How You Can Help Animals in Need

South San Francisco, CA  August 17, 2021 by Allie Clevenger, ESC


Of the many causes we choose to support, the welfare of animals is one of vital importance. There are plenty of ways to help them, without blindly donating money to causes that “say” the money goes to animals. Here are ways to ensure the recipients are actually the animals themselves.


The animals housed at your local shelter always need attention. Many are frightened, in a strange place and don’t know who to trust. Long days in cages with scary noises and unfamiliar people can take quite a toll on any animal – no matter the type. Share your love by volunteering to make their (hopefully) short stay a positive one.

If you have a special skill or experience as an electrician, plumber or carpenter, ask where you can use those skills to help the shelter. Those with experience in marketing can help the shelter with getting the word out or a trapper who can humanely capture elusive cats for neutering. You may not think you have skills that will help a shelter, but we’re willing to bet you do!


Social Media
Liking, following and interacting with shelters online helps promote their cause. Invite friends and family to do the same while donating to their food or other item drives. Share their posts and comment on them. Be an advocate and spread the word about the shelter, its animals and its needs.


Are You Crafty?
If you’re a sewing fanatic, or knit, take old t-shirts or other scrap fabrics and make beds out of them for the animals coming in. You can create cage curtains for privacy or light control, beds, pillows and other comfy items animals may need. Many times their cages have cement floors or walls, so adding a little bit of “luxury” can go a long way.


Hold a Food or Recycle Drive
Gathering recyclables on your morning walk or obtaining them from friends or family can bring a little money to the shelter, without reaching into your own pocket. Not everyone can afford to donate money to shelters, but there are still ways to help them. Shelters always need towels, toys, food, treats, medicine and other supplies. Don’t just focus on cats and dogs – think birds, reptiles and more! Have an old bird cage or hamster cage? Donate it! What about an aquarium that may leak a little water, donate it to make a great habitat for that reptile that lost its owner or was surrendered.



The value of foster homes is immeasurable. It relieves shelters of some resources, provides a safe and friendly environment for the pet and reduces their stress. Fosters can step in for abandoned kittens or puppies who need a surrogate mother to feed them. They provide a comfortable home for senior pets who have lived a hard life and may have issues adapting to a shelter.


Help Shelters Through Advocacy 

  • Post flyers and spread information about local (or not so local) puppy mills and animal fighting rings.
  • Sponsor a billboard in your community to stop puppy mills and gather signatures for are pro-animal legislation.
  • Ask local grocers to add more plant-based items to their store and switch to eggs that are cage-free.
  • Organize a “Spay Day” or Microchip event in your community.
  • Investigate giving programs through your place of employment and get a shelter on the list if possible
  • Donate a car to a shelter in need
  • Sponsor talks at local schools for shelters and other animal programs

Do you have any additional ways that you help shelter animals and wildlife programs?

Comment below or send to me at!


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