The general idea is that any citizen who adopts a homeless pet from a shelter will get a $100 tax break. This would encourage people to adopt more pets and give more attention to local shelters. Last year, Animal Care & Control of NYC took in more than 30,000 homeless dogs and cats – about 6,100 of those were adopted from a shelter.
It is simple: you save a pet, you save money.
But, even if the bill does not pass, it would still be a great victory to have people’s attention shift to the homeless pets and over-burdened shelters. Most shelters reach a point where they have to turn away incoming unwanted or stray pets because they are too full. So, how can you help?
Yeah, we know. You’ve seen the sad pet commercials. But it really is the most beneficial thing you can do for a shelter! Letting them know that their work has helped an animal find a safe and loving home is so rewarding. Also, the funds you pay for the new pet will go toward providing for the other homeless ones.
2. Foster Care
Next to adopting, foster care is the next best thing. If for some reason you cannot adopt a pet for any reason, consider fostering a pet or two. Fostering a pet…
- Allows the shelter to provide the physical space to more animals in need of care.
- May include caring for puppies or kittens too young to be adopted quite yet.
- May include caring for animals recovering from surgery or illness, providing a safe place to heal.
- Gives the anxious or stressed animals a place that is more normal than a kennel at a shelter.
- Will help socialize any pets that are not used to life in a home.
- Helps the shelter learn as much as possible about the pet (from your feedback) in order to place them in a fitting home.
Most shelters will gladly take any help offered. There are countless ways you could help, including:
- Walking Dogs. Get a little exercise and make new buddies by walking the dogs at the shelter. Most dogs love running or playing, and it is nearly torturous to be cooped up in kennels day in and day out.
- Train Pets. Especially if you have a knack for it, volunteer to help train the younger pets. This will not only be helpful to the shelter employees, but it will also help the animals get adopted. Who doesn’t like a pre-potty-trained puppy? (Try saying that 5 times fast.)
- You can only imagine the list of “Things to Clean” for every animal shelter. From sweeping up fur to throwing out dog-doo, every inch of your work helps!
- Use Your Gifts! If you have any special talents or skills – be it window-washing or pet grooming – volunteer to help out a shelter any way you can! I promise, it will not be unwanted.
- It’s easy for the little fuzz-balls to get down in the dumps without anything exciting to do. Simply stroking their fur or rubbing their tummies will be sure to lift their spirits.
- Tell Your Friends. Get more people involved and interested! The more help the better. And, you might be the cause of a pet getting a forever home.
If you cannot take care of a pet – either by adopting, fostering or volunteering – the next best thing is to donate. Shelters use any donated money to improve living situations for the animals in their care. It is of great help to them – even if you give just a few dollars a month. You don’t just have to donate money – try donating collars, toys, treats and leashes. It will be a lot of fun for you to watch the pets love your gifts.
Whether or not you get a tax credit for adopting a homeless pet, it is still important to care for them. Take action today to help shelters in your area.
What are ways you help out your local pet shelter? Leave a comment below!