Here are 8 simple suggestions that you can do to make a huge difference!

1. Volunteer your expertise

If you’re a writer, graphic designer, or just plain tech-savvy, ask if they need help running their website and social media pages. Are you a photographer? Whether you’re practicing or a pro, shelters need beautiful photos to introduce adoptees to the world. Love numbers? Perhaps you can help keep track of finances. What’s more, if your schedule doesn’t allow for the commitment of traditional volunteering, a large portion of these important jobs can be done right from home.

2. Help with your hobby

If you’re a knitting machine, you can show shelter animals that they are loved by making blankets. Love the outdoors? See if you could take some of the more energetic dogs on long walks or jogs.  If baking is your thing, ask if you can whip up a batch of fresh dog and cat biscuits.

3. Clean out your closet - then get crafty!

Before you toss your old clothes, think of how they could be made into animal beds or toys. You don’t even need to be an expert sewer — even old T-shirts can be knotted into pull toys! Even old stuffed animals may make cuddly companions for lonely animals.

4. Go through your linens

Ask your local shelter if they could use your old towels, sheets, or blankets to line the animal crates. Chances are, they’d love the donation. (Side note: lots of shelters need a ton of newspaper, too!)

5. …And see if local hotels have any towels to toss

If you want to go a step further, call some nearby hotels to see if they have linens they’d like to get rid of, too. They’ll probably be thrilled that someone is taking the “junk” off their hands, while the folks at the shelter will love all the free pet bedding.

6. Donate your pet's gently used stuff

Whether it’s a puppy collar he’s outgrown or cat bowls that no longer match your kitchen, there’s a dog or cat waiting for a forever home who could really use these gently-worn goods. Some ideas of things to donate: Collars, food and water bowls, harnesses, toys, crates, and beds.

7. Be an animal uber

Got a car? Perfect! There may be some animals that could need a lift to a foster or forever home.

8. Go on a shelter shopping spree!

If you’re a deal-scouting sleuth or have access to coupons or special discounts, load up the shopping cart with every day animal necessities. Not only will the shelter love the goods, but it saves them a trip to the store. Many shelters have 'wish lists' on their websites with even simple household items ranging from paper towels and cleaning spray, use your sleuthing skills to snag some deals on these items!