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3 Simple Ways for Kids to Support Pet Adoption

Thursday, September 20, 2012

It's a fact: most kids love animals, and most kids love helping animals. Why not foster that love for animals early by helping your child support their local animal shelter? Here are three fun and creative ways your child can help animals in need.

Photo credit: thelastresortrescue.com
The "No Gift" Birthday

Most kids already have way too much stuff. The last thing they need is another action figure or doll! Use your child's birthday party as an opportunity to teach him/her "it is better to give than receive" by asking party attendees to provide gifts for the shelter animals rather than gifts for the birthday boy/girl. Contact your local animal shelter to see which supplies are most needed (towels, detergent, food, toys, etc.), and provide a list of those items on the birthday invitation. Some bigger shelters even have a party room to hold birthday events! Your child will be very proud when they deliver all the animal gifts to the shelter, and may even get a feature on the shelter's website thanking them.

Photo credit: my.hsj.org
Classroom Competition

There's nothing wrong with a little healthy competition, especially when it helps out animals in need! Contact your child's school administrator to see about hosting a pet supply drive. To give it a little extra incentive, make it a classroom competition. Whichever class raises the most donations wins! You could also consider a "Can the Principal" type of drive, where pet food donations are placed in the principal's office with the goal of accumulating so many items the principal temporarily loses his office (for a good cause, of course!)

Photo credit: freepik.com
Sack the Stuffed Animals

Somehow kids manage to amass a small army of stuffed animals at an alarming rate. Encourage your child to pick out a few meaningful favorites, and donate the rest to the dogs at your local shelter. Many dogs enjoy carrying around stuffed toys, and even cuddle with them in their pen at the shelter! Make sure you contact your local shelter to ensure they accept this sort of donation before you go herding up bags of plushies, though. It's also best to wash stuffed animals with an unscented detergent and thoroughly dry them before offering them up for donation. Kids might be sad to see some of their stuffed toys go, but they'll be glad to know their old teddy might be keeping a lonely shelter pup company.

Teaching your kids to support shelter animals at an early age will help them learn more about pet adoption and  the importance of practicing kindness to those (both human and animal) in need.

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