Kilo the Pug started out as our foster dog from Homeward Bound Rescue in Ontario and is now a much-loved part of our family.
My cat Nala was also a rescue. There are so many pets still going into rescues and shelters each year.
We did our TV episode “Rescues Rock!” to build awareness about the benefits of adoption and about Puppy Mills and showcase wonderful rescue dogs like Linzy, Harley and Fishstick.
My blog does not make enough money to help every pet I’d like to yet, so I am always trying to think up easy, cost-efficient ways to support Rescues.
12 Easy Ways to Support Rescues
- Shop – what could be more fun and practical. You shop and people donate food or dollars. Check out DogforDog, AdoptAShelter, PetSmart Charities, and various individual books or items you can buy for charity like Igor Pug’s Calendars for PugALug Pug Rescue here in Ontario.
- Volunteer – do anything your local rescue needs including fostering, and taking great photos of rescues like our friends Sadie (Sarah Parker) and Trish of Pawesome Pet Photography and CCRT. Beautiful photos can really help a dog’s chance of getting adopted.
- Write helpful and/or moving stories in blogs (like Charity Paws ) and books (like Val Silver , Mattie Dog and Henry Says Hello), and write letters (check out the Ruby’s Legacy Campaign against Puppy Mills).
- Sell – Create or find things to sell with proceeds going to an animal rescue or charity of your choice. Sell photos, food, buttons, cookies, treats, books, calendars, t-shirts, toys and other merchandise online or at events eg Norbert and Lil’ Bub, Mattie Dog, Pug-A-Lug, Igor, Shelter Pets. Hold a Raffle, a bake sale, a silent auction or garage sale. We do this successfully at lots of events.
- Events – If you work with a Rescue – help them to hold events at their facilities and also attend subsidized or free events and adoption drives like Global Pet Expo, Dog Lovers Days, Canadian Pet Expo, Woofstock, Pawlooza or Rescue Me at Purina PawsWay to build awareness, educate and fundraise. Many of these events donate a portion of their revenue to rescues.
- Hold your own fundraising event like our friend Carol at Fidose of Reality and the Wigglebutt Warriors , Wienerfest , Pug-A-Lug Pugoween and Pugentine Parties, Carwashes, Walks, Golf, Fashion Shows, Talent Shows, Trick Contests, Halloween Parades, Picnics, Dinners, Movie Screenings, and Kids Pet Clubs. At our live and online Kids’ Pet Clubs, we make Pet Rescue Rocks to adopt and sing songs, and share educational information about Rescues. We have also done Talent Shows and Movie Screenings.
- Go for a Walk! There are free apps out there designed for you to enter your daily dog walk information to then have that data converted to money donated to an animal rescue of your choice. The more walks you and others make towards an animal cause, the bigger the pay out. Check out WoofTracks for an example. There are also organized group walks. Many people seem to like to walk or bike or do other activities for charity.
- Promotion and Influence– If you can not hold an event, attend one and use your influence to attract other people or to promote an event or cause. Crusoe the Instagram Star and Obie the Biggest Loser have each supported Wienerfest. Our best Facebook Pals Bocker Labradoodle and Gizmo from Gizmo’s Frens are always helping dogs and people in need. We regularly support causes and events.
- Create a sharable YouTube Video or other content. You can build awareness for your cause and ask for donations like Hope for Paws or The Driving Dogs video for the SPCA in New Zealand or John Legend on Omaze.. You can also donate the revenue from ads on YouTube like we often do if you have your own channel. We recorded this original song and made this video and donate any revenue to Rescues (Watch, Like and Subscribe if you love a Rescue too).
Make sure you are set up to collect ad revenue and tick monetize then promote. Be careful not to use anyone else’s music or they take the revenue. I stick to the YouTube free library or do my own. We did this video for Hope For Paws.
- We were also able to donate US$500 to them when we won Pet Video of the Year at BlogPaws for Love Like A Dog.
- If you have any budget for marketing, you can do a promotion and donate an amount for each new subscriber or for new likes or comments or shares on social media or on your blog rather than spending on ads yourself. Our latest contest “Share the Love”, we donated $1.00 per entry up to $50 to Kilo’s rescue. Everybody WON!
- To increase your marketing budget, work with a brand to do a campaign where they donate for likes or for a specific action like the #iheartmydog campaign.
- Get a brand or business to sponsor a rescue or shelter with cash, food, supplies, treats , toys etc.. Bullwrinkles and Purina have both been extremely generous in our experience. In one emergency at a small shelter outside Toronto (an overwhelming influx of Puppy Mill victims), We drove out to the Eurocan Bullwrinkles factory near this shelter and collected not only treats and chews, but other much-needed supplies like garbage bags, cleaning products and towels. We then drove to the shelter and gave a donation of cash and supplies together.
- Partner with local pet stores or other retailers or other groups to distribute information, hold adoption drives, and collect donations. We love the RuffTail Runners, a partnership that pairs dogs from Austin Pets Alive! a shelter in Texas with runners from a local running group. The program benefits the shelter dogs who get training, exercise and attention while promoting adoption. Other local Toronto groups and brands have organized school reading to rescues programs for kids, and walk a rescue at lunch time.
Other Fundraising Ideas From Our Friends
- 55+ Fundraising Ideas for Non-Profits
- Mattie Dog shows how small fundraisers save lives
- Fundraising Ideas from Labmed
- Nineteen animal shelter and rescue fundraising ideas to help homeless pets
Do you have any great ideas to share?