How to Help: A Guide to Animal Shelters and Dog Rescue

With so many stray and abandoned dogs reaching animal shelters each year, these institutions are always looking for help. Learn how to find your local shelter and help out with your canine friends.

Extreme closeup of dog lying on ground looking sad

Each year, shelters are overrun with dogs who've been abandoned. Helping them out is a worthwhile endeavor.

Helping save and care for dogs can be a very rewarding experience. The joy and love that these four-legged friends bring into our lives are invaluable. Not all dogs receive the love back that they are capable of bringing, though. Every year, shelters are overrun by abandoned and unwanted dogs. Giving back to help these down on their luck canines is a productive and worthwhile endeavor, and it’s easier than you think. Here’s how to get involved:

Finding an Animal Shelter

Finding a dog rescue shelter shouldn’t be too hard. Shelters are located all across the country, and many are listed in yellow books and online directories. Before looking for a specific animal shelter, consider what kind of shelter you would like to help. Many shelters exist for specific breeds, sizes of dogs, and situations. If you are looking for something specific, know that before going in. Once you know what you are looking for, you can use a variety of tools to find the right shelter. Here are some online resources:

How to Help

Female volunteer with shelter dog outdoors

One way to help an animal shelter is to give your time as a volunteer.

There are many ways to help your local shelter and disadvantaged dogs in your area. The first, and most obvious, is to adopt a dog yourself. Dog rescue shelters are great places to find new pets that, with a little love, will blossom into great companions. Many people are wary of adopting a dog from a shelter because of the potential for health and behavior issues, but with the right research, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Of course, not everyone has the capability to help a shelter by adopting a dog. If you’re seeking a slightly less involved way to help, there are plenty of other ways to give aid to shelter dogs. One is to give your time. Research online to see if any animal shelters are looking for volunteers, and see if you fit their needs. The ASPCA is usually looking for volunteers and is a good place to start.

Finally, if you can’t adopt a dog or volunteer your time, you can still find ways to help. Animal shelters will always welcome a donation of food or other dog supplies that you might have.