5 Ways To Help Strays On International Homeless Animals Day

Millions of homeless animals enter U.S. shelters each year, but that doesn’t mean their struggles are over. Shelter pets live in noisy, crowded kennels, make do without medical attention, and desperately seek adoptive homes. Conditions are particularly dire in the South, where shelter overcrowding, low rates of adoption, and rampant heartworm infection leave homeless animals at risk of euthanasia.

This growing predicament inspired International Homeless Animals Day, an annual reminder to help homeless animals celebrated on the third Saturday of August each year. This year, International Homeless Animals Day will take place on Saturday, August 20, 2022.

Photo: Pixabay

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to support homeless animals, on August 20 and every day of the year! Read on for 5 of our favorite ways to help strays, shelter pets, and other homeless animals on International Homeless Animals Day.

1. Adopt, don’t shop!

Photo: Pixabay

The best way you can help homeless animals is to adopt, not shop, which helps clear the shelters and gives loving shelter pets their own homes! Breeding exacerbates homeless animal populations, but adoption saves two lives by giving a shelter pet a home while making room for the next rescue. It’s a win-win!

2. Become a foster parent

Photo: Greater Good Charities

If you can’t adopt an animal, fostering is the next best thing! Foster parents help shelters bottle-feed orphaned puppies and kittens, give sick, injured, or shy shelter pets a quiet place to relax and recover, and/or simply homeless animals a break from the shelter! Contact your local shelter or sign up for Good Home, a Greater Good Charities program that connects foster parents with participating shelters across the United States.

3. Support TNR

Photo: Greater Good Charities

Trap-neuter-return, or TNR, is one of the best ways to help reduce pet overpopulation, which can quickly spiral out of control without intervention. Cats, for example, begin breeding at just 4 months of age, triggering a seasonal tide of homeless community cats during kitten season.

That’s why GreaterGood supports Good Fix, a Greater Good Charities’ program that sends rescue teams into communities overwhelmed by homeless animals to practice TNR, which helps reduce pet overpopulation, improves animal welfare, and reduces shelter overcrowding. If your pets aren’t spayed or neutered, International Homeless Animals Day is also an excellent reason to make an appointment with your vet!

4. Make a donation

Photo: Greater Good Charities/Humane Society of Broward County

Shelters play a critical role in helping homeless animals, but U.S. animal shelters are also chronically understaffed and funded, which — on the heels of a global pandemic and record inflation — leaves shelters struggling to support all the animals in their care. Celebrate International Homeless Animals Day by making a donation to your local shelter, support the annual Clear the Shelters donation drive in August, or help us stock busy shelters with essential supplies.

5. Fund Flights to Freedom

Photo: Greater Good Charities

Many homeless animals live in areas where people don’t spay or neuter their pets, causing the local populations of homeless animals to soar. But in other parts of the country, demand for adoption is soaring.

That’s why Greater Good Charities and The Animal Rescue Site support monthly Flights to Freedom, which fly adoptable shelter pets from the South — where overcrowded shelters leave homeless pets at risk of euthanasia – to safety on the East coast, where animals are adopted in days. Donate $5 to buy air miles for shelter dogs and cats traveling on our next Flights to Freedom.

How are you celebrating International Homeless Animals Day?

Help Rescue Animals

Provide food and vital supplies to shelter pets at The Animal Rescue Site for free!