When families are in crisis, their pets may be in danger for a variety of reasons.
The family may not have the resources or financial means to properly care for their pets. If a family is facing financial difficulties, they may not be able to afford to feed their pets or provide them with necessary veterinary care, reports the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The family may be facing significant stress and may not have the time or energy to properly care for their pets. In some cases, families in crisis may be forced to give up their pets because they are unable to provide for them, The Guardian reports. In other cases, pets may be neglected or mistreated as a result of the family’s crisis.
These stories are becoming more and more common. With the economic fallout of COVID-19 in the United States, domestic violence and homelessness are both on the rise, and for those facing these hardships with pets, the pet faces the unthinkable through no fault of their own.
It is important for families to be aware of the potential risks to their pets during times of crisis and to make arrangements to ensure that their pets are safe and well-cared for, reports Harvard Medical School.
That’s where you can help.
Here are 10 ways that anyone can help support pets whose families can no longer take care of them due to a health or financial crisis or disaster:
10. Foster a pet temporarily
Many organizations have foster programs that allow individuals to provide a temporary home for pets whose owners are unable to care for them.
9. Offer to help care for a pet
Some pet owners may need assistance with feeding, walking, or grooming their pets.
8. Donate pet supplies
Shelters always need pet supplies, such as food, toys, and bedding. These items can be especially useful for organizations that are helping to care for pets whose owners are in need.
7. Connect others to help
Share information about resources that are available to help pet owners in crisis. This could include information about organizations that offer financial assistance, pet food banks, or temporary foster programs.
Volunteer your time at an animal shelter or rescue group. These organizations often rely on volunteers to help care for the animals in their care.
5. Spread the word
Spread the word about pets in need. Share information about pets that are looking for new homes on social media, or tell your friends and family about pets that are available for adoption.
4. Donate time and skills
If you have a particular expertise, such as photography or marketing, consider offering your services to an animal shelter or rescue group to help them promote their cause.
3. Support local businesses that help animals
Many small businesses donate a portion of their profits to animal-related causes, so consider supporting these businesses to help animals in need.
2. Get involved
Get involved in animal advocacy. Join an animal rights group or write letters to your elected representatives to advocate for animal-friendly policies.
1. Donate money
Donate money to organizations that provide assistance to pet owners in need, such as Greater Good Charities Rescue Rebuild program, which works to improve spaces that help cats in shelters that need it most. The team will help Lost Our Home Pet Rescue revamp their spaces.
The Rescue Rebuild plan is to renovate five cat rooms to lower stress, increase chances for adoption, and improve the quality of life for all these cats who escape crisis. Two of the rooms will be specifically dedicated to the most critical needs cats who escaped crisis situations like domestic violence and need care, while three will be used for adoptable cats. The rooms will be themed as a play room, bedroom and master bedroom, living room, and kitchen. They’ll all be full of cat shelves, hideaways, climbers, hammocks, and more.
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