iStock_000024726165_LargeThroughout the year, animal shelters, rescue groups, animal welfare organizations, and other animal-friendly nonprofits help save and improve the lives of animals throughout the nation and the world. These organizations work on limited funds and with many dedicated volunteers, so money can be spent helping more animals in need.

As we consider our own pets and how much we love them, let us consider opening our hearts to the millions of animals worldwide who also need compassionate animal defenders to lend a hand. After all, who can look into the eyes of a beloved pet and not appreciate how much our pets bring to our lives every day?

Although monetary donations are sorely needed to help manage the cost of day-to-day operations, veterinary care, food, supplies, and other necessities involved in rescuing animals, there are myriad ways you can be of assistance. Here are but a few powerful ways you can support animals this season (and year-round).

The Gift of Time

Volunteerism is the bread and butter of nonprofits, freeing up funds that would otherwise be spent on salaries, so financial support can go directly to animal care and services, where it is needed most. Volunteers also help alleviate the burden of managing so many daily tasks that overwhelm busy shelters and charities – from data entry to answering phones and dog walking to customer service. Volunteer fundraisers are also needed, especially during the holidays, as well as talented bookkeepers and accountants.

And, volunteering is an awesome way to meet new friends who share your interests! Ready to lend a hand? Why not call some of the many deserving charities in the region and inquire where your time and talents best fit.

Gifts In-Kind

Many animal charities, and most certainly those operating as a shelter or rescue facility, welcome donated items. In fact, the rate at which these facilities go through food, beds, blankets, litter, and so forth depends upon the charitable spirit of those willing to donate these invaluable items. Some of the greatest needs are as follows:

  • Wet/dry cat and dog foods
  • Fleece blankets
  • Elevated dog beds
  • Clumping cat litter
  • Dog and cat toys
  • Bedding for small mammals
  • Treats

We also recommend calling your favorite shelter or rescue and asking what they need most!

Local Shelter Love

There are quite a few wonderful rescues and shelters here in our community who depend on donations from local friends of animals – like you!

If you can’t give a donation to these incredible organizations, please consider opening your home to a cat, dog, rabbit, hamster, bird, or any other amazing creature who needs a home.

Here are a few of the charities your friends at Naperville Animal Hospital adore and support:

  • 4 Paws 4 U 4 Ever – Change the world for a dog who needs you!
  • Small Paws Rescue – The largest breed-specific rescue in the country, helping over 10,000 Bichons in the past 16 years.
  • Starfish Animal Rescue – A compassionate no kill rescue that saves pets from euthanasia and finds them forever homes.

What are some of your favorite fur-friendly charitable causes? We’d love to hear from you and your family about the ways you have chosen to “adopt” an animal charity this holiday. And, we always love photos!

Thank you for being a friend to animals and sharing your many blessings where they are most needed.