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Helping Pet Shelters

Petmate Academy

July 16, 2021

Have you ever wondered what an animal shelter does to help the animals in their care? Have you ever wanted to help your local animals sheter, but don't know where to start? In this article, we explore the many ways to help your local pet shelters with time, money, and through other ways.

There are many different ways to adopt a pet. But the most popular way is through a shelter or rescue group. In the United States, there are 2,126 no-kill pet shelters and around 14,000 rescue groups. Every year, 48% of dogs and 43% of cats are adopted through local pet shelters or rescue groups. While these groups accept all dogs and cats no matter their circumstance, they do not have large budgets. Instead, these groups rely on volunteers and donations to continue to operate.

To find a local pet shelter you'd like to volunteer or donate to, check your city website. They will have information about your local pet shelter and what you can do to help them. To find a local rescue group, look around on Facebook groups or group in the Nextdoor app. Since rescue groups usually don't have a brick-and-mortar location, they can be harder to find. But a short search should lead you to some in your local area.

a lady petting a cat inside a pet shelter


Once you find a shelter or rescue you want to help out, it's important to think about how much time you have to be able to go to the shelter or rescue group to help. If you do think you have the time to volunteer or the money to donate, the list below are some examples of how you can help.


  • Adopting an animal from the shelter, but only if you're 100% ready. Not sure if you're ready for that commitment? Click here to find out if you're ready for a dog.
  • Donate – check to see if your shelter has any kind of Venmo, Paypal or if they prefer cash
  • Purchase supplies for the shelter – Check to see if your shelter has a Wishlist or specific items they need. Their Wishlist may be on their website or could be on Amazon.
  • Sponsor an animal in their care – this means paying for any medical care a pet may need or any special medications, foods, or other supplies.


  • Volunteer your time – spend a couple afternoons a week hanging out with the dogs and cats in their care. Sometimes this includes: taking dogs for walks, playing with cats inside, socializing with them, cleaning their areas, feeding, watering, etc.
  • Photography – today, we all have camera on our smartphones. Pull out your phone and take some sweet pictures and post them to the shelters social media. Doing so gets pictures of the pets who need to be adopted online, where they have a greater chance at being seen!
  • Sew beds, toys, or blankets
  • Foster animals if it's a good fit for you
  • Transport adopted pets or fosters
a lady petting 3 dogs that are in a pet shelter


If the above suggestions do not fit your lifestyle, there are other ways to help your local shelters. In today's age, due to social media, we can help our local shelters and rescue groups on our own time.

  • Share positive content on your personal social media account
    • give thank you's and shout outs to the shelter.
    • Share their posts to increase their engagement (which is the best for shelters).
  • Microchip any pet you own so that if your pet escapes, the shelter has an easier time getting in touch with you. Doing so keeps their kennels open for other pets who may not be microchipped.
  • Donate gently used items after spring cleaning your home (towels, blankets).
  • Start a GoFundMe for your shelter

Everybody can help their local animal shelters and rescue groups. No matter the age or size of the person. There are even ways for kids to get involved:

  • Instead of receiving birthday gifts, ask for donations for the shelter instead.
  • Save their allowance to donate or buy items to donate.
  • Speak up if you see an animal in trouble.
  • Teach your kid to be kind to all animals


We all know a special someone that goes above and beyond for any animal, no matter how big or how small. Perhaps you know someone who sacrifies their own time, money, or space to give back to animals in need of help. If you know of a local pet hero, now is your chance to help them! Gamma2, an innovative pet products solutions brand, is running a program called the Hero Spotlight Program. Starting in September of 2021, you can nomiate your local pet hero by telling Gamma2 all about them in their simple questionaire. In December 2021, a Hero will be announced and could win a $5,000 grant to be used in any way to help them. Click below to nominate your local hero!

a web banner to sign up for the Gamma2Gives Spotlight Hero Program



About 6.5 million animals end up in shelters every year and about half of those animals are adopted. Together, we can help shelters and rescue groups in our own ways, as well as help lost and unwanted animals find their forever homes. If you're ever looking for a way to give back to your community, consider your local pet shelters or rescue groups! They always need the help!




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