Animal Shelter/Rescue Appreciation Week is November 4 – 10
It might surprise you to know that there is someone even happier than you when you decide to adopt a pet from a shelter or rescue: the people working, volunteering and running that organization!
The fact that the pet you’re making part of your family even had the opportunity to find a home is the result of the efforts of many dedicated people, and that’s why National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week was established by the Humane Society of the United States in 1996.
Celebrated the first full week in November, these days are a time to acknowledge the role that shelters and rescues play in saving the lives of countless pets—upwards of 8 million animals end up in U.S. shelters and rescues every year.
So what can you do to show your appreciation? Of course, adopting a pet from your local shelter or a pet rescue is the best way, but if that’s not possible, you can always:
· Promote shelter and rescue adoption on social media! Find some “hard to adopt” pets and highlight them each day of the week with hashtags like #rescuepets, #adoptdontshop, and #seniordog. Remember to tag the shelter where the pet can be found and post contact information to make it easy for interested potential adopters to follow up.
· Volunteer. Find out when the next volunteer orientation is at your local shelter and go—shelters and rescues depend heavily on volunteers to make sure the pets get everything they need. Walking dogs, playing with cats, helping with fundraisers, even fostering pets in your home are all great ways to show your appreciation for the animal shelters and rescues working so hard in your community.
· Give a little. It’s no secret that most animal shelters and rescues struggle financially. Putting together a fundraiser (whether on site or online). Many animal welfare organizations have online wish lists that you can order from or items you can pick up while you’re out shopping. And of course, if you can afford to do so, making a financial donation is always appreciated!
· Get kids involved. Learning to be kind to animals starts young and is so important. Offer to bring a group of children to tour your local animal shelter, or make a presentation in a classroom about the area shelters and rescues in your community.
· See that your own pets are spayed and neutered, properly cared for and have identification. You can make a shelter or rescue worker’s job much easier if your own pet isn’t accidentally “littering”, is properly vaccinated and has identification in the form of tags, license if required, and a microchip.
· Say thank you! Shelter and rescue workers and volunteers are some of the most committed people you will ever meet, and their mission of helping homeless, sick, neglected and abused animals isn’t an easy one. Even a few heartfelt words of gratitude mean so much.