5 ways to make a positive impact on homeless dogs

Leo and the tree

You can’t bring them all home, so I’ve got four other ideas.

For this month’s Positive Pet Training Blog Hop, I’ve got 5 ideas for ways you can help out the homeless dogs in your community.

1. Adopt one.

Obviously. But not everyone can do that, so I’ve got four more ideas.

2. Walk them.

I’m lucky to have a local animal shelter that lets me drop in whenever I feel like it and walk as many dogs as I have time for. They have woodsy trails and play yards, and even if I only spend time with one dog, I always feel like I’ve made a difference for that one dog. See if your shelter has a volunteer program.

3. Equip them.

Not enough time to walk dogs, but a little extra cash in your wallet? Make sure your local shelter uses no-pull harnesses on its dogs, instead of choke or prong collars. If they don’t, explain why they should. Donate a few. I like the Freedom Harness. My shelter uses Easy Walk, although they’ve fallen out of favor with me since they were purchased by a company that sells shock collars. I donated my dogs’ old Easy Walks when we upgraded to the Freedom Harness. Other brands include Wonder Walker and Sense-ation.

4. Keep them cozy and warm.

Go through your linen closet. How many of those sheets and blankets do you really use? If you’re like me, some of your sheets have torn corners from that time you tried to sleep in and your dog wasn’t having any of it. And your fleece and woven blankets are already covered in dog hair. Donate them to your local shelter.

5. Make a difference for one.

Have an abundance of compassion, but nothing to donate? Does it make you too sad to scroll through dozens of pictures of sad, homeless animals? Find a picture of one that speaks to you. Ignore all the others. Share the picture of one dog on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram. Write a blog post about it.

It can be overwhelming to think of all the dogs who need homes. We all experience a degree of psychic numbing, thinking there’s no way we can possible save them all. But how many times have you see the story of one dog go viral? It happened with this pretty German shepherd at my shelter. And just happened again with this Cane Corso. If you get people talking about one dog, you’ll find dozens of people who want to fly across the country to rescue that one. Gently remind them that there are lots of homeless dogs in their own communities.

Positive Training

This post is part of the Positive Pet Training Blog Hop, hosted by Cascadian Nomads,Tenacious Little Terrier and Rubicon Days. This month’s theme is Giving Back. The hop happens on the first Monday of every month, and is open for a full week – please join us in spreading the word about the rewards of positive training!

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9 thoughts on “5 ways to make a positive impact on homeless dogs

  1. Great suggestions! I hadn’t thought of #5 before, but you make a great point. Next time someone says to me, ‘I couldn’t volunteer at a shelter, it would make me too sad’ I’m going to recommend your idea of making a difference for one!

  2. And don’t forget fostering, if you’re in a position to do it. 🙂

    When I was living on land, I’d pick up extra supplies for the shelter when doing my grocery shopping. It was easy for me. And our shelter could never have enough peanut butter or squeeze cheese for training.

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