I have mentioned following many animal advocate, rescue groups, humane societies, etc. on Facebook. What dismays me is the sheer volume of requests for help that pop up on my page. Help is needed to find dogs and cats homes, to keep humane societies stocked, and to rescue dogs from high kill shelters. There are too many lost, abandoned, abused and neglected animals out there. We need to fight for them! The requests are for supplies, money, fostering, and adopting. Not to mention lost pets that need help to find their way home. It is heartbreaking how many homeless animals there are out there, how many animals there are in need of our help.
What can we all do? One of the posters most often seen goes like this:
- “If you can’t Adopt…..Foster
- If you can’t Foster….Sponsor
- If you can’t Sponsor….Volunteer
- If you can’t Volunteer….Donate
- If you can’t Donate….Educate, Network & Cross Post
- Everyone can do something large or small to help save a life.”
Might I add to this list to spay and neuter our own pets? Please, this is so important!
All these points are so true! Surely we can all do just a little? I greatly admire those that do everything on that list, especially the bigger jobs. Some people do so much more than others. Unfortunately we all aren’t the type of person who could run a rescue, or drive miles and miles to transport animals. Some of us just don’t have the time, or the strength of personality needed to do this difficult work. We all have obligations…..jobs, pets, children, family, homes. How to find time to do it all, or even just something? Maybe our households are already filled with pets and we just can’t fit another.
Doing things like fostering, adopting, volunteering are all great things. But if you can’t do those things, maybe you just don’t have the time or the ability, so what else can you do? We could start with donating. Not all of us are millionaires who are flush with cash to just give away right and left. But maybe we can spare 5 or 10 dollars here or there. There is so much need out there, it would be impossible to give to everything. We have to pick and choose where to give, and sometimes you just have to follow your heart and give when something especially touches you.
Even the best pet lovers and owners can sometimes be ignorant of the things that go on in our world, things that hurt animals. Getting the word out to these people is very important. When I started this blog I hoped to educate and enlighten, and maybe tell some fun stories. But I now also consider it one way that I am doing something I can to help. I always wanted to be a writer (I was an English major in college), and I have realized I can use that to help! I plan to add a little advertising (pet friendly products only) to my website, to try and make a little money at the same time. Multi-tasking has become a necessity in our society these days Like all of us, I need to work….and fortunately this blog can be multi-tasking for me. If I can advocate for animals and also make a little money from advertisers then I am killing two birds with one stone, so to speak. With the added bonus of being able to work from home so that I can spend more time with my own pets. I am trying to use my talents to do some good as well as make a living.
You may have a talent that you can use in a similar way. I have seen a woman on Facebook knitting and selling blankets, and then also giving some to her local humane society. One of our local pet sitters gives part of her earnings to our local humane society. We need to “think outside the box” and find new ways to help.
If you don’t know what all the issues are out there, and you are on Facebook, there are pages and pages for animals that you can follow, and “Like”, to learn and share information with others. I share and share and share posts about animal issues on my Facebook pages. After my pet sitting business closed, I was anxious to start another pet related business so that I could start a new page where I could share these things. My personal page just didn’t seem like enough. This is so easy to do. Just click a button and information gets passed on to more and more people. I have also seen people start a page for their own pet, and then use that to share information and causes with others.
Remember that every little bit truly does help. If we can all just do even the tiniest bit that we are capable of, then it adds up. Share, donate, advocate, learn, or switch one or two of your household brands to cruelty free products. “Like” some of these animal advocacy pages if you spend time on Facebook…..share and spread their word. Start with your local humane society and work from there. Find some missing pet pages in your area and share photos of lost dogs. Many have been found this way. Tap into your own talents and use them. Whatever it is, big or small, please do what you can. And remember that charity starts at home, so give your own pets an extra hug today, and realize that you have already done a very good thing…..by giving them a safe and loving home.
Great blog, Jan, thank you for reminding us of all the many different ways those who want to help can do so, big or small.
Your reply to Pat has made me have a question for you now though-which could lead to your next informative blog! What were you doing wrong when out searching for a lost dog, by calling his name? Thanks!
Thanks, Lynn. Your question is definitely a topic for another blog, and is on my list. I need to do more research on that one! From what I’ve read, I believe when a dog gets lost they often get confused and scared. When they are lost for a long time, they go into a “feral” or survival mode, and are usually afraid of people. They won’t just come to you because you call their name. And chasing them is also one of the worst things you can do, as that scares them even more. You have to use other methods to lure them in.
Pat Panek says
Bridgett, my dog has been missing a Long time and I continually come across the same comments. “Why doesn’t she just go home? Why doesn’t she want to go home? Can’t you just call her?” And then come the opinions, “that dog is long gone. Or She’s got to be dead by now. Or someone has her. Why are you wasting your time?”
Most people are very happy to learn more about how pets/animals are being impacted by humans. You can see their “Aha” moments and it is so worth the time to just talk and educate. One should make sure they have done a lot of research on the topic before educating because there is a lot of misinformation out there. But everyone can talk about animals. Even learning or teaching one thing new helps.
Amen to that, Pat. I can’t tell you how much I have learned since just starting to follow Granite State Dog Recovery on Facebook. When I first helped look for a lost dog, I was out there calling his name. I didn’t have a clue that I was doing the totally wrong thing. People just don’t realize, and as you said, they really are glad when they learn the correct things. Knowledge is…what’s that saying about knowledge? 🙂 “Knowledge is power” had to look it up!