Shelters and dog rescue centers are overfilled. The good news? You can help in 5 easy ways.

You may be wondering what you can do about the increased number of dogs that are overfilling the rescue centers and shelters and overtaxing their resources. At the start of the pandemic when many people began working and learning from home, many dogs were gratefully adopted. Now, an influx of individuals returning to work and school coupled with inflation means shelters and rescue organizations have been forced to accept an increasing number of loveable adoption-ready dogs in need of their forever homes. Here’s how you can help.

1) Volunteer Your Time
If you want to make a difference in your community, volunteering is an excellent start! By spending time with a dog rescue organization, such as Sophie’s Circle, you will be directly part of the impact such a service has on your area. You may be asked to walk, train, or play with dogs, clean out common areas and kennels, spread the word about the organization and donation needs at local fairs and events, or help visitors connect with adorable dogs who are eager to meet their new owners. Plus, some nonprofits like Sophie’s Circle, offer dog food pantries where you may sort supplies, help local families in need stock up on dog food that will allow them to better afford caring for their beloved canine companions, or source new opporutnities for dog food donations from local businesses and the community.

2) Donate Money
Of course, the easiest way to help your local shelters and rescue organizations is to donate funds that can be used for food, supplies, and needed services, such as spaying and neutering or treating medical issues. As needs grow, so does the funding required to keep the dogs healthy as they wait for their adoptions. Many times, veteranerians, fostering families, and rescue organization managers spend out-of-pocket funds to care for the dogs in shelters and rescue centers. Even then, the financial need is too great without community support as the average dog food costs just under $50 per bag! In other words, for less than the price of one family meal at a nearby restaurant, you could be helping a dog eat for an entire month.

3) Drop Off Food & Pet Supplies
Concerned about where you monetary donation is going? Why not use it to purchase food and supplies for your local dog food pantry? Sophie’s Circle, for example, is always appreciative of food and treat donations as well as new leashes, collars, pet beds of varying sizes, and toys. It may help to call the organization ahead of purchasing to receive a checklist of dog food brands and supply needs to avoid buying a surplus of one item or dog formula when others of equal value are needed. Also, gift receipts are helpful in the event a brand or formula needs to be substituted for another.

Please note: If you have gently used donations, be sure to call your local dog adoption center to receive the rules pertaining to the items they can accept.

4) Offer a Furry Companion a Temporary Home
Do you have extra space in your home and heart for a four-legged temporary guest? Fostering is a wonderful opporutnity to get in a healthy dose of bonding with a dog who is waiting to be adopted without the long-term responsibility or expense. This is also a great way to discover which personalities, breed traits, and grooming needs work best for your lifestyle and budget.

5) Adopt a Canine Bestie
If you are in the process of acquiring a new furbaby, adopting a dog from a rescue organization like Sophie’s Circle offers many benefits over paying thousands for a puppy from a breeder. For example, fostering families caring for adoptable dogs often list important information like whether the dog is good with kids or other pets, if the dog is housetrained, and helpful insight into the dog’s general demeanor. Plus, the adoptees are often already partially or fully trained on basic commands!

Ready to Help Reduce the Growing Number of Dogs in Shelters & Rescue Organizations?
As you can see from the above steps, being part of the solution is easy! If you would like to get involved with Sophie’s Circle rescue and pet pantry in the Volusia County, Florida area, reach out to us using our foster application, donation link and contact information on our donation page, or adoption application.