6 Things You Can Do to Help Animals

If you want to help animals but think you do not have the money or means to, there are several other ways to chip in. Having volunteered as a foster (and failing), I quickly learned how short rescues are on help.

Helping homeless animals is a full-time job and then some for the rescues. It can be completely overwhelming, but I am also learning about all the small ways everyone can help animals!

A dog's paw.

6 Ways to Help Animals


Fostering an animal is quite a commitment but can be life-saving to an animal. Most organizations that I know of run solely on foster families taking in animals.

The amount of space in foster homes determines the amount of animals helped. Animals come into the system a lot faster than they are adopted, so fosters are always needed.

Short-term Fostering

When fostering an animal, you have no way of knowing if and when they will be adopted. You could have the animal for three weeks or three years. It’s impossible to say.

Short-term fostering is an option, as well. In the case of the full-time foster needing assistance, whether it be for a trip away or if an animal needs to be alone for health reasons. Whatever the case, opening up your home for a weekend here and there could prove to be helpful.


Most shelter and foster organizations are volunteer-based. That means there are tons of positions to fill.

You can take animals to adoption events, help match animals with the right families, make home visits for applicants, help with bookwork, run social media pages, and so much more.


Clearly, monetary donations are always top priority. Other items are also commonly needed. Blankets, towels, food, toys, treats, and so much more.

A lot of foster homes will set up wishlists if they are fostering a special needs animal that requires more than usual. You can pull up their wishlists and ship them a few things.

Our local Animal Welfare League has a wishlist of things they need at the shelter. Check the website of your local shelter or rescue.


This goes with volunteering, but there are many times where an animal needs to get from wherever they have been rescued to the actual foster home or shelter.

They don’t take public transportation! Someone needs to drive them.


This is the easiest, and I do it every time I shop on Amazon. Use https://smile.amazon.com/ and choose your organization.

Mine is South Suburban Humane Society. After our visit there to bust myths about cat adoption, they became one of my favorite shelters.

Each time you shop on Amazon the organization of your choice will receive a tiny bit of cash back from your purchase at no extra cost to you. It’s like using affiliate links, except the charity gets the money.

We shop on Amazon a lot, so I love being able to do this no-brainer way to give back a little and help charities.

Help Animals in Pet Shelters while you Pokemon GO!

Franklin laying down.

Do you have any other suggestions for easy ways to help animals?

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  1. I never knew about AmazonSmile, thank you for the information! The rescue where I adopted my last dog is participating!

  2. We usually make treats to bring to our local shelter a few times a year. I wish I could take them all home with me.

  3. Awe, sweet post. We love to help animals. We go to our shelter a lot and ask how we can help that day.

  4. I love all of these. I am tempted to foster but we already have 4 dogs so I’m afraid we wouldn’t be able to let the fosters go!

  5. I cold not imagine live without our two cats. I had no idea you could foster pets for a short term time. What a great idea!

  6. I’m a huge animal lover. I’ll help them as much as I can. I love going to the animal shelter just to donate time to play with the animals. I also donate money when I can as well as toys or food or whatever else they may need.

  7. I have smile.amazon.com bookmarked! I’m going to look through some of the charities for animals next time I make a purchase.

  8. I am so proud of people who advocate for animals! My family has fostered, transported, supported and whatever else we can dig our paws into to help animals! The world wouldn’t be the same with out our 4 legged loves!

  9. I want to foster, but I am worried that my kids would get attached and not understand at this age. We will have to shop to donate instead!

  10. My daughter helped run a puppy/cat adoption at our local pet store for her senior project! She spent two different weekends there and stayed all day! She loved it!

  11. I never thought of volunteering at an animal shelter or anything. I didn’t even know that was a thing you could do. Thanks for the ideas.

  12. My personal favorite: if there’s a stray cat in your neighborhood, grab it and get it FIXED! Most shelters offer super-low-cost or even FREE alterations of stray cats, because the cat population is simply out of control. Even if you can’t keep the cat, getting it fixed will do SO much for cats overall.

    1. I never thought of that! That is brilliant!!! You are right, it’s not all that expensive and can make a huge difference.

  13. We acquired our two cats at the local shelter. I am surprised that there was nothing in the literature about Amazon Smile. This is the first I have heard of it, and do shop Amazon. Thank you for the information.

  14. In high school my daughter volunteered for cat care at the Humane Society. They needed volunteers every day and she felt like she was making a difference.

  15. Donating to my animal shelter really makes me feel better about all the animals that are waiting for a new home! I can not adopt now, but I donate to a dog charity that saves animals!

  16. Another way to help is crossposting on social media. I crosspost for our local shelter and senior or hard to adopt animals quite a bit.

  17. I am going to have to look into Amazon Smile, I would love if I could donate to a local animal rescue.

  18. I try to look local first when making my charitable donations, and look to the most helpless first. I that is animals. Thanks very much for this post.

  19. Such great tips! I have volunteered before in other places but I have always wanted to at a shelter. I love rabbits but I’m not good with cats and most dogs. Maybe I can volunteer when it comes to buns. 🙂

    Diana C

  20. I’m so glad you posted this list,I work in an animal shelter and always hear how people wish they could donate but money is too tight. Transportation is a huge help,,we are always short on drivers for spaying and neutering, blankets and towels – the more the better – every one in our shelter loves fresh blankets at the end of the day to get cozy. Finally – Amazon smile is great and also ResQwalk is a free app that donates to your shelter of choice just from walking, so you get healthy and the animals benefit. Thank you again!

    1. Oh my gosh, thank YOU for commenting! I am going to download that app ASAP! And thank you for helping animals by working in a shelter. That has to be a very bittersweet job. <3

  21. What a great idea to offer transportation for rescue animals! And, isn’t AmazonSmile just the best? Help out your favorite organization just by shopping!

    1. AmazonSmile rocks! It’s such an easy way to help out. I saw my charity post on Facebook that they received about $380 from AmazonSmile last quarter. <3

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