How to Rescue Pets in the City

There are so many ways you can help to rescue pets in the city. There are simple things that don’t take up much time and there are really involved activities that can take over your life! 

Take Care of Yourself

Rescuing pets can be very taxing, both physically and emotionally. Remember to take good care of yourself when you are involved in this work. Seeing how cruel and neglectful people can be towards animals that are dependent on them can make you hate people sometimes. Dealing with animals' behavioral issues can be exhausting. Make sure you take care of yourself while you do this work. Set boundaries and do what you must to stay positive.

Support Shelters and Rescues

Donating items

The simplest thing to do is support shelters and rescues by giving them items they ask for or giving them money. Many times shelters ask for items like cat food, litter, towels, laundry detergent, and other items.  They don't care if towles are torn or stained - they are still confortable for the animals. So you can donate some things that you don't use anymore.  I have donated cat supplies to the local shelter in my cat's name when he crossed the rainbow bridge.  I have also given them toys that my cat never got interested in.

Donating Money

Donations of money are also always welcome, when it is in response to a fundraising drive, or just a spontaneous gesture on your part.  Some pet supply stores have donation boxes for shelters and rescues.

Creating Fundraisers

You can get more involved by creating fundraisers, volunteering, and fostering animals.Perhaps you could get a pet photographer to donate their services and offer pet photography to the community and donate the proceeds to the shelter.  Or set up a cutest pet contest and donate all the cutest pet entry fees to the shelter. For more fundraising ideas, click here.

Donating Your Time

Shelters and rescues are always in need of dog walkers, people to play with the cats, people to clean the cages, do the laundry, do office work, post on social media, and many other chores.  Just ask your shelter or rescue and they usually are happy to get any help you can give them.

Fostering Animals

Shelters and rescuers are always looking for people to foster animals.  You take the animal to live in your home until a suitable forever home is found for them.  this is much better for the animal.  They don't have the stress of being caged up in a shelter. Instead they have the experience of living in a loving home.  They are then calmer and happier and more likely to get adopted as a result.  As a foster parent, you can share little details of the animal with prospective adoptive parents, so they can get to know the animal before adoption better than just seeing the animal in a shelter

When my kids were interested in getting a dog we fostered many dogs.  I knew we were not able to commit to being lifelong dog parents, but I still wanted to give my kids the experience of having a dog.  So fostering was right for us.

You might experience a "foster fail". That's when you foster an animal and end up deciding to keep it yourself!  That happened with the very first cat we fostered. He lived a long and happy life with us and we loved him.

Helping Abandoned Pets You Find

You can help animals you find in the city. Cats are especially in need of help as they are often left behind when people move or are otherwise abandoned. You can foster a cat, dog, rabbit or other pet you find yourself and try to find a home for them. You would need to get the animal some inital vet care to make sure they are healthy and have all their shots.  You would want to spay or neuter them, if that hasn't happened to them yet. Then you could pass out flyers, post online, use word of mouth, or other things to get the word out about the animal you have. 

Use Existing Resources of a Shelter or Rescue

It might be best to hook up with a rescue or shelter when you are looking for a home for an abandoned pet.  The rescue or shelter will make sure that the animal is going to a good home and not an abusive situation. Too many people take abandoned pets and use them as dog fight bait, food for another animal, or something equally as awful.  Charging an adoption fee is one way to weed out potential abusers, but many rescues and shelters ask for references, so home checks, and do other tasks to be sure the animal is going to a good home.  Besides helping to weed out animal abusers, an adoption fee helps you get some of the vet, food, and care money you spent on the animal. You shouldn't have to bankrupt yourself when you are taking care of abandonded animals!

Trap, Neuter, Release (TNR)

There are Trap Neuter Release programs that you can participate in or spearhead. These programs catch feral cats, neuter them, and then release them back out where they came from. Some cats do surprisingly well at living their life on the street. Many of them just don't have the personality to be an adoptive indoor cat and they are better off living in the street than going to a shelter and end up euthanized.  

Feral Cat Colony

You can also help take care of a feral cat colony. These cate live on the street, but are given regular food and water by people who care for them.  People also build shelters for their feral cats and take them to the vet when needed. Feral cats help to keep the rodent population down in the area

Starting Your Own Animal Rescue

You can start your own animal rescue, although you would want to have some experience doing it for years first and you would want to be part of the animal rescue community in your area so you have support when things get rough.  It can be heartbreaking caring for all these abandoned animals and seeing how thoughtless some people are to their pets.

To start an animal rescue, you would have to make a  501c3 nonprofit organization. This will help you finance this endeavor.

Work in Animal Rescue

There are tons of volunteer opportunities to help abandoned animals in your area.  Sometimes jobs open up in a shelter, whether it's office jobs, animal care jobs, or administration.

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.