How you can support animal shelters this festive season

The festive season is upon us and it is time to spread some love and cheer, especially to those furry friends that need it the most. Here are some easy ways that you can help animal shelters during the celebratory season.

For many pets, the festive season is filled with new chew toys, yummy snacks, quality time with their humans and a warm, comfy bed. But this isn’t the case for all dogs and cats, and many spend the summer evenings sleeping in an animal shelter. This will pull at the heartstrings of many paw parents, and will prompt the thought “What can I do to help?”

There are many caring and dedicated people who will be working throughout the festive period in animal shelters across the country and they need your help to ensure the doggies are wagging their tails and the kitty cats are purring.

Dust off your Santa Paws hat and lend a helping hand!

Here are a few ways that you can help animal shelters this festive season

Donate, donate, donate!

Your local animal shelter will always find a use for your pet’s gently used blanket or a new bag of kitty litter. And if you think that you don’t have anything worthwhile to donate, consider donating your time!

Donate gently used items

If your puppy has grown out of his old bed, or if your beloved kitty cat has crossed the rainbow bridge and you just don’t have the heart to throw away their food bowl, consider donating these items to your local animal shelter. Many animal shelters are operating at full capacity and don’t have sufficient blankets to give to each precious resident.

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The workers at these animal shelters will be more than happy to make use of your old blanket or spare food bowls – just ensure that the items are still in good condition and are cleaned before donating!

Donate your spare change

Monetary donations are always well-appreciated by animal shelters as there is always more than their budget allows. Monetary donations are usually used for the general upkeep of the shelter and their animals, as well as sterilisation and vaccination projects in vulnerable communities.

TEARS Animal Rescue is one of the country’s leading animal welfare organisations and leads many outreach programs, such as educating vulnerable communities on pet care and vaccination and sterilisation projects. Click here to learn how you can donate to help TEARS continue with its wonderful work in protecting and caring for animals.

Donate your time

You don’t need lots of puppy toys to donate or a pocket filled with money to help this festive season – your time is the most valuable donation that you can give! Animal shelters require volunteers to participate in a wide range of activities; from walking doggies to running the charity store, to heading up the fundraising committee! Contact your local animal shelter to see how you can spend a little bit of your time making a big difference in shelter animals’ lives this festive season.

Bring home a foster pet

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season gives many pets an opportunity to make a great escape from their homes, and as a result, many animal shelters have a few more residents than usual. Take the pressure off the already jam-packed animal shelters and give an adorable pup or cuddly cat a home for the festive season.

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If you have an extra pet bed at home or are desperate to bring a furry friend into your home but you cannot commit to bringing in a pup or kitty cat for the long run, this is a wonderful option for you. Welcoming a temporary family member into your home can make the holiday season extra special and filled with furry fun!

Before committing to bringing a foster pet home, ensure that the whole family (including the four-legged members too) is on board. It is important to make sure that your little ones understand that Fluffy or Mittens is just visiting until they find their forever home, otherwise you are going to have to deal with a few broken hearts down the road.

Read this wonderful article which names many different animal organisations that offer fostering opportunities: Pet fostering and adopting in SA: Where to go and why you should

Start a fundraiser

When creating your wish list this festive season, why not add a donation link that your friends and family can click on and make a direct donation to the SPCA! You can create your own fundraiser through the SPCA and raise funds for the SPCA and the incredible work that they do to protect and care for animals in South Africa. And the best part, it is as easy as 1,2,3! Click here to learn how to create your own fundraiser this festive season.

You’ve got a heart of gold for considering contributing to an animal shelter this festive season. Your contribution, no matter how big or small, will make a doggie wag his tail and a kitty cat purr this festive season.

Yours in Not-so-average Pet Advice,

The Team