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How Can I Help Animals?

Updated on January 28, 2017

How to Help Homeless Animals

Homeless animals like Gidget the cat need our help. A devestating 10,000 animals die daily in shelters across the U.S. This statistic can be changed though with all of us helping.

You'll find on this page suggestions and resources to make the life of a homeless creature better. After you've finished reading, I hope the next time you hear someone ask the question, "How Can I Help Animals?", you'll know exactly how to respond. There are many people advocating for the's how you can help.

(Photo credit)


How Can I Help An Animal
How Can I Help An Animal

Adopt a Homeless or Rescued Animal

Go to your local animal shelter or animal rescue and adopt an animal. Most people who work and volunteer at shelters and rescues may be able to help you pick the right companion for you and your family.

If you already own a dog, bring the dog along with you so they can be tested with the potential adoptee, whether that should be a dog or a cat. Spend time with prospective canine and feline companions to ensure the temperament and energy levels are compatible with your lifestyle.

Read what Cesar Milan has to say about the importance of Adopting a Dog With The Right Energy before choosing the animal you wish to adopt.

(Photo credit Pam Irie)


Animal advocacy basically means speaking up for all animals. Whether words, actions or both, advocating for animals is the answer you can give when asked, "How Can I Help the Animals?"

Speak For Those Who Have No Voice

How Can I Help An Animal
How Can I Help An Animal

Will you speak for these animals? Will you be their voice? That is what advocates do. It takes an army of advocates and we need everyone to join us!

Photo credit


Donate to Help Animals

  1. DONATE TIME to an animal shelter or an animal rescue.
  2. DONATE MATERIALS, supplies, pet food, pet toys, pet bedding to an animal shelter or animal rescue.
  3. DONATE MONEY with a regular monthly "subscription" to a favorite animal shelter or animal rescue. Keep your money local so you know exactly how the animals in your area are being helped.
  4. DONATE your SKILLS or LABOR! Conduct a fundraiser for the animals. Solicit pet food drives. Establish a pet food bank if there isn't one currently in the area.

    Get a group together and teach others to sew or crochet pet bedding, dog bandannas, ADOPT ME vests for the dogs.

  5. DO A DRIVE for old bath towels, blankets, paper towels and bleach. Every animal shelter and animal rescue uses these items and are often in short supply.

DIY Animal Bedding - Make a Cat Hammock

DIY Cat Bedding
DIY Cat Bedding

Donate bedding for animals like this diy cat hammock. They are simple to sew no matter how skillful a sewist you may be. Statistics prove an animal more relaxed will be able to show his personality more. This does help animals to be adopted faster so they can go to their forever homes, and this frees up space for the next animal to be helped.

As you can see in the picture, the hammocks have corner tabs made of polypro webbing to create a secure hold. This webbing is also an essential material used in the construction of my ADOPT ME vests for dogs. The product is very versatile. I purchase it in either 25 or 50 yard rolls which makes it an excellent bargain.

(Photo via advocate Val Thomsen)


Most animal shelters and animal rescue groups have Wish Lists. These contain items crucial to their operation. Items like: used towels, old blankets and bathroom rugs (non slip backing), paper towels, bleach.

Donations of any of these items keep expenses down so more monies can be utilized into saving more lives. So, when someone asks you, "How can I help animals?" them to the organizations Wish List or Donation Link.

The Animal Shelters or Animal Rescues below are all groups I've worked with and have personally witnessed countless animals saved through their efforts. All of these organizations work tirelessly 24/7 to help the animals. Please support them in any way possible.

Amazon Wish List Gift Registry
Amazon Wish List Gift Registry

Amazon Wish List Gift Registry

Amazon has made it very easy for animal advocates to donate to a specific animal shelter or animal rescue. Non profit organizations and groups will see how easy it is to register online at this link on Amazon to create a gift registry of needed items and supplies.

Just as newlyweds and new parents have a gift registry, the same method is used for animal rescues and animal shelters. With the thousands of vendors on Amazon, the shelters and rescue groups will be able to specify in detail exactly the type, color, size, brand, etc. of food, bedding, flea medicine, pet toys, etc. AND have it delivered right to the front door.

Note: I've personally used the Amazon Wish List Gift Registry to purchase and ship a variety of merchandise to rescues and shelters in the mainland and here in Hawaii. It's so easy! I don't even have to look up the shipping address as the animal rescues and shelters already have it filled out for me! :)


Great Tip

When filling out or purchasing from a Wish List Gift Registry, look for items that qualify for free Super Saver Shipping for Orders over $35. More people may decide to purchase at least $35 to get more merchandise for the animals rather than spending that money for postage.

Discounted KONG Toys

The Kong Company offers big discounts on slightly imperfect Kong toys for dogs to animal shelters, animal rescues and non-profits groups. They call this program Kong Cares. (It used to be called Kong Seconds). Go HERE for more info.

How Can I Help An Animal
How Can I Help An Animal

Many, many animals need our help!

Photo credit


Spay and Neuter Saves Lives

Microchip Your Pet


Educate Children Early

Perhaps children can successfully teach their parents and siblings about what it means to care for and respect an animal. My young niece received a set of the Vet Volunteers books as a gift and enjoyed them so much. Because of this I purchased a set to donate as part of a fundraising auction for one of the animal rescue groups I advocate for.


Foster an Animal to Save a Life
Foster an Animal to Save a Life

Fostering Saves Lives!

Help An Animal - Foster a Cat or Dog

"Sweetie" was surrendered by her owner to a shelter in Texas that was already overcrowded. Though volunteers and shelter workers said Sweetie's name suited her well, many times animals like Sweetie would be euthanized immediately because of overcrowding in these shelters.

The fact that Sweetie only had 3 legs was a strike against her too. However, a good-hearted person in the community was willing to temporarily foster Sweetie until she could be transported to a No Kill shelter in another city where I am so happy to say, she was soon adopted to a wonderful family!

Many, many more lives can be saved if people will foster an animal. Note that you can foster an animal through either an animal rescue or animal shelters, but fosters are needed desperately! You can read more information regarding fostering an animal here.

Photo credit


How Can I Help An Animal
How Can I Help An Animal

Wanted: Belly Rubbers and Ear Scratchers

All Ages Can Help the Animals

There are so many volunteer jobs available where you can help the animals. (Yes, even the kids can help as the title attests above.) Each organization has different rules, but they all need volunteers.

Inquire at your local animal rescue or animal shelter. Here is the link to the Hawaiian Humane Society's Volunteer page.

(Photo credit Hawaiian Humane Society)

Pause for a Poll

Help for Homeless Animals
Help for Homeless Animals

How Will You Help An Animal?

See results

Volunteer to Transport an Animal

Interested in setting up an animal transport to save a life of a homeless animal? Volunteers say it is so rewarding. Learn to coordinate a rescue transport at the link below. There are lots of great tips if you've never done this before.

Planning a trip? Call a local rescue or shelter and ask if they have any animals going your way.

How Can I Help Animals?

Pick any of the excellent products below and gift them to a local animal shelter or rescue.

Slip Leads Kennel Leads with O Ring for Dogs Pet Animal Control Grooming, Shelter, Rescues, Vet, Veterinarian, Doggy Daycare  (Pack of 60)
Slip Leads Kennel Leads with O Ring for Dogs Pet Animal Control Grooming, Shelter, Rescues, Vet, Veterinarian, Doggy Daycare (Pack of 60)

Many dogs arrive at a shelter without a collar. These kennel leads are very helpful for taking the dog on short potty walks and to visit potential adopters.

Just for Cats Midnight Crazies Cat Toy
Just for Cats Midnight Crazies Cat Toy

This cat toy has great reviews. Add that to the reasons shown above in keeping an animal happy, and this toy is a winner!


Click on the link above once a day to help feed homeless animals. You can even sign up to get a daily email as a reminder. (I did!)

Do you have a favorite animal shelter or rescue you advocate for?

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    • profile image

      SteveKaye 4 years ago

      Yes, many. I recently found The Hungry Owl Project, which I added to the list on my lens about I Have a Dream.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 4 years ago from Colorado

      Yes. I support my regional shelter (San Luis Valley Animal Welfare Society). Thanks for all you do as an animal advocate. You are deeply appreciated!

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 4 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Back to revisit this wonderful and important article!

    • seodress profile image

      seodress 4 years ago

      Very informative.Great lens

    • Ninche profile image

      Ninche 5 years ago

      There is no animal shelter in my town yet, so we are fostering cats and dogs, trying to social them and make them ready for their new home.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 5 years ago

      Oh my, it took everything for me to read this...I can not bear to see animals in distress, homeless or abused. It is unconscionable that breeding indiscriminately is one thinks of the consequences, it's all about greed. Those that must give up a pet for reasons beyond their control is another story.

      ~d-artist Squid Angel Blessing~

    • SPhilbrick profile image

      SPhilbrick 5 years ago

      Thanks for this comprehensive article on helping companion animals. As one who is involved in a rescue organization myself, there is truly nothing I could add! Great job.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      We've adopted all of our cats from the shelter. You offer lots of great ways to help animals down on their luck. Thanks so much, Pam, from all the critters out there!

    • marigoldina profile image

      Heather B 5 years ago

      I am not an advocate, but I adopted my three-year-old cat Marigold from our local shelter. She is the most wonderful cat in the world, and has adjusted very nicely to her new home!