Today the Humane Society for Shelter Pets (HSSP) is encouraging potential donors to make this holiday season magical for pets by supporting their local shelters and rescues.
“Holidays can be a particularly difficult time for pet shelters and rescues. The economic and social stress of the holidays often leads to an increase in abandoned and surrendered animals. This kind of increase is a burden for everyone who works in the shelter and for the community, but mostly has an impact on the animals themselves,” said HSSP Director Diana Culp. “Caring for all these homeless pets requires a significant amount of both time and money — things that are often in short supply, especially around the holidays.”
If you want to help pets this holiday season HSSP offers the following suggestions:
- If you are struggling to find a gift for your family’s pet lover consider donating to your local shelter in their name. While big, national organizations grab the headlines and inundate the airwaves this time of year with pleas for support, the truth is that you’ll get far more bang for your charitable buck by giving locally. National organizations like the Humane Society of the United States aren’t affiliated with local pet shelters, and very little of their money goes to help homeless pets, or the local groups that care for them.
National groups can also spend a sleigh-load of donor money on overhead costs. The American Institute of Philanthropy calculates that the Humane Society of the United States spends up to 50 percent of its budget on overhead, while the ASPCA spends as little as 57 percent of its budget on programs.
- If you can’t spare a donation, bringing a wayward dog or cat home for the holidays — either by adopting or providing a temporary foster home — is a wonderful way to spread the holiday spirit.
- Volunteering is another great way to give back. Most shelters are happy to train volunteers to do everything from walking dogs and visiting with cats to answering phones, giving tours, selling licenses, and a host of other duties. Volunteering can also help you take care of that impending New Year’s resolution to get in shape by providing an endless supply of energetic pups just begging to get out for a walk, hike, or jog.
Whether you give, adopt or volunteer, your seasonal contribution will have a lasting impact on the lives of homeless pets in your community, and make theirs a truly happy holiday. If you are not already familiar with a local shelter or rescue in your area, you can find one by visiting the Humane Society for Shelter Pets website: www.humaneforpets.com.
The Humane Society for Shelter Pets is not designed to raise funds for shelters from the public. Instead, the group’s primary mission is to educate the public about the importance of local giving. For more information visit, www.humaneforpets.com.