Happy National Rescue Dog Day!
Each year, May 20th is recognized as #NationalRescueDogDay - a day to bring awareness to the thousands of dogs awaiting their forever homes at animal rescues. This day is important to me because I got my dog, Ziggy, from a rescue in Hartford, CT. The rescue I got him from took him and several other dogs from a kill shelter in Arkansas to try to give them a better chance at finding a home. Lucky for me, I stumbled across Ziggy on his first day in Connecticut and knew immediately that he was mine.
Having been President of a student organization at the University of Connecticut called Paws and Claws, I quickly learned just how many dogs there are in rescues across the country. Paws and Claws works closely with rescues to volunteer and fundraise so that they can continue the important work that they do. While I am incredibly proud of what Paws and Claws has accomplished to assist animal rescues, I know that this is an issue that won't be solved unless EVERYBODY contributes and does what they can to promote and alleviate this issue. So here are some simple ways to help your local animal rescue:
Donate! Rescues cannot operate without 2 major things: volunteers and donations. Being a rescue means that they do not receive any funding from the state to maintain their operations. If you have a rescue in mind that you would like to help out, go to their website to see how you can donate money to help their cause. Do it honor or your pet or in remembrance of a previous pet. Or text your friends and pool together some loose change to donate even more!
Volunteer! This is the other major factor that keeps rescues operating. Any spare time you have to spend at the rescue is always much appreciated. Even just an hour cleaning kennels over the weekend helps them out a lot. Plus, if you go with some friends and offer to walk their dogs around the block, it's a TON of fun. Not every rescue offers dog walking as a form of volunteering, but it doesn't hurt to email them and let them know what you can offer. If you're good with a camera, many rescues also welcome anybody who can take beautiful photos of their dogs to put on their website and social media. A professional camera and some good lighting makes them stand out and grab the attention of a potential adopter!
Post on social media! These days, social media is EVERYTHING. Without it, how would we have any idea of what's going on in the world?!?! You can spread awareness about #AdoptDontShop or #SpayAndNeuter campaigns be simply sharing a post or writing a quick facebook status. Facebook also makes donating and promoting awareness easier than ever with their fundraising feature.
Pet Some Pups! If you really don't want to donate or volunteer, then you just pop by the rescue and spend time petting and talking to the dogs. They might not know what you're saying, but they will appreciate the attention. Just be sure to call ahead and make sure that's okay with them!
Spay/Neuter Your Dog! Okay, this one takes a little more money on your part and isn't quite as easy as hitting the 'Share' button on Facebook, but it is probably the most important thing you can do to reduce the number of dogs (and cats) that end up in shelters. One of the leading causes of high numbers of pets in rescues is overpopulation due to pets that are not neutered/spayed.
Okay, now go give your fur-baby some love and treats. And be sure to share this post on #Facebook and #Instagram and tag @dogmomintraining and let your friends know which rescue you will be supporting this year!
Picture Credits: Mutts Comics