How to Help Animal Shelters (Volunteering, Adopting, and More)

Updated on July 16, 2019
chewtt2 profile image

I have created a new career for myself in retirement as an animal advocate. I write articles to create awareness of shelter pets.

It Takes a Village

It takes a village to provide for shelter pets, and several organizations are instrumental in providing needed items for the Manatee County Animal Services shelter in Palmetto, Florida. Nobody's pets are everybody's pets, and when communities join together they can make a huge difference in the lives of animals waiting for their forever homes.

Method #1: Donate Materials

Shelters can benefit from many types of material donations, but I'd like to share an example of a very creative and useful donation that has become an ongoing project.

In 2012, animal advocate Jane Sanks launched a project to make comfortable pillow beds for needy animals in local shelters and rescues. She moved the project to the American Red Cross facility in Sarasota in 2014, where she partnered with other local organizations to provide beds for the shelter pets that reside at Manatee County Animal Services shelter.

Approximately 15 volunteers join Jane each month to make the beds. Jane receives supplies from a variety of sources. Each bed is made with soft stuffing and covered with a removable washable cover of fabric that is both beautiful and durable. The beds are distributed to several shelters and rescues.

In 2015, the group distributed 758 beds. They are able to make an average of 90 beds each month, and the group works year round.

The Manatee County Animal Services shelter looks forward each month to their delivery of these beds. The pillow beds are used in both kennels and in the new living room area that is now in use at the shelter to help the dogs adapt to living in a future home.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Pillow beds for big dogsPillow beds made monthly from volunteers at the American Red Cross facility in SarasotaLook at the smile when receiving a bed! Soft pillows make a difference when one is waiting for a forever home
Pillow beds for big dogs
Pillow beds for big dogs | Source
Pillow beds made monthly from volunteers at the American Red Cross facility in Sarasota
Pillow beds made monthly from volunteers at the American Red Cross facility in Sarasota | Source
Look at the smile when receiving a bed!
Look at the smile when receiving a bed! | Source
Soft pillows make a difference when one is waiting for a forever home
Soft pillows make a difference when one is waiting for a forever home | Source

Innovative Living Room Space for Shelter Dogs

Dogs that reside at the Manatee County Animal Services shelter have a new living room that is used to help them adapt to a home environment while waiting for their forever home. Volunteers from the group Friends of Manatee County Animal Services provided furniture, rugs, and a comfy chair to complete a living room that resembles a home environment. Large pillow beds are also used in this area where dogs can relax, climb on real furniture, and play in a homelike environment. This living room area is another example of a need being fulfilled by dedicated volunteers who provide a good quality of life for the animals that are waiting to be adopted. Interested persons can learn more about the Friends of Manatee County Animal Services by visiting the sites listed in the "Resources" section at the end of this article.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Living room space at shelter aids in helping dogs adapt to a home environment while waiting to be adoptedA resident of MCAS enjoying the living roomEnjoying the couch at the shelter while waiting to be adopted to get a couch of his ownEnjoying the interaction with a volunteer in the Real Life room
Living room space at shelter aids in helping dogs adapt to a home environment while waiting to be adopted
Living room space at shelter aids in helping dogs adapt to a home environment while waiting to be adopted | Source
A resident of MCAS enjoying the living room
A resident of MCAS enjoying the living room | Source
Enjoying the couch at the shelter while waiting to be adopted to get a couch of his own
Enjoying the couch at the shelter while waiting to be adopted to get a couch of his own | Source
Enjoying the interaction with a volunteer in the Real Life room
Enjoying the interaction with a volunteer in the Real Life room | Source

Method #2: Volunteer

In addition to donating materials or money, people can help animal shelters by volunteering. Volunteers can help with:

  • Walking dogs
  • Supervising play groups
  • Helping with socialization

Dog walkers provide the dogs with exercise, and as a walker also can benefit from the exercise. Dogs that do not get out of their kennel for walks and playtime in the yard become depressed and anxious in the noisy surroundings. Dog walkers are urgently needed to help with this task. Playgroups are also in need of help to supervise the dogs while at play each day. You can make a difference in the life of each dog that is waiting to be adopted by volunteering to help. Interested persons may contact the shelter at 941-742-5933 to learn about volunteer opportunities.

You can volunteer to walk shelter dogs.
You can volunteer to walk shelter dogs. | Source

Method #3: Adopt a Shelter Animal

Manatee County Animal Services shelter depends on responsible families who are able to adopt and provide a forever home for these animals that find themselves in the shelter for a variety of reasons. You can find photos and stories written by volunteers about the dogs at a variety of sites. You can find photos of successful adoptions and dogs that are still waiting for their forever homes by visiting the Resources links at the end of this article.

Please open your home to a shelter dog that is waiting for a responsible forever home. Shelter staff and volunteers are always available to help your family choose the perfect new family member. Meet and Greets for your chosen dog can be arranged to ensure that you have chosen the right fit for your family.

Shelters save lives.
Shelters save lives. | Source

Volunteer, Donate, and Adopt

What are you called to do to save a life of a deserving animal?

See results

Resources

  • www.mymanatee.org/pets
  • www.FOMCAS.org

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, pethelpful.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://pethelpful.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)