Big ears, upside down.The holidays are the perfect time to reflect on all that we are grateful for, including family, friends, and, of course, our pets. Often, these feelings of thankfulness prompt us to wonder how we can help others less fortunate than ourselves.

If you have found yourself wondering how you can give back to an underserved segment of our society, or would like to encourage philanthropy and volunteerism in younger members of your family, The Pet Experts at Naperville Animal Hospital can help. We have plenty of ideas for pet lovers everywhere about how to help animals in need this holiday season, and all year long.

Share the Wealth

The greatest need for any animal shelter or rescue organization is, undoubtedly, funds. Operating a nonprofit is costly, especially when it comes to providing food, shelter, and veterinary care for homeless animals. Financial support allows the organization to apply their funds where they need it most, whether that is expanding their operation or acquiring new supplies and technology.

Consider making a donation to your favorite animal charity by:

  • Becoming a monthly donor
  • Making a one-time, end of year gift
  • Supporting a fundraising effort in your community
  • Asking for a donation to a shelter or rescue in lieu of gifts this season

If donating simply isn’t an option this year, there are still plenty of ways you can help an animal charity save money. By volunteering your time and talents, you are freeing up funds that would otherwise go toward paying employees to do the same work. For a full list of rescues we work with, please click here.

Many groups need volunteers to help in the following areas:

  • Animal care
  • Cleaning
  • Maintenance
  • Transportation
  • Data entry and other administrative duties
  • Photography
  • Mobile adoption support
  • Community outreach

If you are in doubt about the best way to give, don’t hesitate to call your favorite animal charity and ask!

The Gift of Resources

Pet owners understand just how many supplies are involved in pet care. You can make a dent in an animal shelter’s or rescue’s “wish list” by donating supplies, either individually or through a group effort through your church, school, neighborhood, or other organization. Common supply needs include:

  • Pet food
  • Cat litter
  • Beds
  • Fleece blankets
  • Toys
  • Collars and leashes
  • Cleaning supplies

You can help low-income families keep their pets at home where they belong by donating pet food and litter to your local food bank. Call and ask first.

Raising Awareness About Animals in Need

You can further the cause of helping animals in need by educating yourself and others about voting, starting a petition or campaign, or getting involved with a local animal welfare event. Talk to your friends and family members about the importance of adopting a pet from a shelter, spaying and neutering, or any other issue you are passionate about.

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

The single best way you can impact the lives of homeless animals in your community is by opening your home and heart to a shelter animal. If adoption isn’t a possibility for your family at this time, consider providing a safe and healthy environment for a pet by fostering. Pets who live in homes are healthier and happier, making them much more likely to be adopted into forever homes.

Your friends at Naperville Animal Hospital would love to hear about your efforts to help animals in need this holiday season! Post your pictures or comments on our Facebook page.