(BPT) - Approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter animal shelters across the U.S. each year, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. With so many pets in need of a home, animal shelters and rescue groups often struggle to keep up — and many could use your help.
Whether you have room in your home to welcome a pet or room in your heart to give back to the pet welfare community, here are some ways to get involved.
1. Donate money or supplies
While money is always appreciated, there are so many items that animal shelters and rescue groups are in need of to care for adoptable pets. Some of the most common items needed are towels, leashes, toys, pet brushes, beds, food and cleaning supplies. Check your local rescue or shelter’s website to learn about their donation policies and see if they have a wish list of items.
2. Support brands that support adoptable pets
Purina ONE has been supporting animal shelters for more than 15 years, in fact, since 2015 the brand has donated nearly 8 million pounds of dog and cat food, worth more than $11 million to provide adoptable pets with the nutrition they need through every life stage. You can help by registering for the 28-Day Challenge to make a difference in your pet's health and a big difference in the life of an adoptable pet. When you switch your pet's food to Purina ONE, you'll notice a visibly healthy pet in just 28 days; that's the 28-Day Challenge.
“Providing your pet with the proper nutrition they need to be happy and healthy starts from the inside,” said Chief Veterinary Officer at Purina, Dr. Kurt Venator, DVM, Ph.D. “When you feed your pet Purina ONE, like I do, you’ll notice a visibly healthy pet in just 28 days; signs of which may include healthy energy, a shiny coat, bright eyes and strong, healthy teeth and gums. It will also positively impact pets on the inside by supporting a strong immune system and a strong, healthy heart.”
For every new 28-Day Challenge registration by Aug. 31, Purina ONE will donate $1 to the Petfinder Foundation (up to $28,000) to waive adoption fees and help more dogs and cats find their forever home. Award-winning choreographer, dancer, singer and actor Derek Hough has teamed up with Purina ONE to further its mission by raising awareness of pets in need and helping them find their forever homes.
“I’ve always been passionate about rescuing pets because there are so many, like my cat, Palo and dog, Luna, which is why I love that Purina ONE has been supporting shelters for years by making donations to help every pet find their forever home.” said Derek Hough, spokesperson for Purina ONE. “And you can help too by registering for Purina ONE’s 28-Day Challenge before Aug. 31 to help raise up to $28,000 for the Petfinder Foundation; those funds will help waive adoption fees at shelters and rescue groups, which means more pets going home.”
Register for the 28-Day Challenge at PurinaONE.com/AdoptablePets.
3. Volunteer your talents
Reach out to local rescues or shelters and offer up any skills you have that could be of service to the organizations. Whether you’re a knowledgeable carpenter, a social media star or simply an animal lover, your time and talent will go a long way in helping rescues and shelters find forever homes for the adoptable pets in their care. Start by visiting local shelters and asking how you can help.
4. Adopt a pet
If you’ve been thinking about adding a pet to your family, consider adopting. When you adopt a pet, not only are you opening up your home to a pet in need, you’ll have the opportunity to establish a strong, loving bond which is essential to building a happy and healthy life with your new pet. You can search for adoptable dogs or cats near you through Petfinder.com or find a local organization to help guide you through the process of bringing home a loveable new companion.
5. Support and share online
Follow animal shelters and rescue groups on social media and remember to like and share their content. Invite your friends and family to support as well and help spread the word about adoptable pets. Social shares help shelters and rescues reach more people outside of their traditional marketing efforts every day.
6. Keep your own pets safe
Keeping animals out of shelters starts at home. Make sure all of your pets have collars with proper ID tags and a microchip. When you bring a new pet into your family, have them spayed or neutered, and be sure to keep your cats indoors. When venturing outdoors with your dog, be sure to keep him on a leash to ensure safety.
7. Transport animals
If you have regular access to a car, many organizations often need help getting animals to and from vet appointments or transporting them from rescue facilities to shelters. A little driving time goes a long way in getting animals the care they need.
For more information, visit PurinaONE.com/AdoptablePets.