Pet Fest 2013-0370How You Can Make a Difference

Make a difference in an animal’s life and see how it enhances your life as well

Do some volunteer work. This can be as simple as volunteering at your local public/private shelter or as elaborate as making trips to Africa to save the elephants. There is a wide range of opportunities. It all depends on your passion and budget. You can probably start by looking up animal volunteering on the web. If you don’t google, then pick up the phone and make some calls. When you find a good home for a dog or cat, for instance, you have upgraded the lives of both the animal and their new family. This new family member will truly become a child’s BFF.

Contribute to animal related charities. There are thousands of charities around the country including the Humane Society of the United States and ASPCA. I recommend you check out charity navigator to see which ones actually put the money towards programs instead of towards high-priced employees. Charities that put more than 85% of contributions to programs are excellent. There is one called Heifer International where you can purchase:  a hive of bees, a flock of geese, a pig, a cow, a llama or many other choices. All of these purchases go to a family in a developing country who will raise the animal and begin a new way of life with their gift. This is one of the most uplifting charities available and it is always the most treasured gift for my wife at Christmas.

Training and learning. If you or someone you know already has an animal as a pet or working partner it’s important to do some training. Animals thrive when they get both mental and physical exercise. Some have a very large capacity to learn. It’s not unusual for a dog to know 50 to a 100 words and recognize as many different objects. You may want to consider classes or private trainers to help you learn how to train. There are many great books out there on the subject. Patricia McConnell is a good author and has an excellent website.

Check back again to learn more about our four-legged friends…

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