Managing Pet Rescue
Michelle Liew Tsui-Lin
How to volunteer at an animal shelter
On a walk with my dog, Cloudy, a few evenings ago, I ran into a stray Labrador retriever which romped over to make friends.
It tugged at my pet loving heart strings as it scoured the grass for any edible morsels.
I took a look at Cloudy and my 13-year old schnauzer, Misty. My face fell. A reminder that we can't help them all stared at me starkly in the face.
I present a dilemma that pet lovers the world or have to deal with. our homes simply cannot accommodate all the pets we wish to rescue.
Still, we needn't fret, because there are ways for us to offer them a much needed hand. Our children can get happily involved too.
What makes pet rescue difficult
There are a few discomfiting factors that make the job of rescuing a pet a difficult one. The situation, sadly,seems to be perennial, unless everyone cooperates.
All pet owners face the problem of housebreaking their new puppies and clearing up after the messes they make. This is aside from having to deal with issues of excessive barking and separation anxiety.
The problem is not limited to puppies. Adopting an older dog means retraining him, acclimitizing him to his new environment and dealing with the same issues.
The issues can daunt any well-meaning pet owner.
All dogs, especially the large ones, need space to run around. A backyard or garden is ideal, though most dogs can adapt to living in an apartment.
In all cases, it simply isn't possible to accommodate every dog, no matter how much we want to
The lack of space for excess number of pets throws a curve ball in the way of pet rescue.
Adapting to family routines
Having family members with allergies or pet related phobias may stand in the way of owners who wish to provide a home to animals in need.
If you want to adopt a dog, consult the family and come to an agreement about the expectations
everyone has about having one. Visit the shelter and spend some time with the dog you intend to take home with you.
Then comes the exhausting and often work of getting the new dog to adjust to family routines, necessary to help it overcome issues like separation anxiety.
Governments of countries may have imposed regulations about the number of dogs each family can own. Breeds deemed dangerous may also be banned.
Necessary regulations make rescuing every stray cat or dog an extremely difficult task. Potential owners may be daunted by the whole list of sometimes personal questions shelters have to ask.
How would you help to rescue an animal if you can't adopt it?
Novel ways to help our pets
There are many obstacles to adopting a pet directly. We may not be able to adopt pets,but there are novel, interesting and effective ways to help them.
If it's not possible to physically rescue a pet, donations can be made to make the process a little easier.
Money will certainly come to good use. Shelters and adoption centers always need monetary donations to buy food supplies and other needs.
Toys, such as Kong toys, Hercules toys or nylon bones are always welcome by shelters to make animals' lives easier.
Other necessities like food dishes,leashes and crates are always welcome, as are medical and grooming supplies.
All these facilitate the running of shelters and help the animals until suitable homes can be found
Provide second opinions
Second opinions on adopted pets are useful, and often necessary for someone who hasn't owned a pet before.
If it's not possible to take in a pet, providing a valuable, experienced opinion to someone who has not owned one before will always help.
Buy animal welfare friendly products
On a shopping spree, buy products the proceeds of which will be donated to animal welfare groups.
The money will be useful for the running of campaigns and shelters.
You may not be able to take a pet in, but you can certainly volunteer at shelters to ensure their good care.
Volunteering can take place in other ways too. You can volunteer as an animal welfare counsellor or run an animal welfare hotline on its behalf.
Encourage vets to provide discounts for rescues
Your local vet can also be persuaded to provide discounts for pets which have been rescued to provide the monetary motivation necessary to own rescued pets.
Provide those who need assistance
Assistance can be provided in other ways. Transport and the distribution of flyers is always helpful in persuading people to own rescued pets.
Participate in fundraisers
Welfare groups always need funds, so running or participating in Fundraisers is always helpful.
Run a pets blog/website to place dogs for adoption
Connect with your shelter and obtain pictures of dogs available for adoption. Running a pets blog or website for that purpose is always helpful.
Organize events to help foster families get to know rescue dogs.
You may not be able to own a dog or cat yourself, but you can still organize activities that will help those who are looking to adopt dogs.
You can take a dog for a day and organize walk ins for families who may want to get to know it better.
Microchip your pets.
Make sure that your pets are microchipped. It makes it easier to find if it's lost and less likely to end up at an overcrowded shelter.
You can get children involved in pet rescue by..
- Fostering an animal
- Volunteer with the kids
- When you volunteer at pet shelters, take your children along. They can help to do a little feeding and cleaning.
- Create crafts/Fundraisers
- For a little fun, kids can create crafts that can be sold at Fundraisers for animal welfare groups. Your heart will be warmed by the response to them.
- Organize parties
- Organize children's parties where kids can get to know a rescue dog. Perhaps it can be brought to a child's birthday where their needs can be explained.
- Let your child bring a rescue dog for show and tell.
- Borrow a rescue dog from a shelter for your child to bring to show and tell. He can learn about and explain its needs to his friends.
- Make and distribute flyers
- Kids can help in the designing and printing of flyers that Tell people about dogs available for adoption.
Getting children involved
You can be a positive influence and spread animal awareness to the kids too. They can be involved in subtle or more direct ways.
Fostering an animal
An ideal situation will be to foster an animal and to get a child to know it as far as possible. Distract him from looking at pet shop windows as far as possible and explain that these animals often come from pet farms.
Volunteer with the kids
When you volunteer at pet shelters, take your children along. They can help to do a little feeding and cleaning.
For a little fun, kids can create crafts that can be sold at Fundraisers for animal welfare groups. Your heart will be warmed by the response to them.
Organize children's parties where kids can get to know a rescue dog. Perhaps it can be brought to a child's birthday where their needs can be explained.
Let your child bring a rescue dog for show and tell.
Borrow a rescue dog from a shelter for your child to bring to show and tell. He can learn about and explain its needs to his friends.
Make and distribute flyers
Kids can help in the designing and printing of flyers that Tell people about dogs available for adoption.
We may not be able to house all the animals in the world, but we can do what we can to help them.
Original work by Michelle Liew Tsui-Lin All Rights Reserved
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