Things Kids Can Do to Help Homeless Pets in Animal Shelters
Children often have the most compassion towards animals and pets. Unfortunately they also tend to feel the most helpless in terms of what they can do to help homeless cats, dogs and other pets. There are some things kids can do to help end suffering for homeless pets in animal shelters.
Volunteer at the Animal Shelter
Most animal shelters do allow kids to volunteer, however you may have to have an adult with you if you are below a certain age. Kids can walk dogs, play with the cats and other animals, or help in other areas such as fund raising. . Kids need an adult with them partially for legal reasons and to prevent the animal shelter from becoming a “baby sitting” service.
Volunteering at an animal shelter is safe, the shelter does not allow children to volunteer with dangerous animals, sick animals, or those who are just new. Child volunteers will only be working with animals in the adoption system. Their are actually many benefits to kids who volunteer at animal shelters, including that it looks great on a resume.
Animal shelters often hold their own fund raisers and kids are usually welcome to assist. These might involve pledge type activities such as “dog jogs”. Some shelters hold garages sales or Pet Washes. Kids can participate in most of these fund raisers, however they should not go out collecting money on their own because the public is often wary if the kids are just going to keep the cash for themselves.
Being Good Pet Owners
Many kids beg their parents to let them get a pet, but then fail to care for it. Granted, parents should never agree to a pet they are not willing to care for themselves, but this does not excuse their kids. The problem is that when kids do not care for a pet their parents then take it to the shelter. If kids really want to help pets they need to start by providing care to the pets they have at home. By keeping pets healthy and happy, they do not become problem animals.
It is usually neglected pets that become a problem. Untrained dogs, and those who do not receive enough stimulation, become bored and destructive and that is how some end up at animal shelters.
All cats and dogs should be spayed or neutered. This is the parents responsibility, but kids can help by making sure that all pets who are not spayed or neutered do not reproduce - if your cat is not fixed do not let it outside. Kids often think it would be great to have a litter of kittens, or puppies, but it is because so many people allow their pets to breed that we have a pet over population crisis. Right now, in the United States alone, over 4 million more cats and dogs are born every year for than will find homes.
Many people are using the social networking site, Facebook, children can promote their favorite animal shelter by sharing the shelter's website (if they have on) on Facebook. Kids who wish to do so should also share other pages related to pet care, the importance of spaying and neutering, and pages that encourage adopting a pet.
Some kids help homeless pets by planning their birthday party around helping animals. Instead of asking for gifts they ask kids to bring donations that their animal shelter needs most. You can call an animal shelter and they will tell you want they want and what they cannot use. Kids can then arrange to have a tour of the shelter with their guests, and can leave their donations at the time. Most shelters do not have rooms for a birthday party itself so for food and cake you will have to go someplace else. These tours should be arranged in advance.