in US shelters) you will be able to find a tail-wagging chum at a shelter!