Having pets and treating them like family is fairly common all across America and yet, our shelters are at capacity year round; especially no-kill shelters, which is where we adopted both our indoor cats. We love and adore our fur babies and we couldn’t imagine our lives without them. While we can’t adopt another animal at this time, we are going to help on national shelter pet day, which is on Sunday April 30th this year.  Here are some ways to help in your community.

Our cat Dottie adopted from animal shelter

Ten years ago this month, we adopted this sweet girl. Dottie as my then small girls named her (because she has dots by her pink nose and on her chin) is a quiet girl who prefers to sit beside you rather than cuddle. 

She’s a soft purr girl who cries when her family leaves. Her heart belongs to my husband, Kevin. From the very first moment Dottie saw him that day long ago at the shelter, she has been drawn to him and tolerates the rest of us. The adoption fees we paid helped cover the cost of her care and helped keep the shelter open. That’s the first way you can help

1. Adopt a Pet:

If you’ve been thinking about adopting a pet, this weekend is the time to take action since shelters all across the country are waiving the adoption fee! Here’s what Metro Nashville, TN. animal control center put of their Facebook wall:
“Spread the word MACC is hosting a Shelter Pawty to celebrate National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day. Adoption fees will be waived for all shelter residents this Saturday and SUNDAY!
The ‘Pawty’ begins Saturday, April 29 and continues through Sunday, April 30 from 12pm-4pm, with special Sunday Adoption Hours.
Share, share, share this post, let’s clear the Shelter for National Adopt a Shelter Day. #shelterpawty #nationaladoptashelterpetday#cleartheshelter

Not sure if your local shelters are waiving their adoption fees? Google it! Seek out shelters on Facebook, or go really old school and call them. 

2. Shop locally:

Our cat, Fiona adopted from a mobile shelter

Fiona was adopted 4 years ago from a mobile shelter that had set up near our local pet supply store. We weren’t thinking of adopting another cat, but every time we drove by the sign, our youngest would ask if we could at least go in to “see” the kittens. 

As most parents know, once you agree to “seeing” an animal, nine times out of ten, you will be bringing one home! That’s what happened once we relented and saw this sweet babies face. Her little black nose and unique markings drew us to her.  We adopted her and bought all her food and accessories at the local pet store hosting the adoption event. 

Could we have saved a few bucks shopping at a big box retailer? Yes, but we wanted to help this shelter and this store. We are very happy we did! Fiona is our sweet fur baby, who is a Mama’s girl. She also adores her big sister Tera and helps her with her home- work often. 

 3. Donate to local shelters:

Maybe you just aren’t ready to adopt a pet this weekend, or any weekend in the near future. Owning a pet while rewarding is a big life decision that shouldn’t be entered into lightly. If people spayed and neutered pets and thought before adopting cute little animals, our shelters may not be so full. I’m getting off my soapbox now to list a few things animal shelters always need.

 4. Fulfill Pet Shelters Wish Lists:

  • Volunteers – show up, help clean up, pet the animals, walk them, show them kindness, and work in office.
  • Give pet supplies- water and food bowls, toys, leashes and collars, brushes, grooming tools, pet beds, blankets, and towels.
  • Give Pet Food and Litter- wet dog/cat food, dog/cat treats, clumping cat litter, non-clay cat litter (for kittens).
  • Give money- it doesn’t have to be a big donation. ANY donation helps. I just read a neat idea from Pet Finder that suggests donating part of your wedding or event registry to pets! How cool would that be? Just ask your local shelter if they can set up a registry of items they need.

5. Take in a Stray:

Our cat, Catty Cat adopted us

The last way you can help on National Shelter Pet Day is to take in a stray thereby keeping that animal out of a shelter. That’s exactly what we did several years ago with this sweet girl, Catty-Cat. Don’t judge me too harshly on the name. She was a very scared, very hungry kitty when she first showed up on the stoop on a cold February morning. It took me days to gain her trust, to assure her that I wouldn’t hurt her, so I had to call her something. 

She is the sweetest, smartest cat we have and she adores our Melissa. They are best buds, taking walks together, gardening, finding cool shade spots and delightfully cool water down at the pond on hot summer days. This one prefers to stay outside most days, but has a cushy set up in the garage for storms (she is scared of them) or cold winter weather. 

Our lives are enriched by these different, beautiful, fun cats! As you may have noticed by now, we aren’t a dog family. It’s not that we don’t like other people’s dogs, and delight in the occasional puppy kiss, we just know our own personalities and realized early on, cats were more our thing. It goes without saying that dog’s need our love and support as well, so if you don’t mind slobber, love going for walks and tossing balls, please consider adopting a dog this weekend too.

I hope this post will help you plan a trip to your local shelter this weekend to adopt, give or volunteer this weekend and be part of national pet shelter day this year. 

Do you have pets? If yes, were they shelter adoptions?

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