Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Are The Kids Bored This Summer? They Can Help Animals And Their Community

Kids love animals!  If your kids don't have enough to keep them busy and engaged this Summer, why not give them something to do that will teach them responsibility, empathy, and compassion for animals? 

Your kids can make a difference in the lives of homeless animals this Summer by helping a local animal shelter or rescue.   There are lots of things kids can do to help homeless animals.

They can organize a donation drive with their friends, collecting much needed items from neighbors, local stores, or clubs they belong to.  Contact an animal shelter or rescue organization near you and ask for a wish list of items that are most needed.  The kids can have fun making creative flyers and posters requesting donations and work together to pack up the items for delivery.  Items needed may include food, toys, or used blankets and towels. 


This puppy had only 2 small towels to lay on......


.....until we brought him this beautiful donated blanket. 
Now he's SO comfy!





































Kids can volunteer to get animals out of their kennels, walking and playing with the dogs,  cuddling and playing with the cats.  C'mon, what kid doesn't love to play with dogs and cats?!  Check with the shelter to see if there's an age requirement.  This may be an activity for teens rather than young children.  This helps the animals get exercise and stay well socialized, which in turn helps them remain healthy and adoptable.

Getting some puppy kisses during a volunteer event at the shelter
If your child is too young to volunteer at the shelter, you can foster a dog or cat in your home.  Many shelters even have day foster programs, where you volunteer to take a dog out just for the day.  You can take your foster dog to the park, hiking, or to an outdoor café.  Anything that gets them out of the shelter, gives them fresh air and exercise, and makes them feel like a pet again is extremely beneficial, even if only for a day.  Make sure you fully explain that the dog will need to return to the shelter at the end of the day to avoid disappointment when it's time to go back.

Many shelters and rescues are overrun in Summer with puppies and kittens.   The large number of puppies and kittens creates an issue with kennel space and the ability to care for so many homeless animals.  Fostering a pet in your home for a few weeks will free up kennel space in the shelter so that another animal can be saved.  Your kids can learn responsibility for the pet and have a fun playmate.

My husband with Howdy, one of our recent fosters

Kids can volunteer to work on simple projects like sorting donated items at the shelter.  Call and ask to speak to a community outreach coordinator and see if there are any simple projects that kids can help with. 

Older kids can offer to take photos of adoptable animals for the shelter.  Shelters can't always get a good photo of every animal as they come in.  If your child is good with a camera, ask a local shelter if they need help taking photos of their adoptable animals. 
 
Kids can use social media to help get the word out about animals that are available for adoption.  Work with the shelter to post photos of their adoptable dogs and cats with some details about the animal and link to their site.   “Phoebe is a lovable Poodle mix who loves to go on walks!”   Then Share it online and ask their friends to do the same.

This gorgeous Lab stole my heart!  We played fetch in the play kennel for 40 minutes.   I was exhausted, he was just getting started!
Lots of parents have approached me at the shelter asking if their child can volunteer.  What a great way for kids to help homeless animals and give back to their community! 

What do you think about kids spending time over the Summer to volunteer helping homeless animals?   Please leave a comment, as always I'd love to hear your thoughts!

 

4 comments:

  1. What a great idea!!! I will be sharing this with my 11 year old daughter, I think she would just love to do this over the summer!!!!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

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  2. So glad to hear it! Kids can help so much by walking and playing with the dogs. After just 15 or 20 minutes you start to see the difference in the dog! If she's too young to volunteer herself, ask if they have a day foster program. If she decides to do it, please let me know how it goes!

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  3. A perfect plans for kids to do this summer! Thanks so much for spreading the word! And thanks for joining the Pet Parade this week! ~Rascal and Rocco

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  4. So glad you like the idea! Extra Summer volunteers are so helpful; many regular volunteers go away during Summer, and it's puppy & kitten season so shelters really need the help. Thanks for hosting your wonderful pet parades!

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