30 ways to save dogs and cats

Here are 30 ways to save dogs and cats. These are simple things you can do - e.g., spay or neuter your pet, volunteer at an animal shelter, and more.
By Denise LeBeau

Every day, more than 9,000 animals are killed in America’s shelters simply because they don’t have a safe place to call home. But this doesn’t have to happen. For nearly 30 years, Best Friends has been working with caring people like you to end the killing, and in that time, the number of deaths in shelters has been reduced from 17 million to about 4 million per year.

But there’s still more that needs to be done. The power to do it is in every person who cares about pets. Everyone nationwide can take action to help Save Them All.

Here are 30 ways you can save pets in your community

  1. Adopt your next pet rather than buy one online or from a pet store supplied by a puppy mill.
  2. Spay or neuter your pets.
  3. Volunteer at your local shelter or rescue group.
  4. Donate to become a part of Best Friends’ lifesaving work.
  5. Tell others about the lifesaving impact of adoption and spay/neuter.
  6. Hold a garage sale and share the profits with your local shelter.
  7. Share Facebook posts about adoptable animals.
  8. Write a letter to the editor of your local paper focused on making your community no-kill.
  9. Tweet about adoption events and spay/neuter promotions with the hashtag #SaveThemAll.
  10. Two adoptable kittens from a local animal shelterAdvocate for lifesaving legislation in your community and nationwide by joining the Best Friends Legislative Action Center.
  11. Share success stories about rescued animals.
  12. Participate in a trap/neuter/return program for community cats.
  13. Manage a community cat colony.
  14. Donate food, toys and other supplies to your local animal shelter or rescue group.
  15. Volunteer to play with and socialize the animals at your local shelter.
  16. Walk a dog from your local shelter, with the pet wearing an “Adopt Me” bandana.
  17. Shop at your local shelter’s thrift shop or gift store.
  18. Help your local shelter redesign its website or develop new promotions.
  19. Get local business owners and clubs to take on a project to help a local shelter.
  20. Collect cans and bottles for a rebate and donate the proceeds to your local shelter or rescue group.
  21. Offer rides to pets going from an animal shelter or rescue group to their new, happy homes.
  22. Foster an adoptable pet.
  23. Photograph adoptable pets for your local shelter or rescue group to promote via social media.
  24. Participate in Strut Your Mutt, Best Friends’ annual dog walk and fundraiser.
  25. Promote adoption events among your colleagues and friends.
  26. Learn about the animal welfare challenges in your community, and educate others about lifesaving solutions.
  27. Fight breed discrimination by advocating for better legislation.
  28. Change misperceptions about rescued animals and specific breeds by spreading the idea that every animal is an individual worth saving.
  29. Lobby your local government for fair funding of your community’s municipal animal shelter.
  30. Text SAVE to 27722 to take the pledge to Save Them All.

Get involved to help animals

Learn more about adopting, volunteering and donating.

Photos by Best Friends staff