Service Sunday: Support Pet Shelters



Another Service Sunday! Today is a roundup of pet-related charities as I received a ton of information regarding all different types of charities. I absolutely LOVE that so many of you are also advocates for pets and adoption. Pet adoption is truly important to me and something I am passionate about. 

Adoption
If you have been considering adopting a pet, and are able to afford it and take on the responsibility, I could not recommend it more. We adopted our family dog Mac (from Washington Humane Society) and he brought SO MUCH happiness to our family. He passed away in February 2018 and I miss him dearly. I adopted Henry in December 2017 and you all know how much I love my Henry. We rescued him from Tracy's Dogs.

A lot of shelters are way too full in the country. When you adopt a dog, you save two dogs. One because you leave a spot open in a shelter and two because of the dog you save. In our case, we saved 3 dogs: 1 spot opened up in the shelter, one spot opened up with Tracy's Dogs and we saved Henry. It's truly a wonderful thing you can do and I cannot even begin to put into words the joy and happiness Henry brings to our lives. We adopted Henry from Southern Texas where they have a severe stray dog population. This is because the dogs are not being neutered and spayed and just keep reproducing. It's a big issue and the shelters aren't big enough and simply can't afford to save them all so a lot of shelters are high-kill shelters. It's heartbreaking. Henry was literally saved from being euthanized in a south Texas shelter because of Tracy's Dogs. Tracy's Dogs was the organization that saved him from the kill-shelter and then they got him up to date on everything, socialized him, etc. and he then came to us. Seriously, it is one of the best decisions I have ever made in my entire life. I was nervous about the cost and responsibility and in hindsight, I should have never been worried. 

However, I know not everyone wants a pet and a lot of you are probably like us: we personally cannot handle/care for more dogs at this time! But, there is still a lot you can do to help and make a difference. 

First, I am going to share the many ways you can help. It obviously differs from charity to charity, but these will give you a starting point to think of what you can do personally. Then, I'll share some local Pittsburgh non-profits (as those are the ones I received the most submissions for) but I'll also share some national ones that have been sent in by readers (and some that I already knew about, too). 

How You Can Help
Obviously, the first thing you can do is to donate money. I know a lot of people would rather volunteer or donate actual items and whatnot, but money in these instances can help SO much. A lot of the humane societies and pet organizations have high medical bills because of all of the animals they treat. Even just spaying and neutering is an expense. A lot of charities, which are INCREDIBLE, also will pay for your dog's medical bills if you cannot afford them. Also, with money, they are able to buy all the supplies they need! A lot of non-profits give you the option to make a monthly donation (which is what I have set up to do) and it is so easy and makes donating more money possible! 

Fostering dogs is another great option. I have never done this so I can't really speak too much about it but you are giving a dog a warm and loving home until they can either recover from illness or until they are adopted. A lot of sick dogs or older dogs simply can't be in a shelter and there are so many scared, emaciated dogs who would thrive in a warm and loving home. It's SUCH a selfless thing to do.

Donating items is an option at a lot of non-profits. Most websites have wish-lists of items they could use and I've seen some even post their Amazon wish lists so you can go on and so easily donate something they can truly use. You can also donate your old towels at some places... not all accept this but if you have old towels you don't use, consider calling around to see if any shelters in your area can use them! 

Volunteering is another great option! A lot of shelters and the like require training first, but a lot of times, if you just want to provide interaction and companionship, you might not need to go through all of the training. Dogs just want to be loved and human interaction enriches their lives SO much. Even just from being with Henry all the time- he always wants to be petted or played with and he even finds so much peace and relaxation when he just lays right up against me.



Local Pittsburgh Pet Non-Profits:


National Pet Non-Profits:
- Tracy's Dogs (where we got Henry!)
- ACDRA (this is a site I was heavily checking before I found Henry)

I also found this really great resource for a list of charities that will help you to pay for your dog's medical needs should you be unable to. It's great to donate to organizations like these but it's also great to share this resource if you know anyone that has an animal in need and can't afford the medical costs. Which, if you didn't know, can get crazy expensive- we had an emergency incident with Henry and had to take him to the emergency vet one year ago and we were fortunate enough to be able to afford whatever he needed but there are so many people who can't. I think our bill (for a one night stay and treatment) was over $1500!

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