National Animal Shelter and Rescue Appreciation Week
This week is designated National Animal Shelter and Rescue Appreciation Week. I’m not sure who created the ‘week’, I think the Humane Society, but it’s certainly a worthy cause. Our shelters do amazing work with limited funds, resources and a growing overpopulation of dogs, cats & other pets needing homes.
We adopted our last three dogs through shelters or from a rescue. We visited our local shelter several times during our hunt for a new family member and know first hand the challenges they face.
Funding is obviously a huge issue for these agencies & groups. Big, nationally renowned shelters like Best Friends or North Shore Animal League or Hope for Paws, a large rescue run by Eldad Hagar here in LA famed for those gut wrenching rescue videos, struggle just as much as the smaller local, breed rescues. So, if you have extra money lying around donate some of it to the shelter or rescue of your choice.
Since most of us don’t have extra money lying around, here’s some other options for helping the shelter but also showing your appreciation for what they do.
From Adopt-a-Pet, a list of things you can do for shelter workers to show your appreciation. I love this list – it’s basic Appreciation 101 – write a thank-you note, send a gift, shake their hand, SAY thank you! Perfect suggestions to show those folks who dedicate so much of their time and energy to the shelter and the pets there just how much you appreciate them.
Here’s a list from the Humane Society. Their options are a bit larger in scale, but my favorite is VOLUNTEER. I know many of us would love to foster if we could, but can’t for whatever reason, but volunteering is extremely helpful and easier to do. SlimDoggy Steve volunteers with a local Labrador Rescue and visits various fosters and takes the dogs out for exercise. This is not only good for the dog, but a relief for the foster family too. It’s dual benefits pay off in a happier and healthier dog able to present a calmer demeanor and therefore more likely to be adopted than the hyper guy locked behind a kennel bouncing off the walls from lack of exercise.
The message here is that we all have a talent or a skill that we can offer, be it in the form of walking shelter dogs or maybe homemade treats or toys for them to play with or even just answering the phone at the shelter so the shelter workers can get a lunch break. We can all do something. This is the week to do it. But don’t limit it to this week – start this week, but do it all year.
Here’s our three rescues – don’t know what we would do without them.