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10 Ways to Help Independent Rescuers


We love holiday gift lists as much as anyone and getting a new product for your favorite pet is always nice. But, let’s face it – the real meaning behind the holidays is to do for others. This doesn’t always mean making a donation to a national animal rescue group (although that’s a great way to go). The flailing economy has been hard on us all, but not nearly as hard as it’s been on independent animal rescuers.

Individual families with multiple pets have also had a rough time of it, and often it’s the animals who are the first to suffer. For this reason, we’ve come up with several ideas on how you can help others who love animals and are active in smaller rescue efforts. The best part is that these ideas can be put into practice during any time of year!

10. Pay for a set of vaccinations

You take your dogs and cats into the vet all the time, but what about a neighbor’s dog or cat who is part of a family that is struggling? Ask your vet if you can pay for a set of vaccinations for someone’s pet. Most good vets will offer a discount on the office exam so that a person can afford to take their pet in for vaccinations.

9. Make an anonymous donation to a family member or friend

Yes, you really can do this. A prepaid visa for $25 can make a world of difference to someone who has been unemployed for a year. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that if it doesn’t matter to you, it doesn’t matter to others.

8. Enter and/or win a giveaway and have the prize shipped to a rescue

It only takes a minute or two to enter a giveaway (we have many giveaways at PetsWeekly) and most sites will ship wherever you want them to ship.

7. Pick up an extra bag of dog or cat food

Most independent rescuers could really use some extra food. If they can’t, they know someone who can. Try leaving a bag on their front step with a nice note wishing them a Merry Christmas!

6. Pick up Supplies

Most people can afford a new collar, but many independent rescuers (and regular rescues) can’t afford them. Pick up a new collar, a pet bed, or a box of cat litter. These are the things that independent rescuers and animal lovers love to receive.

5. A People Massage

The one thing that all independent rescuers do is forget to take care of their own needs. While few can handle an entire day away from their animals, a massage is a great way to remind them that they need to take care of themselves and it does wonders to help them pick up those dogs or cats all day!

4. Pet Sitting and Dog Walking

Independent rescuers rarely take time for themselves because they are, quite simply, overwhelmed. An offer of pet sitting or even a week of taking one of their dogs for a walk, can take a huge load off them. It’s also a great way to get some exercise!

3. Gift cards

If you’re going to pick up a gift card, make it a card that enables the rescuer to get some fuel for their vehicles, pick up pet supplies, or obtain groceries. These are the things that really matter to those involved with animal rescue on any level.

2. Support their work by Shopping

Independent rescuers are usually quite creative and many make their living from small businesses. Support your local artists, authors, and entrepreneurs by buying directly from them. It not only helps out the rescue, it helps the economy. Amazon offers a new program called Smiles – which lets you help your rescue just by shopping. Another favorite is ResQWalk (read more here: Using the ResQWalk App to Raise Funds for Animals). There are hundreds of wonderful affiliate programs available for rescues – just ask which ones they use (or better yet, help them set up a new one!).

1. Help with veterinary bills

It’s easy to set up a small account and encourage others to contribute. You can set up an account through your own vet or simply offer to make a payment towards someone’s outstanding bill. (Think of it as being similar to paying off someone’s layaway purchase at Walmart, but with a vet bill.) Just call up your favorite rescue and find out who their preferred veterinarian is, then call the vet and make a donation towards your rescue.

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