Creating a pawsome community

Want to boost your serotonin, support your community and interact with others - even during a pandemic? Help an animal rescue! Here are five ways to improve the lives of furiends without adopting, and in some instances using minimal effort to create maximum results.

A chocolate labrador enjoys an evening running in fields.
Pup featured: Jarvis, Hope Harbour Photography

Share and interact with others on social media posts. Those involved in the rescue world see social media (primarily Facebook and Instagram) as a great way to spread the word about upcoming events and adoptable animals. You may have already seen these posts on your Facebook timeline or Instagram feed, introducing you to a pet in need, perhaps with a quirky adoption bio or adorable video. Social media has allowed rescues the opportunity to reach out to other animal lovers on an international level! The minimal effort with maximum result I was speaking about earlier - the next time you see a post informing you of an upcoming fundraiser for a local shelter or rescue, take a couple of seconds and hit the share button! Get your friends involved by commenting and tagging them in posts!

Ain’t no party like a (virtual) fundraising party! Another great way to help raise funds is to make your local rescue the recipient of the gifts for your next birthday or special event. There are three ways to easily map this out to be a success:

  • Ask friends to make a monetary donation to the organization of your choice instead of gifts. Facebook offers an easy solution to set up a birthday fundraiser during your birthday month! See Facebook for a comprehensive guide to fundraising.

  • Reach out to your favourite animal welfare organization and ask them if there are any particular supplies they need, and ask your friends to donate those specific items. Collections can include cleaning supplies, towels, specific types of food, litter and toys.

  • Alternatively, if you are getting married and looking for a zero waste solution for guest favours, donate that portion of your wedding budget to a local rescue on behalf of the guests.

Support small businesses that give back to animal-related organizations. One example that has always stuck out in my mind was Anderson Craft Ales in London, Ontario. Every month Anderson Craft Ales would ask their social media followers to vote for the next month not for profit organization. The winning organization receives $1 from every glass of beer sold on Thursday nights that month as a charitable donation. How’s that for a small business in action!?

Make your mad skills work! Consider some of your own unique and professional skills and how they may benefit the rescue organization you are looking to assist. Need some inspiration? Here are some suggestions, and it looks great on a resume!

Are you a photographer, writer, graphic designer (all of these at either a professional or amateur capacity!), carpenter or handihuman, lawyer or paralegal, or accountant? All of these occupations and interests are an asset to rescues! Whether teaching volunteers how to write the perfect adoption bio, capturing perfect furiend photos for marketing, website design, constructing outdoor shelters, sourcing materials or assisting with legal documents for a rescue, all of these items are essential and make a tremendous impact to a not for profit rescue organization.

Open your home, drive or volunteer your time. When I first moved to the London area, I knew a handful of people and knew that if I wanted to establish my own strong community - I would have to get involved. I decided to stick to my strengths and love of dogs and joined a local dog rescue as a foster home and driver. Because of working with a dog rescue over the years, I have established a lovely group of wonderful friends with the same shared love (big mutts!). If you are currently living in a situation where you’re unable to own a pet, this is an excellent solution to getting your cat or dog fix! If this sounds like something that you would enjoy, do your research and contact the local rescue you’d like to be involved with and ask for more information about their volunteer program.

A chocolate labrador enjoys an evening running in fields.
Pup featured: Jarvis, Hope Harbour Photography

In the best of times - rescue life is tough, and I have a ton of respect for all of those involved with rescuing animals. I hope you found some of these suggestions for ways to support your community and interact with others helpful. Please remember that even the smallest gesture can make a significant impact!

What are some of your favourite rescue organizations? Comment below!

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