For pet lovers, it's heartbreaking to see animals in need. The pleas for money come in the mail on a regular basis and many stores have canisters by their registers with heart-tugging photos of animals that have been abandoned and abused. The urge to pull out your checkbook and give to these charities can be compelling, and rewarding, but for those who can't afford a cash donation, there are other ways to help our furred and feathered friends.
- Click away. Sites such as The Animal Rescue Site are sponsor-driven. You can visit the site every day and click a link. For every click, sponsors pay for bowls of food for shelter animals.
- Shop at a charity-associated store, either in person or on the internet. Many charities, such as the World Wildlife Fund, send out catalogs. Why not purchase merchandise from such places when you're going to be shopping anyway? A percentage of the purchase price is donated to the organization. At pet shows, local shelters often sell handmade merchandise to raise funds.
- Help spread the message. Companies like Message Products sell checks and other printed merchandise with the name and message from your favorite animal charity imprinted directly on them. So each time you use a check, you're helping to advertise your favorite cause.
- Donate goods when you don't have money to give. Many grocery stores have boxes for donations of pet food, toys, and goodies. Let's face it. An extra item snuck in with your groceries doesn't really alter your budget noticeably. Also, animal shelters often seek out donations of used towels and blankets for cleaning and bedding.
- Give the gift of time. Volunteer at your local animal shelter, where one of the most precious things you have to offer is yourself. Cleaning cages and spending time helping to socialize shelter pets can be a great way to help out.
- Put on your walking shoes and grab your pet. Why not enter a walk-a-thon for pet charities? Locally, we have an annual event called “Paws in the Park". It's an event for you and your dog, and it's a great way to raise money for animal charities. Generally, these events cost nothing to enter. Instead, you solicit sponsors-friends, coworkers or family who agree to donate a few cents for each mile you walk. It's a great chance to spend time with your furry best friend in addition to raising money to help other animals.
Sometimes, helping our four-legged and winged friends is just a matter of being creative with time and resources. Don't let a shortage of money stop you from being a good Samaritan to animals.
Lisa is an author on http://www.Writing.Com/ which is a site for Fiction Writing .