National Change a Pet's Life Day was celebrated on January 24th. This special day was created to not only raise awareness for pets in need and encourage adoption, but to also encourage you to make positive changes in your own pets' lives.
Read on to learn 6 ways you can make a positive impact every day of the year.
Change a Pet's Life Day History
The history behind the first Change a Pet's Life Day is unclear, but many people agree that the first one was organized by Hill's Pet Nutrition in 2009 as a way to draw attention to animals in need of homes. To celebrate, Hill's waived the adoption fees for many animal shelters around the country to encourage more people to consider pet adoption.
Over time, many rescue and animal-related organizations across the country have taken January 24th as an opportunity to raise awareness of animals in need.
How to Help Pets in Need
Wondering how you can help? Here are 6 ways you can make an impact:
1. Volunteer at a Local Animal Rescue
Shelters and local rescue organizations are always in need of volunteers to donate their time and compassion to helping animals in need.
There are a variety of volunteer roles that you can fill. Whether you're taking shelter dogs for walks, preparing enrichment activities for guinea pigs, or cleaning cages and kennels, any help that you provide goes a long way to changing a pet's life.
Many animal organizations rely on volunteers to maintain their operations, so volunteering your time will directly help more animals in need of loving homes.
2. Adopt or Foster a Pet
Another great way to directly change the life of an animal in need is to consider giving one a loving home – even if you can only do this temporarily through the foster system.
If you're ready to commit to caring for and loving a new pet for the remainder of their lifetime, adopting is the easiest way to make the biggest impact on an animal's life. If you're not quite ready for that level of commitment, however, fostering also makes a huge difference.
By fostering for a local animal organization, you're not only giving an animal a safe, happy home to stay in until they're adopted, but you're also freeing up space in the shelter for even more animals to get the help they need.
3. Schedule Your Pet's Vet Checkup
Staying on top of your pet's healthcare is a great way to make a positive change in their life. Regular vet exams give you insights into your pet's overall health, and if there are any changes you need to make to their diet or routine.
Regular checkups with your vet also help you get ahead of potential health conditions your pet may have, so you can start treatment as soon as possible. This is even more important as your pet ages, and your vet may recommend more frequent vet exams for senior pets for this reason.
4. Sign Your Pet Up for a New Training Class
Just like us, learning a new skill or trying a new sport is a great way for our pets to continually learn, as well as stay active. If your pet is growing bored of their usual exercise routines or they could use more mental enrichment, consider signing up for a new training class.
There are a variety of classes you and your pet could try, from Canine Good Citizen classes to nose work training – and training classes aren't just for dogs! Consider trying out agility classes with your rabbit or working on clicker training with your cat.
Learning new skills helps to build your pet's confidence, challenges their brain, and provides them with much-needed exercise. That's a great way to make a positive change in your pet's life!
5. Make a Donation to Your Local Animal Shelter
If you can't donate your home or your time, consider making a monetary donation to a local animal shelter or animal rescue organization in need.
These rescues are typically entirely donation-driven, meaning the more money they receive from generous animal lovers like you, the more animals in need they can help.
Your donations go directly to help more animals receive food, shelter, and the medical attention they may need. Medical bills and supply costs can quickly add up, especially for animals that have been rescued from less than ideal conditions.
Any amount in donations makes a major impact on the lives of animals, and your local animal shelter will be grateful.
6. Spread Awareness for Pets in Need
Any day is the perfect way to spread awareness through social media, or even through word-of-mouth in your local community. Consider sharing the fundraising campaigns held by your local animal rescue organizations on social media to help spread the word.
If you have a rescue pet, sharing your adoption story on social media is another fantastic way to spread awareness.
Many people are hesitant to adopt a pet because there are so many unknown variables, like the pet's backstory or medical history. By sharing your success story, you could show others that animals from the shelter have just as much love to give.
If you can convince even just one more person to consider adoption, you would make a difference in a shelter pet's life.
Celebrate Change a Pet's Life Day All Year Long
There are many animals across the country currently waiting for their second chance at a forever home. In fact, approximately 6.3 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year, and that number doesn't include other rescue organizations that work tirelessly to help animals in need.
You can change the life of one of those 6.3 million animals by adopting, fostering, or even donating your time or money to improve their chances of being adopted. So, let's take this day and every day to not only celebrate our own pets, but to remember all of the furry friends out there that can use a helping hand.
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