This week is National Animal Shelter and Rescue Appreciation Week
In celebration of National Animal Shelter and Rescue Appreciation Week from Nov. 3-9, The Humane Society of the United States encourages pet lovers to reach out and support their local shelters and rescue groups.
Approximately 3,500 animal shelters across the United States serve the estimated 6-8 million homeless animals who need refuge each year, and many more animals find themselves in need of the services provided by local rescue groups.
National Animal Shelter and Rescue Appreciation Week, founded by The HSUS in 1996 and inspired by the Capitol Humane Society in Lincoln, Nebraska, encourages people to become acquainted with their local shelters and rescues and to learn how they can assist their lifesaving work.
The Humane Society offers 10 tips to celebrate the week.
1. Share your love
Tell the world how you feel about your local shelter or rescue by using The Humane Society of the United States’ Facebook share graphics. Humane Society of the United States offers 10 tips to celebrate the week.
2. Get to know your local shelters and rescue groups
Start the process by locating all of the ones in your area. You may be surprised how many groups nearby are helping animals.
3. Learn before you leap
Before you adopt, go to the Shelter Pet Project to learn what to expect when adopting a pet. You’ll be much less likely to become frustrated and return your new pet if you understand the challenges and rewards of adopting a pet beforehand.
4. Say “thanks!”
Take a minute to express your gratitude to the people who work at your local shelter or rescue groups. If you’ve adopted a pet from one of them, show how well your pet is doing by sharing an updated picture via a letter, email, or posting it on the organization’s Facebook page or website.
5. Get crafty
Combine fabric, yarn, recyclables, and imagination to bring much-needed fun into the lives of local shelter and rescue pets. There’s no end to the toys you can make. Try braiding strips of fleece into fun for dogs, or cutting and folding a surprising household object into a cat distractor.
Are you a born match-maker? Create attention-grabbing “Adopt-Me” vests to spotlight available pets at adoption events held by shelters and rescues. We’ve found DIY options for those of us who avoid sewing as well as sewing-machine wizards.
6. Become a fan
“Like” the Shelter Pet Project on Facebook. Then, if possible, “like” the individual groups in your community, too.
7. Make wishes come true
Shelters and rescue groups always need towels, toys, and other supplies. Check their websites for wish lists or call them to find out what’s in short supply.
Even if you can’t adopt a pet just now, you can help make life better for homeless animals by volunteering with your local shelter or rescue organization. Do you have experience as a carpenter or electrician? Are you a marketing or dog-walking whiz? All of these skills are valuable!
9. Help at your own home
Make the jobs of shelters and rescues easier: Outfit your cats and dogs with collars and proper ID (a microchip and ID tags) at all times. As soon as you bring them into your family, have all of your pets spayed or neutered. Keep your cats indoors, where you can keep them safe (though it’s great to take them on walks if they are comfortable on a harness and leash), and keep dogs on leashes when off your property.
10. Help your shelter make positive changes
If you see or hear anything at your local shelter that concerns you, follow The HSUS’s guidelines for addressing that concern in the most effective way.
Mark your calendars
Some other dates concerning pets to keep in mind, include the following:
• Oct. 29 was National Cat Day.
• Nov. 1 is the beginning of National Adopt a Senior Pet Month. Consider a pet that is in it’s senior years if you are thinking of adopting.
• Nov. 1 to Nov. 7 is National Animal Shelter and Rescue Appreciation Week.
• Dec. 2 is National Mutt Day.