By: Leann Quire, Director of Shelter Operations for Humane Pennsylvania
Changing a life doesn’t require an incredible amount of wealth or time. If you have compassion and a desire to help, then YOU can change a pet’s life! January 24th is Change a Pet’s Life Day and we couldn’t be more excited to tell you the ways you can celebrate this day. Change a Pet’s Life Day was created to bring awareness to animal welfare and encouraging pet adoption. While I could find a reason to tell you on ANY day why it is important to support your local animal shelters and rescues, it seems even more appropriate to talk about the importance of this with the upcoming designated day.
Animal welfare has come a long way in education, advocacy, and reduced euthanasia rates, but there are still many animals finding themselves in shelters and in need of homes. So, how can you help be a part of changing a pet’s life?
Looking to add a furry, slimy, or feathered friend to your family? Check out your local shelter or rescue group. Many animals of all shapes, sizes, personalities, and species are looking for loving homes. When you adopt, you aren’t just changing the life of the animal you will be taking home, but you will also change the life of the animal who needs that open space in the shelter.
Many people don’t foster because they fear they could never give them back. We do see many foster families end up keeping their foster pets and making them a permanent part of the family. However, many others find it very rewarding to be able to provide a place for an animal out of the shelter, and many times increase their care by providing medical or behavior intervention, and then see that animal get a wonderful home. Some of our fosters have helped HUNDREDS of animals over the years. Hundreds! Even helping just one makes a significant difference. You can choose to temporarily house animals who need some extra TLC and time away from the shelter.
Ellie Scheurich, our Canine Behavior Specialist, said it best when she wrote the following about our volunteers: “Thank you for volunteering your time to help us find homes for all the animals that walk through our shelter. Thank you for spending your weekends or evenings at events helping us raise money to continue our mission in helping as well as saving as many fur lives as possible. Thank you for showing up in the snow, rain, and hot summer to walk, play, and train our dogs. Thank you for coming in regularly to help clean the cages alongside our busy staff, with a big smile on your face while giving chin scratches to a cat that hissed at you the week prior. Thank you for answering phones, greeting adopters, and staying long hours just to help the staff assist our community. Thank you for wearing your heart on your sleeve and helping us continue to do the work we all love at Humane Pennsylvania. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”
Volunteers play a huge part in our mission and they also play a huge role in changing a pet’s life every single day. While the pandemic has changed the way to volunteer, there is still a need and they are just as important as ever.
Non-profits operate solely off of the donations from the community. Any amount helps. Donating money helps the organization continue to operate the lifesaving programs that change pet’s lives every day. Donating products is also very helpful! Check out our wishlist on our website to see which items we are in need of on a regular basis.
Shout your support from the rooftops!
Funds tight from the pandemic? Busy raising young humans to become future life changers and your “free time” is limited? Allergic to animals so unfortunately they can’t be in the home? No problem! YOU can still change pet’s lives. Sharing social media posts helps raise awareness and spread the word for shelters looking for homes for animals or that are in need of specific donations. Attend events! Some in person and virtual events held by shelters and rescues don’t cost money to attend. Attending events helps you to learn what your local shelter is doing in the community and shows other people just how many people support the organization! Encourage your friends and family to adopt and support their animal shelter.
Also, show support for animal welfare workers. They work tirelessly to help and need lots of support to continue to show up and keep doing what they do!
Talk about your own story.
Have you adopted or visited a local animal shelter and had a great experience? Tell people about it. Write a review. These things can all change an animal’s life by bringing awareness to how wonderful it is to adopt and support your local shelter organization.
Hopefully you found that changing a life is easier than you may have originally thought, but I can tell you with certainty you will find it is even MORE FULLFILLING than you could have ever imagined.