Pets for the Petless
Despite their loving charm and affectionate natures, many pet people are petless. This can be for a variety of reasons, including household allergies or lack of money or time. There are a variety of ways for pet people to get their animal fix without the commitment of a full time pet. When I was a student at university, I learned the tricks to get my animal fix while living in a small apartment in a city!
-Shelters are a great place to start. Most shelters welcome new volunteers to help play with, walk and care for the dogs and cats. A quick call to a local shelter will give you an accurate idea of what you can do to help.
-Fostering a pet is a great way to help pets in need without the full-time commitment, and is great for petless student. Animals such as cats or small dogs suit apartments or shared living spaces, and depending on the pet, you are assisting by helping getting them ready for a permanent home!
-A variation of fostering is taking in a guide dog puppy, who needs a loving home and steady handling before they can go on to their full-time career as a guide dog. Guide Dogs of Canada is a great place to start to learn more.
-For horse people, try volunteering at a local farm such as a riding facility for the disabled. If you are short on funds, many farms look for seasonal staff who have coaching or stable experience. It’s a great way to earn some money and spend time with horses! Many riders and students carpool if they don’t have cars or save on gas, so check online local bulletin boards to see what’s available.
-If you like dogs or cats and have some free time, working as a dog-walker or house-sitter may also help you earn money while giving you the opportunity to spend time with animals. Be prepared to have letters of reference with your experience with pets, or contact a local pet-sitting company to see if they need any help.
-Be creative! Use word-of-mouth throughout your neighbourhood to let people know you love pets and are looking to spend some time with them. Playing with someone’s puppy, walking an older dog, playing with lonely housecats and feeding the fish are daily tasks that many people enjoy but occassionally don’t have time for.
If you want to help pets but are not able to travel, considering joining a club or society that needs volunteers for petitions and causes that need support. Fundraising is a big part of shelter activity, so even if you cannot care for a pet yourself, consider donating some of your time to raise money for a local shelter or cause. The feeling you get from knowing you helped animals in need is priceless!
Your dedication and support
It is with and because of your dedication and support that helpless animals are being saved. Thank you for everything.