Top 5 Ways You Can Volunteer To Help Orphaned Pets


I am excited and honored to be participating in this year’s 2012 Pet ‘Net Event! Organized by Petside, Pet ‘Net brings together pet-focused bloggers to write about a single topic. The next 5 days (November 26 to 30) will be dedicated to this year’s topic: Pet Adoption.

Because this year marks Pet ‘Net’s 5th anniversary, my supporting posts are all in 5’s!

And be sure to visit the Pet ‘Net hub page everyday this week to enter your zip code. After all the zips are tallied, a $5,000 donation from Petside will be given to a local animal shelter in the winning community. The winning shelter will be announced on December 17.

Read. Learn. Enjoy. (And maybe, Adopt!)


 You can’t adopt a pet, but you want to help because you love animals. Here are my top 5 ways that you can volunteer to help orphaned pets.

Walk A Dog or Play With Cats

Need some exercise? Like to walk? Connect up with your local shelter and make time to walk dogs waiting for adoption. If you’re more of a sit-and-converse kind of person, check into spending time playing and cuddling with the shelter’s cats. Do one or both–the benefits of exercise or de-stressing are obvious!

Shelter Drive-By

I love this idea from Dr. V of Pawcurious! Next time you go to the grocery store, big box, or warehouse store, take  a look at your local shelter’s online wish list (or give them a call) and add an item (or two) to your grocery list. Drop it off at the shelter on your way home. So easy!

Facebook And Other Social Platforms

Find your local shelter on Twitter, Facebook or one of the other social sites, and retweet, repin, repost, +1, like, share, whatever it takes to magnify their messages and advance their cause. Be a butterfly and flap your wings to create a wind of positive change for your favorite shelter!

Small Paws adoptable fluff

Click here for a Team Leader’s love letter to the volunteers she’s never met face-to-face.


Dogs and cats living for long periods of time in a kennel or cage start to forget what it’s like to live in a home. Also, shelters can get crowded, which could lead to some excess pets being euthanized. Fostering can save a life until a furever family is found. Can you take a dog or cat into your home for a short period of time?

Host A Fundraiser

Do you like to party? Have a knack for organizing? A drive to make money? Host a fundraiser! This can be as simple as setting up a FirstGiving account for your favorite rescue, to a black tie affair for several hundred people. It can be a learning tool for your kids–help them to organize a pet food drive as a school project!

Bonus! Shelters Helping Shelters

Did you know that many shelters are themselves volunteers for other shelters? For instance, recently my pals at Helen Woodward Animal Center volunteered to take on 50 dogs and cats who had been awaiting adoption when Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast of the US. These orphans were on death row because of the huge influx of pets awaiting their families after being separated due to the storm. Instead of euthanasia on the east coast, these transplanted orphans now have a new chance to be adopted in San Diego!


PET ADOPTION FACTOID: Approximately 3 million to 4 million animals are euthanized (60 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats) every year.