Today is Giving Tuesday – a day to take a break from all of your holiday shopping to give back to the local community. Since animals are a cause near and dear to my heart, as I am sure they are for most of you, I think giving back to the local animal community is great way to celebrate Giving Tuesday.
Here are five ways to help pets this Giving Tuesday and the rest of the holiday season:
1. Donate to a rescue group’s wishlist
All rescue groups need donations in order to take care of the animals they take in. Most groups will list what they need on their website, but some make it even easier by setting up Amazon wish lists so you can order online exactly what they need and have it shipped right to them. Here are the APL, Cleveland Animal Control and Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter’s Amazon wish lists:
Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter: http://www.amazon.com/wishlist/15JCVK42TMWEY/ref=sr_1_1_acs_wl_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1388683921&sr=8-1-acs
Cleveland Animal Control: http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/KLVA6K0ZP3OG/ref=cm_wl_rlist_go_v
These are just a couple of the wishlists out there from rescue groups. Most rescue groups have their own list, so please check with your favorite and help them out!
2. Organize a dog food/supplies drive
One local group that always needs donations is My Best Friend’s Bowl in Lakewood. My Best Friend’s Bowl provides pet food to families in need so they can keep their pets during hard economic times. Organize a pet food donation at your work to keep the cupboards stocked for Cleveland-area pets in need. Find out more here: http://mybestfriendsbowllakewood.com/bowl/how-can-i-help/
Also, this Saturday the Lorain Pet Pantry of Lorain County will be accepting donations for their pantry at the Pet Supplies Plus in Elyria. They are in need of dog & cat food (dry & wet) and cat litter for their monthly distributions. IHeart Radio will also be there doing Santa Pictures. Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/714600658690138/
Donation drives are a great idea for any rescue group. Print out a wish list from your local shelter and post it at your work or school to gather donations.
3. Attend a Fundraiser
There will be no shortage of fundraising events this holiday season. In addition the many Santa Paws events going on this holiday season where you can get your dog’s photo taken with Santa, there are also a few fundraisers you can attend to raise funds for local groups. This is one of the easiest and most fun ways to show your support for homeless animals. Here are a few upcoming ones to check out:
Holiday Hops for the Heart
Organized by City Dogs Cleveland this fundraiser at Platform Brewery on Nov. 29 raises funds for the Plankton Fund to help treat the heartworm positive dogs they take in. The $25 admission at the door includes three craft beers (Speed Merchant or New Cleveland) plus food. There will be also 50/50 and basket raffles. Visit https://www.facebook.com/events/307505489620057/ for more info.
Safe Harbor Animal Rescue MilkBone Mania
Join HealthSource of Avon on Dec. 3 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. as they help raise funds for the Cleveland Animal Protective League. Individuals looking to get their backs adjusted, get a massage, have X-Rays taken, learn new exercises or try out a new service can do so by cash donation. At the end of your visit, you can give as little or as much as you like for the services and all proceeds go to the APL. You can also bring in your dog for photos with Santa Paws. Visit https://www.facebook.com/events/1385497558130620/ for more info.
4. Volunteer Your Time
Rescue groups always need dog walkers, as well as drivers to transport dogs to vet appointments, cage cleaners, people to perform host duties at shelters and volunteers for fundraisers. Here’s a listing of Lake Humane Society’s volunteer needs: http://lakehumane.org/volunteerpositions.html. Contact your local shelter to see what their volunteer needs are.
5. Share a Homeless Pet
It’s not always easy to come up with the money or time needed to help rescue groups, especially around the holidays. One easy, free way to help rescue groups is by sharing adoptable pets. Cleveland Animal Control Volunteers need all the help they can get spreading the word to find homes for Cleveland animals. Follow them on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ClevelandCityKennelVolunteers) to see their available pets. You never know who among your friends might be looking for a dog or cat!
And if you’re looking for a cause to donate to, the rescue group I work with, Central Ohio Pomeranian Rescue, just took in a very sick Pomeranian named Faith that was surrendered to them from a puppy mill. Faith’s lungs have been compromised from untreated pneumonia when she was younger and the vet isn’t sure how much improvement to expect. Right now she only has about 50-60% of her lungs functioning and is on antibiotics and steroids. It’s day by day for her, but we are all pulling for her! She is receiving the best vet care possible now and the rescue group is raising funds for her care. If you can donate, you can send money via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out their FB page for more info on Faith as well as info on several different fundraisers they have going to help raise funds for Faith: https://www.facebook.com/OhioPoms/
And of course this is your reminder to never buy a puppy from a pet store or online.
Happy Holidays everyone!