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JoAnna Lou
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National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week
How to help without adopting

In celebration of National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week, I just found out that the Karen Pryor Clicker Training store is offering free shipping to any domestic shelter with the code SHELTERTHANKS. What a cool and easy way to send much needed supplies to animals in need!

The Clicker Training store's promotion got me thinking about other ways to help homeless animals this week.

  1. Share a picture of a homeless pet.  Whether you post a photo to your Facebook newsfeed or email a Petfinder link to your friends, getting the word out can help connect a dog to a much needed forever home.
  2. Make a donation.  Every little bit counts. Make a monetary contribution online (usually tax deductible!) or pick up a few extra toys or bags of food on your next pet store visit. Most shelters have a wish list on their web site and would love help checking off items.
  3. Volunteer.  Take this opportunity to find out how you can donate time to a good cause. From walking dogs to stuffing envelopes, your local shelter would love your help.
  4. Get creative.  I've blogged before about making braided tug toys from old t-shirts, but I recently stumbled upon the ingenious idea of making ADOPT ME vests to donate. There are free directions online for both sewing and non-sewing versions.

Of course it would be great to provide a home for a shelter animal this week, but for most of us it's not possible. Hopefully this has given you some ideas on how to celebrate National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week in your own way.

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JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

Photo by daniellexo.

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