Tips on How to Help Your Local Animal Shelters

Let’s face it- we have millions too many animals in our world today, largely due to the fact that many people either refuse or are unable to spay or neuter their pets. To help combat the pet overpopulation problem, we have animal shelters.

However, most animal shelters are critically understaffed and underfunded. Volunteers of any kind are always needed!

If you choose to spend some of your time volunteering* in any way for a local animal shelter, here are some things you can do which will greatly help the shelter.

*You should contact the shelter of your choice to determine what their specific needs are as all shelters differ in their choice of cleaning supplies, food, vet care and the like.


Of course, first and foremost, are monetary donations, no matter how small. The money goes towards food, much needed vet care, electricity for the shelter, any shelter employees salaries, possible needed advertising, upkeep of the shelter… and the list goes on. Every dollar is very well spent and greatly appreciated.

Cleaning supplies. This includes paper towels, bleach, laundry soap, dish soap, sponges, disinfectant, mops, brooms.

Old towels, toys, old clothes, blankets, shampoo, newspapers, dog and cat houses, batteries of any size.

Dry food. Most shelters use dry dog and cat food, however, either will be greatly appreciated.


Show up at a shelter one day and ask to be put to work. You can wash dishes, clean the stalls, foster pets, walk the dogs, groom the pets, and possibly assist with adoptions and pet therapy.

If you are going to be doing the cleaning, prepare to get dirty. Stalls must be cleaned daily. Dishes are usually washed with bleach, so ensure you wear old clothes. All towels, blankets, etc must be laundered daily. Litter boxes must be cleaned daily. The outside kennels must be cleaned daily. The indoor dogs must be walked daily.

Remember- people do these jobs every day, Monday through Sunday, and it’s a very tiring job. Help for even a few hours one day is extremely welcomed.

It’s an established fact that those who help others- even if that other is not of the human variety- feel better about themselves. Giving releases a feel good chemical in our brains which induces a feeling of well being and we all could use a dose of that!

The animals, and volunteers will thank you for it and you will feel great knowing you did your part in helping those who cannot help themselves.

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and give a little today! The rewards are tremendous.

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