3 Ways to Help Rescue Dogs

Updated on February 11, 2016

Why dog karma?

If you have a big heart and love dogs like I do, but don't have the means to adopt (or maybe, like me, you're not quite ready to adopt just yet), you may want to pitch in and make a difference in a dog's life. The reward in knowing a dog has been saved is more than worth the investment of time, and two of these three tips cost nothing to do. I'm going to use a few personal examples from my point of view, so you'll hear about Dachshunds quite a bit, but there are rescue organizations for every breed under the sun, and it's pretty easy to look them up. Get involved today with one of the following ways, and make a difference while feeling great!

Coco, our current foster


Option 1: foster a dog

Fostering is a simple but dramatically direct, impactful way to help out one dog and see the result directly. I wasn't ready to adopt a dog at all after the death of my dog, Tiamat, several years ago, and we just recently experienced another heart-wrenching death in our family as Hallie passed away. Knowing all this, we aren't especially interested in adopting a new dog just now, and there have been other various circumstances that might have kept you from being able to adopt as well.

Enter the concept of fostering. The idea is simple: you provide a home for a dog while the rescue organization is looking for a "forever home" for said dog. This has been a popular course of action for us over the last year and a half, and your fostering could be as short as a few days or as long as a few months, if you're nursing a dog back to health after surgery (as we did in the case of Coco, pictured). Generally, the rescue org will pay for any necessary surgery if you're the foster, but check with whatever organization you're planning to work with first. The Dachshund Rescue of North America has a good network of home checkers and fosters that you can become a part of right now, or if another breed of dog tugs on your heartstrings, just let your fingers do the walking and do a little research. The Internet is such a great tool for saving dogs' lives!

Perrin, our current foster, has a unique and loveable personality

Bailey, one of our first fosters


Option 2: transport

Do you have a car? If so, another simple, but really effective, option is to become part of a "doggie caravan" (my words; don't use this around serious rescue folks). The transport is a crucial step in the adoption process, as the networking power of the web finds homes for dogs in other cities and states frequently. This means that there is a lot of driving in between places that has to be done.

Transporting dogs is like speed dating in many ways. You quickly get to know a new dog (or two, or three) during your drive, and you get to spend a lot of intimate "quality time" in the car with the dogs in question. Many times, the rescue dogs will just sleep through most of the drive, but either way, you'll have a potty and water break and you'll get to meet these fortunate little guys (and maybe play and/or cuddle just a little!).

Hallie and "Poopert"

Option 3: donate

Sometimes time is at a premium, but you can spare a few bucks. I've certainly been there at various stages of my life. A great option in this case is to simply donate directly to the organization of your choice. In this case, it pays to do a little research to make sure the organization is reputable (most are), and you'll obviously want your funds to go to an organization where your donation will have some impact on dogs you love. Again, we've worked with the DRNA in the past, having an affinity for Dachshunds, but there are literally hundreds of other organizations out there if Dobermans or Chihuahuas are your thing.

Donate even just a few bucks today, and your doggie karma back will immediately go up a few points. You'll feel rewarded, and you'll know that your donation will be used wisely, where it's needed the most, by the organization. Helping to save lives is its own reward!

Me with Hallie and Perrin

Hallie (RIP) and Perrin, two dogs who benefited tremendously from rescue organizations
Hallie (RIP) and Perrin, two dogs who benefited tremendously from rescue organizations | Source

The reward

If you're not certain you want to own a dog for years, but really love dogs, and you're willing to put in the time to give these dogs a great home, fostering has amazing rewards. Here's an article I wrote about our experiences with Perrin, who now has a "furever home." This is an amazing experience every single time, getting to know a dog's unique personality, and then knowing they're finding a great home. Transporting gives a much briefer, but still intimate look into a dog's life. Ever single dog we've helped transport has been really sweet, and some have stayed the night at our house, waiting for the next leg of the run. Donating is less personal, but still provides knowledge that lives are being saved. Start filling your doggie karma bank today!


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    • goatfury profile image

      Andrew Smith 3 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Thanks, Mel! It's all about the big picture, and it isn't ever easy.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 3 years ago from California

      I have so much respect for people who foster. I'm such a softie that I am attached emotionally before the first 5 minutes are up. It is wonderful that you do this.

    • goatfury profile image

      Andrew Smith 3 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Thanks, guys. It has been so rewarding.

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 3 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Love the idea of volunteering as a doggie caravan. There's a special place in heaven for those that dedicate themselves to helping animals.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 3 years ago from USA

      These are great ways to help dogs when you aren't ready to get your own dog. Helping out a friend or neighbor with their dogs is another way - you can give them walks or take care of them while the neighbor is out.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Nice hub. Would love to foster dogs but sad to say dogs are not on my husbands list.

    • goatfury profile image

      Andrew Smith 3 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Thanks, Rhonda and Hentaiclone! Couldn't agree more. It's a very rewarding experience all around.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image

      Rhonda Lytle 3 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      It's so sad to think of how many abandoned animals need homes. Fostering is a wonderful way to help out and you gain a friend for life. What could be better? Love the pictures here, very cute.

    • profile image

      Hentaiclone 3 years ago

      Fostering is extremely rewarding and without fosters, rescue groups simply can't help animals! Please consider fostering!