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Helping Dog Rescue Centres

Updated on September 22, 2014

How We Can Help Dog Rescue Centres?

With so many dogs now in rescue, these dog rescue centres really need a helping hand. On this page we explore how we can help dog rescue centres whether you have lots of time or only a little there are ways to help.

Dogs end up in rescue for many reasons.

Most people do not get a dog intending to give him or her up but things happen in life and sadly the dog ends up in a rescue centre. Divorce, death of owner, eviction, allergies, serious illness, going into a care home that wont accept dogs, new baby etc. Then there are the cruelty or neglect cases.

Many of these dogs find themselves in dog rescue centres who try their best to give the dogs a decent, warm home while they look for their forever home. Some run totally on volunteers, others have a small paid staff and much help from volunteers. Over the years and depending on my circumstances I have tried to help dog rescue centres in different ways.

So how can we help?

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Donate Warm Blankets

Bedding For Dog Rescue Centres

Dog rescue centres almost always need more warm blankets and sheets for the dogs. Imagine the huge amount of washing that has to be done to keep everything clean and fresh.

Also some dogs will rip up their blankets out of fear or frustration of their lives being so disrupted and being in kennels. Some dogs just like to dig in their blankets.

Especially puppies and older dogs need many soft warm blankets and cosy dog beds to snuggle down into to help to keep them as warm and healthy as possible in the winter months. Greyhounds and lurchers also benefit from any old cleaned quilts and comfy dog beds.

So do not just throw out old sheets blankets and quilts to go onto landfill, give your local dog rescue centre a ring and see if they would like any of it. Just wash them before you take them down..

The other thing that often seems to be in need is coats for dogs like greyhounds who really feel the cold.

Other items dog rescue centres often need is household items like washing up liquid, clothes washing powder or liquids, drying cloths,soap, dog shampoo, rubber gloves etc. Just ask them what they need.

A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself

Josh Billings

Dog Food

A Tin Of Dog Food?

If we have our own dog could they spare one tin of dog food or some of a bag of kibble or a few tasty treats for dogs that are in rescue?

If we don't have a dog is it within our means to add one tin of dog food, or a dog treat to our shopping once a month or once a week or even once a year?

Reasons Dogs End Up In Rescue

Time To Walk A Dog?

Dog Walking And Care

If we like dogs and like walking could we consider helping out at a dog rescue centre once a week once a month to give the dogs in kennels a break and a nice walk to stretch their legs and have some new sights , sounds and smells?

We do need to be quite fit and healthy to do this volunteering and prepared to walk a variety of dogs small and large. However some rescues will allow you to specify if you feel you can only walk smaller dogs.

You also need to be confident with dogs and not be afraid of walking into a kennel full of barking dogs. Most are very friendly in my experience and the kennel staff can usually tell you of any specific safety you want to be aware of ie the dog that will run out of his kennel or the one that jumps up etc.

It is best of you can be prepared to walk in most weathers as dogs need to be out whether the sun is shining or not! Make sure you have good sturdy walking shoes, appropriate clothing for the weather and a smile!

Many dog rescue centres will ask you to complete a form and give you an induction which includes health and safety and any rules.

In my experience when I did dog walking at a rescue centre before my illness i really enjoyed it, miss it so much now. I made good friends there both human and dog!! You can get as involved as you want ie just walk the dogs and go home or you can get more involved with the centre and its staff, fundraising, events etc. It all depends on how much you want to do and how much time and energy you have!

If you don't like or cant do a lot of walking but can do other physical work to help the dogs then there is always cleaning out the kennels, grooming the dogs, filling water bowls and getting the dogs food ready for them.

It is also important for dogs to have social contact so for some it will be play, for others a cuddle or a bit of training.

Walking Dogs!


Dog Toys!

Dogs Love To Play With Dog Toys!

If we can occasionally spare a little to give a dog rescue centre one or more dog toys they will be grateful. Some dogs adore playing with toys yet may have come in to rescue with nothing at all.

It is important the toys are sturdy, very safe and easily cleaned. Toys are required for very small dogs and puppies right up to the large and very large dogs.

Some dogs like or need to chew, others like to play ball or work out puzzles or play interactive games with people.

This Kong toy is often a good choice as they are sturdy and keep dogs entertained for a long time.

Its often a good idea and I would certainly recommend, to ask the rescue first what toys are needed and then donate.

Social Media Promote Dog Rescue centres

Dog Rescue Centres Facebook and Twitter

Maybe we are not a dogwalker or do not feel we can donate anything but can we use social media to spread the word?

Many dog rescue sites have a facebook page we can "like" and share.

Twitter is a good way of retweeting a post when a rescue is trying to rehome a dog.

Maybe we can spread the word a little to let people know when a dog needs a home or an event is going on the raise funds.

My little dogs ... heartbeats at my feet

Edith Wharton - One of the first founders ASPC

Fundraising For Dog rescue centres

Fundraising Dog rescue centres.

Many Dog rescue centres hold fundraising activities.

The easiest way we can support them is just to find out when they are and to go along! we get a fun day out and the dog rescue centre gets funds to feed the dogs.

If you want to do a bit more you can ask if they need any help with fundraising.

This can be anything from helping out on the tea and coffee stall at an event, to publicising the event, to helping to organise the event.

If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went

Will Rogers

Adopting A Rescue Dog

Could You Adopt A Rescue Dog?

Adopting a rescue dog

The biggest commitment we can make is if we adopt a rescue dog. This does require serious thought and consideration by the whole family. It can be the most rewarding thing you can do for a rescue dog. To give him or her a new loving home is a wonderful thing to do.

However, before you even go near the rescue centre the following questions NEED to be thought about.

Answer these questions about your home and your lifestyle then you will be ready to approach the dog rescue organisations.

Why do you want a dog? What sort of dog are you looking for ie a walking/hiking companion, a lapdog, a companion dog, a dog to do flyball with, a young dog , a puppy, an old dog? a small dog a large dog ? etc

What do you want from a dog?

What can you give to a dog?

Where will the dog live? Inside or outside?

Will the dog be allowed on the furniture? In the best rooms? In the bedrooms?

How long will the dog be left alone each day, each week?

Do you like short walks, long walks, only to walk in good weather, walk in all weather, or do you not like to walk every day?

Who will walk the dog? Bathe the dog? Clean up after the dog?

Can you afford the insurance, vets fees, food and additional items that go with a dog?

Is your household very lively and active or quiet and calm?

Is your home and garden "dog friendly" or can you make it so?

Do you have children or visiting children?

Do you have other pets? (Some older dogs are better living alone , others need the company of another dog, some do not like cats or rabbits etc)

What will happen to the dog when you go on holiday?

Can you give a lifelong commitment to your dog-even when they are sick or old?

Dogs Rehomed

Dog Fostering

Could You Foster A Dog?

If you are an experienced dog person or willing to learn and have time you might want to apply to be a dog fosterer.

This can be an exceptionally rewarding and also a very challenging role. You need to have quite some spare time and dedication to this role. You should be vetted quite carefully by any rescue before fostering and given support during a foster stay.

Your role would be to take in and look after a foster dog as if it were you r own , but always with the point in mind that you will not keep this dog. You are his or her temporary loving home until his forever family take him home.

The dog may come to you and settle straight away or there may be issues and problems you will need to work on.

It can be an absolute joy having these dogs and it can be a challenge.

The foster can be anything from a few days or weeks to a couple months usually. More rarely the dog does not find a home within that time and you have a longer term foster stay for as long as you can do it.

From personal experience this can be the best job in the world.You will usually get expenses and the dog food and vet bills etc paid for but no pay for doing the work. You are doig it as you love dogs and want to help them. Every dog in foster means another one can be taken out of a kill pound and start the process of looking for a loving home.

This is a very real, very needed and very committed part of helping dog rescue centres The worst part and the best part of doing dog foster is letting them go to their new family.

If you think you have the skills and the time and the personality then do contact your local dog rescue to see if they need you .

Your Dog In Your Future?

Planning For The Future With Your Dog?

Another less obvious way to help rescue centres if you are currently a dog owner is to think carefully about what will happen to your dog if changes occur in you r life.

So planning for all those things we do not wish to think about.

What would happen to your dog if these things happened to YOU



Serious Illness

Taken into a care home



Made homeless

Have a baby

Have financial issues

A family member becomes allergic to the dog.

Do Plan for your dog in your will. If you leave you r dog to a rescue centre in your will consider adding a sum of money to go with him or her to help for their care.

If you plan to leave the care of your dog to a rescue centre in some of the above circumstances how about alking to them now about how it might work and what you can do to make it easier on your dog.

Leave Money In Your Will To Dog Rescue Centres

Dog Rescue Centres And Your Will

If you love dogs have you considered leaving a dog rescue centre some money in your will?

Even a very small amount is helpful and will be very much appreciated.

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole

Roger Caras

Thank You For Visiting. Do You Have Other Ideas Of How To Help Dog Rescue Centes?

Love to hear your views and opinions of these ideas to help out a dog rescue centre. Let me know if there are other ways not listed here.

I do read every comment and appreciate you taking the time to read this page and leave your comments.


© 2012 RaintreeAnnie

Could You See Yourself Helping Out A Dog Rescue Centre In Any Way?

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    • RaintreeAnnie profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from UK

      @happynutritionist Oh that will be lovely if you can adopt a dog. Thank you for visiting :)

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I am hoping to adopt a dog from a shelter in the coming year, very nice page!

    • RaintreeAnnie profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from UK

      @Marsha that is a great idea and I am sure will be appreciated. Thank you for your visit .

    • profile image

      Marsha Cooper 

      4 years ago

      I have 3 pillowcases of fabric scraps that I need to sew the tops shut. I will donate them to the animal shelter for dog beds.

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 

      6 years ago from Land of Aloha

      I work closedly with several animal rescues and shelters. It's a neverending battle but it feels like more and more people are becoming aware and perhaps the tides are turning for the animals. Great article!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      6 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Congratulations on your well deserved purple star

    • Scraps2treasures profile image


      6 years ago

      Excellent ideas. I imagine the needs are great at dog rescue centers and these are very easy ways to help. Blessed.

    • naturegirl7s profile image

      Yvonne L B 

      6 years ago from Covington, LA

      Great page about a worthy cause... blessed


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