Foster Care Providers – Offer a foster home for a homeless cat until a permanent home can be found. Home foster care is needed for pregnant cats, cats with kittens, orphaned kittens, injured, ill or elderly cats. Medical care for the cats and kittens and supplies needed are provided to foster care providers. Foster care volunteers play a vital and important role in the ability to save all of The Kittens Cradle cats and kittens.
Volunteer Animal Transporters – Volunteer animal transporters bring animals to/from vet appointments, home visits, adoption events on the weekends, special events, transports to their new foster home, etc.
Fundraising/Event Helpers – Helps with setup/tear down of events such as fundraisers, educational events, adoption events, business expos, etc. You would also help to hand out educational materials and educate people on the rescue and try to recruit new volunteers.
Share adoption profiles on social media: Your Facebook timeline, Twitter stream, Pinterest board, Tumbler page and other social media accounts are all perfect ways to help advertise pets that are in need of a home. Simply sharing the profiles of adoptable animals to your followers takes hardly any time or effort yet could play a part in creating the perfect match for an animal in need of a forever family.
Donate wish list items: Every shelter has a wish list of items, whether it’s food, toys, bedding, litter, crates or cleaning supplies. Pick up a couple items next time you’re shopping to drop off at the shelter.
Crafty folks: Create homemade toys and bedding using old T-shirts, jeans or blankets. Or sew up “Adopt Me” vests and bandanas for adoptable animals to wear while they’re out for walks or at events. A quick search for “How to make [insert cat bed, cat toys, etc.]” will bring up loads of patterns and ideas.
Writers: Shelters do a lot of writing. They need adoption profiles for each pet put up for adoption, newsletters must be written and sent, ads for events and fundraisers must be crafted, grant applications must be written, and so on. Your skills as a writer could make all the difference for a shelter’s success.
Social media experts: Social media is a must for getting the word out on adoptable pets. Shelters need to post updates constantly on who is looking for a new home, who was adopted out successfully (everyone loves hearing success stories!), requests for much needed supplies or donations, and other news. Someone skilled with the etiquette and best practices for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other platforms, including skills for writing and scheduling updates, can mean a big uptick in successful adoptions.
Photographers: High-quality photos for adoption profiles make an enormous difference in how quickly animals get adopted. Volunteer your skills with a camera to photograph animals, showing off their personality and making them look their best so potential adopters will click on their profile and, with luck, visit to meet and adopt them.
Your birthday: Birthdays are the perfect way to gather donations for a shelter. Everyone wants to be nice to you on your birthday, right? You could set up a fundraising website, using something like gofundme.com or indiegogo.com, to raise money throughout the month of your birthday, or you can ask anyone attending your birthday party to bring a gift for the shelter instead of for you. You could even host your birthday party at a shelter or dog park for extra fun and inspiration.
Your wedding: It’s getting more popular to have a no-gifts wedding registry, with the happy couple asking for donations to favorite charities. Your wedding registry could revolve around charities that help rescued animals in need. You can set up a registry page with monetary donations going straight to the rescue or shelter of your choice, or you can ask guests to bring something to donate that you can drop off later. Or both!
Your party: Throwing a party? Add a special request for folks to bring something to donate to a shelter, or set up a jar for raising money next to the snack platter (or better yet, the drinks station). It’s an easy add-on to an event you’re already hosting.
At work: Put up a glass jar with a sign on your desk or countertop, and send out an email to coworkers asking for donations for a week. Or take it a step further by organizing a supplies donation drive, bake sale, raffle or other fundraising drive for a week or more.
Say “thank you”: Shelter workers give their whole hearts to their jobs, and are usually buried under never-ending to-do lists and urgent tasks. They usually are overstressed and under-paid. So little things like someone showing how much they appreciate what they’re doing goes a long, long way in restoring the energy and drive they need to continue to help animals. You can do something simple like sending in a thank you card or a bouquet of flowers. Or maybe deliver cupcakes or cookies, or order pizza or sandwiches for the whole crew one day. Anything that shows just how much their efforts are appreciated will make a big difference. When the staff are encouraged and energized, all the animals in the shelter benefit from that positive energy.