Since October is Adopt a Shelter Pet Month, we want to take a look at some of the ways you can help shelter pets without adopting them. Whether you already have multiple pets or simply aren’t in a position that allows you to take on the responsibility of bringing a pet into your home, the good news is there are still ways you can help. So if you love animals and want to know what you can do to support animals that are in need, here are five great options:

1. Drive

Over the last decade, several hundred thousand dogs have been driven from shelters around the United States to rescue organizations. This is especially common in rural southern areas. Since rescue organizations need drivers who can bring in these animals, volunteering to work as one can allow you to play a direct role in saving dogs’ lives.

2. Serve as a Foster Home

Although you may not be in a position to permanently take in a new pet, you may be able to do so on a temporary basis. If you are in this type of position, just about every rescue is in need of foster homes. You can easily learn more about this opportunity by looking up shelters around Cincinnati or West Chester and calling them.

3. Volunteer

Most shelters depend on volunteers to run their daily operations. Whether you only have a few free hours a week or a couple of free days, you can make a real difference by volunteering at a shelter. In terms of exactly what you’ll do, it will depend on the shelter. Common volunteer tasks include mailing applications, walking dogs, making phone calls for the shelter or helping with daily tasks like feeding or cleaning.

4. Donate

If you want to help the animals at a local shelter but simply don’t have any spare time in your schedule, you’re definitely not alone. Between professional and personal responsibilities, it’s easy to be booked up from morning until night. The good news is you can still help out by donating. In addition to simply donating money, if you have any kind of connection to a resource a shelter may need, it’s worth contacting one and finding out the best amount of that resource for you to donate.

5. Offer Specialized Skills

As small organizations trying to make a big impact, shelters may not have all of the specialized skills at their disposal that they would like. Whether you’re an expert in marketing, fundraising, design or any other skill, finding a shelter you resonate with and then helping in a specialized way can be a win-win for both parties.

Whether you drive, serve as a foster home, volunteer, donate or offer specialized skills, your involvement with a shelter can help save the lives of amazing animals. And since we’re talking about shelters when the holiday season is right around the corner, we encourage you to read & share our post from last year about why dogs don’t make good Christmas gifts.

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