November 1st marked the beginning of the Holiday Barn Pet Resorts annual Fall Pet Food Drive. The food drive will assist The Henrico Humane Society, Richmond Animal League, and the Richmond SPCA with needed food during the holidays and beyond. The upcoming holiday season finds many of us donating time and money to charitable causes. It’s a wonderful time of the year when generosity abounds and the needs of others are first and foremost in our thoughts.
For pet lovers, volunteering at an animal shelter or donating funds to a rescue group is a great way to help animals in need. Each shelter or rescue organization has different needs according to their focus breed (if they have one), location, and the number of pets in their care.
If you would like to do something special this year for homeless animals, here is a list of ideas to get you started.
- Money. I am sure rescue groups would agree that this is the most versatile contribution to make because it can cover everything from treats to vet visits. Most rescue organizations spay or neuter their rescues before adoption, and many provide annual vaccinations, microchipping, and other medical care. The vet bills can really add up.
- Gift Cards. Some rescues may also appreciate gift cards to places like Wal-Mart so that they can purchase miscellaneous items like office and cleaning supplies.
- Food. Food donations are always welcome. Even coupons from food companies are appreciated. Gift cards to major pet store chains are often easier for the rescue group than the actual food donation. And, of course, as mentioned, drop off your pet food donation at either of our two resorts: 3800 Mountain Road in Glen Allen, or 614 Johnston Willis Drive in Richmond.
- Fostering. Foster homes are a big deal these days. Because few rescue groups have facilities to house their rescues, they rely heavily on foster homes. Wouldn’t it be fun to share your holidays with a pet who needs a home? For those who are unable to “physically” foster a pet, you could “virtually” foster a pet with monetary donations to cover regular veterinary expenses, food, and other needs.
- Supplies for new homes. Particularly with smaller breeds, crates (new or used) are often supplied to foster and new homes. Collars and leads are also helpful.
- Non-doggy needs. Many rescue organizations would appreciate “outside-the-box” donations, such as postage stamps, cleaning supplies, or laundry detergent.
It is a good idea to contact the shelter or rescue organization first for their individual “wish list”, as well as to see if your donations are tax deductable.
If you are thinking of helping a pet with no home this holiday season, Do your homework. Make sure you select a reputable organization. Are they a registered 501(3)c charity? Do they regularly attend adoption events in the area and have an active group of volunteers? Are they willing to answer your questions and respond in a timely manner? Do they have a clean, healthy facility? If you’re still concerned, your Vet may be able to help point you in the right direction.
There are many wonderful Richmond area shelters and rescue groups. Here is a list of No-Kill animal shelters through-out Virginia. Thank you for your contributions and your love. Happy Holidays!