This week (November 3 - 10) is National Animal Shelter and Rescue Appreciation Week. As a dog lover in the Carolina mountains, you are probably already familiar with your local animal shelter or rescue organization. This is the week to show the folks who work there and the animals they serve some love!
Here are ten ways to show your appreciation for your local animal shelter, provided by Rebecca Simmons of the Humane Society of the United States and appearing on Petfinder.com:
- Adopt a Best Friend. Animals make great companions, but having a pet is a big responsibility and it involves a lifelong commitment. Find out if you have what it takes to provide a safe and loving home and learn more about adopting from your local animal shelter. When you’re ready to adopt go to https://www.petfinder.com to find pets in your area.
- Take a Tour. Never been inside an animal shelter? Take an hour or two out of your day to stop by your local shelter during public hours and see firsthand how things work. If you’d like to become more involved, find out how you can become a volunteer.
- Keep on Giving. Many animal shelters struggle financially so every penny helps. Donating to your local shelter is as simple as writing a check and dropping it in the mail or picking up an item on the shelter’s wish list during your next shopping trip.
- Connect with Kids. Help children learn about the importance of being kind to animals. Find out how easy it is to educate—whether it’s an entire classroom or a single child.
- Be Committed. Providing quality food, water and shelter is important, but it’s not the only thing involved in being a responsible and caring pet guardian. It’s also essential that your pet has current identification tags and is properly confined or supervised while outdoors. Keep your pet healthy and up-to-date on all vaccinations by visiting the veterinarian regularly and give your pet lots of love and attention.
- Expect the Unexpected. Local shelters are most often on the front lines during natural disasters such as hurricanes. Would you know what to do in the event of a flood, tornado or fire? Learn how to help animals in your community, including your own pet, whether it’s a disaster, an emergency or an accident.
- Stay Alert. Your local animal shelter and animal control agency not only take in homeless animals, but also rescue injured, abused or neglected critters. Assist them by helping injured animals in your neighborhood, and letting them know if you suspect animal cruelty in your community.
- Spread the Word. Does the community that your local shelter serves understand and appreciate the shelter’s dedication to animals? Tell your friends, family, co-workers and neighbors about the importance of supporting animal shelters and their staff.
- Do Your Part. Spaying or neutering your pet is one of the most important things you can do to reduce the number of homeless pets in your community. Your local animal shelter can help you learn more about why spaying/neutering is important and how you can find affordable options.
- Two Simple Words. The words “thank you” are powerful. But since animals can’t speak, it’s up to community members to let shelter workers know just how much their commitment to animals is appreciated. Send a letter, card or e-mail to your local shelter and let them know you care.