- Photo By: Maji Beach
We are all passionate about a cause, a movement or we try to stand for something. Either because it hits close to home, or it may be a personal interest, or we simply feel very strongly about it; those of us especially keen on our animal counterparts understand. Any animal lover knows the unconditional respect and love for these special beings that share this earth with us, even more so if you have pets of your own. You understand they are intelligent, loving, loyal and honest creatures who deserve a happy and healthy life. Unfortunately, the reality is that not all live the best lives they can live. Therefore, put your love and passion to work and do your part to help animals, even if it is just one animal that benefits from your effort.
Here are 6 ways to do your part and help animals by getting involved!
- Photo by: Tiani Taylor
Many organizations rely on donations and volunteers to keep their cause afloat. Most animal organizations are non-profit and are set up this way for the simple reason of fully supporting their work within their cause. Instead of distributing its organization’s surplus income to shareholders for profit, they use its revenue to further achieve its purpose and mission. There are many noble organizations where your donation to help animals will be put to good use. To name a few:
Best Friends Animal Society whose motto is “Save Them All.” Their purpose is to work toward one day completely eliminating kill shelters so no animal ever has to die because they are considered too old, sick or problematic. They operate the nation’s largest no-kill sanctuary.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), established in NYC, whose message is “anti-cruelty.” They believe animals are entitled to respectful and kind treatment and protection under the law. Legally, there has always been an issue with how animals are viewed. Unfortunately, they don’t have the same rights as we do, going as far as calling them “property” rather than a living being. ASPCA combats that with their 3-step program of rescue, placement, and protection because they believe they should have the right to be treated with kindness.
LA-based rescue organization Hope for Paws was established to help animals suffering on the streets, in shelters, and often those who die because of abuse and negligence. They believe in second chances and the pursuit of happiness for every animal they rescue.
Any donation big or small is being put toward ensuring a better tomorrow and life for a very deserving animal.
As stated, organizations rely on the efforts of those invested. Go a step further to help animals and be at the heart of the movement yourself. Volunteering is a great way to get involved and understand more of what goes on behind the scenes. So change gears and check out your local shelters! Offer your time and service whether it is educating people about the great work that goes on or directly working with the animals themselves. Here are some local shelters/rescues you can help out!
St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center Noah’s Ark in Ledgewood caters to the care of dogs, cats and small animals rescued by animal control, natural disasters, abandonment or overcrowded shelters. They provide services such as adoption, pet food pantry, and low-cost spay/neuter. They even have two other locations in Madison and Somerville to choose from!
Eleventh Hour Rescue in Randolph focuses on saving animals from kill shelters giving them the necessary means of a foster home, medical attention and care until they find their forever homes. Their mission: “We rescue dogs and cats at their Eleventh Hour—when they are scheduled to be put to death by shelters that can no longer care for them…We will not stop until all of the cages are empty.”
S.O.S Pets in Rockaway is a small cat rescue group. Taking care of our feline friends they ensure they get the full service of being spayed/neutered, vaccinated, treated for illness and fleas and deworming. They also help animals by taking care of many feral colonies nearby!
- Photo by: The.Rohit
3. Fund Raising
If you’re the creative type that enjoys talking and engaging in projects, fundraising is the way to go to help animals! Pick a topic you’re passionate about or perhaps in which you want to see a change. You noticed the local lake hasn’t been looking its best and is flushing out the turtles that inhabit that area and you want to set up a cleaning expedition or re-location transport for the reptiles; or maybe you want to help out a local shelter or business that are doing great work for which you would like to flow in more traffic.
Check in with your township on any processes or requirements if it directly involves your town. Your enthusiasm and drive will get people involved and participate where they can. Make it fun, invite friends and their pets and make posters or flyers with reasons why this is important and why they should care. Talk, meet and interact with others who are just as passionate. All it takes is one spark to light the match.
4. Support Local Businesses
Perhaps time isn’t easily available to you to set up a fundraiser or volunteer. The next best thing you can do to help animals is to support your local businesses. Shopping at a pet store, using a doggy daycare facility or contracting a dog walking and sitting company, contributing to the businesses growth is a way to ensure that the work you agree with thrives. Local businesses blossom from the relationships and support their neighbors give. These companies are started and operated by people you know; maybe they really are your neighbor!
Canine Concierge, for example, prides itself in providing the highest level of care possible for your pet. Not only because it is morally right, but because we understand that a dog isn’t just a dog but an extension of your family. We understand the trust it takes to let someone else in on the care of your pet, therefore, we hold ourselves to high standards. This dedicated company was established 14 years ago by a local Parsippanian who turned her passion for animals into a dream and then into a reality. Supporting your locals in their business shows the utmost comradery that you agree with their mission.
This next way to help animals is perhaps the most significant and hardest. Fostering directly puts you in the situation of seeing for yourself day-by-day what your efforts can do. You become the safe haven for an animal that needs it the most. Often you may take in an abused or neglected animal that really needs your time, attention and patience. You get the opportunity to build them up again and show them kindness. Fostering is a responsibility, therefore, one you want to make sure you are ready to take on. If you are, it is extremely rewarding when you see your efforts reflected in a happy and healthy animal. Most shelters help with daily/medical costs of the animal while they are in your care and often times forever homes are found quickly; hence giving you the opportunity to take in another soul that deserves a chance.
Tip: If fostering is something you can’t commit to at the moment consider sponsoring an animal. Whether that is a dog or elephant, you can do your part even if they aren’t physically in your home.
- Photo by: C.E. Timothy Paine
6. Educate Yourself
Knowledge is the biggest beacon of understanding, while lack of knowledge is the biggest creator of ignorance. Getting involved and doing your part is only one aspect of your aid in any movement or cause. The biggest help you can do for any single organization is being an advocate; a walking billboard. It’s as easy as taking a class at your local shelter about dog behavior.
Example: Maybe one day you see someone having a tough time with their dog. Advocate for the dog, explain what you know, the possibilities of why the dog is exhibiting this behavior. Due to lack of knowledge, animals do get surrendered because their owners don’t understand the cause of something that with a little more understanding could have been resolved.
Read books, articles, take a few classes. Learning a little more about something will only have positive outcomes.
- Photo by: Stacy