In the UK, there are over 800 incredible rescue centres looking after abandoned dogs, rehabilitating them and finding them loving new families. Some of these rescue centres operate nationally on a large scale, and you’ll probably recognise their big names. Other centres rescue on a local level, providing vital support in the community.
All of these centres, whether large or small, operate as charities; they receive no – or very little – government funding and rely on the generosity of the public to fund their work.
Dog abandonment is not a problem that’s going away, and this is why it’s so important that rescue centres exist now and in the future. But the only way we can help them continue their vital work is by supporting them as much as we can.
There are countless ways you can support dog rescue centres, and it’s not always about money. Some of the suggestions in this list may even surprise you – supporting rescue dogs can be as simple as giving a centre a like on Facebook! Everything makes a difference and no gesture is too small.
So if you’re looking for a way to support dog rescue centres, here are 11 great suggestions!
1. Make a kind donation or become a regular supporter
Perhaps the most obvious way to support a dog rescue centre is by making a kind donation to help fund its services.
Donations made by generous members of the public are what keep the doors open for needy dogs, and even if you can’t donate a large sum, rest assured that every penny counts when it comes to providing abandoned dogs the care they need. Whatever you’re able to give will make a big difference and will be gratefully received.
If you’d like to make a regular donation, why not consider setting up a direct debit? Regular donations, whether they be monthly or yearly, are valued enormously by dog rescue centres because the continued support affords them extra security and helps them plan for the future.
2. Do some fundraising
If you want to spread the word about rescue centres and really get to grips with the cause, why not start up a fundraising initiative and engage your friends, family and local community?
Whether you’re an individual, part of a group, a school or even a business, fundraising in the community is a brilliant way to support dog rescue centres. Fundraising activities, like sponsored runs, cake sales and raffles can raise vital funds and get people talking about the important work that goes on at a centre. They can also be great fun for all involved!
As the pandemic continues and social distancing remains in place for our safety, many have found community fundraising a little tricky. Most traditional fundraising activities are not possible right now, but if you get your thinking cap on and come up with some ‘outside the box’ ideas, you’ll still be able to spread the word and raise money.
Doorstep sales are a fantastic idea, particularly if you’ve had a new year clear-out, and virtual quizzes are a great way to create some lockdown excitement. In fact, there are endless possibilities for fun virtual events, from auctions and movie nights to comedy shows and dance parties. Let your imagination run wild!
3. Attend events held by your local dog rescue centre
Many dog rescue centres hold public events throughout the year to raise money and spread awareness about their work. 2020 sadly saw most public fundraising events cancelled, so it’s even more important that we show our support for these events in the years to come.
Public events, like family fun days and summer fetes, are a great opportunity for an outing and they’re always a good laugh! Events give the community a great excuse to come together and there are usually lots of exciting activities on offer for both you and your pup.
As lockdowns and social distancing measures continue, remember to watch out for virtual events!
4. Donate much-needed supplies
Another great way to support your local dog rescue centre is to donate much-needed supplies.
If you own a dog yourself, take a minute to consider all the supplies and equipment you need to care for your four-legged friend. Now multiply this by all the pups at the rescue centre… Yes that’s right, it adds up to a lot of dog bedding, treats, toys, collars, carriers and endless supplies of food! If you have any supplies going spare at home, a dog rescue centre would be incredibly grateful to receive them.
5. Donate sellable goods to a charity shop
Did you know that many dog rescue centres around the UK have charity shops? Whenever you make a donation of sellable goods to a charity shop, this kindness translates into vital income to support rescue dogs. Now is a great time of year to have a sort out, so instead of throwing unwanted clothes, books, games or DVDs into the bin, bag them up and donate them. As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!
6. Send a gift via Amazon wish lists
Some dog rescue centres have an Amazon wish list containing any useful items that they need, including food and equipment. Head to the centre’s wish list and select an item to buy and send it to them. It really is as simple as that, plus you’ll know that your donation will make a real difference.
7. Volunteer at a dog rescue centre
If you’re passionate about dogs and you have time to spare, why not consider volunteering at a local dog rescue centre? With multiple daily feeds, cleaning, walking and playing, there is so much to help out with. After all, many hands make light work!
Volunteering is such an enriching experience and you’ll probably get just as much out of it as you give. By getting in on all the action yourself, you’ll get to see the tangible difference you make to dogs’ lives whilst spending time with like-minded people.
Volunteering isn’t quite as easy right now with the pandemic, but it’s still worth checking with your local rescue centre to see if there is any help you can give.
8. Foster a dog in need
To help support their all-important rehabilitation and rehoming programmes, dog rescue centres rely on a wonderful network of foster carers. Foster carers look after dogs who find it difficult to cope in a kennel environment until a suitable forever home is found for them. They also help nervous dogs build up trust and get used to the home environment.
Can you temporarily foster a needy dog? This is a great way to support rescue dogs, because not only will you be helping to free up much-needed space at a rescue centre, but you’ll also be giving a pup a greater chance of rehabilitation. Dogs who are relaxed around humans and can cope with everyday life are much more likely to find a permanent home. Check out your local dog rescue centre for more information.
9. Support rescue dogs by rehoming a needy pup
Is there room in your life for a rescue dog? Could you give a special pooch a second chance at life, one filled with love and happiness? If you’ve decided to bring a dog into your family, we ask that you please consider your local dog rescue centre before you turn to a breeder.
Many abandoned dogs have never experienced the care and affection they deserve. Many have never been part of a loving family or felt truly safe. Some dogs have lost their beloved owners, while others find themselves at a rescue centre because their owner had no choice but to give them up.
For the teams of hard-working rescuers, volunteers and foster carers up and down the country, waving off a dog on their way to a forever home is the best part of the job. That’s why rehoming a sweet soul is one of the most meaningful ways you can support dog rescue centres.
If you are ready to commit to a rescue dog, contact your local dog rescue centre. Considering your personal circumstances, the size of your home, your household and other pets, the team will try to find you the perfect canine companion.
Getting Dog Care Right: Your Responsibilities As An Owner – Are you ready to adopt a dog?
10. Use social media to show your support and spread the word
Supporting a dog rescue centre online with a like or share might seem like a drop in the ocean, but in doing so, you really are helping a charity make waves!
Find out if your local dog rescue centre has a Facebook or Instagram account where they share photos and information – if they do, be sure to give them a follow or like their page. Not only will you be joining a community of supporters and dog lovers with shared interests, but you’ll also keep up to date with all the brilliant work that goes on at the centre.
If a photo or post catches your eye, give it a share on your own social media page. This is a great way to spread the word about the centre, including their events, campaigns and fundraising activities.
11. Play DoggyLottery to support dog rescue centres!
Join in the fun and show your support for dog rescue centres by playing our online charity lottery!
For just £1.50 per week, you could be in with the chance of winning a great prize. A whopping 60% of the proceeds are split between five brilliant rescue centres, and every four weeks, we select five different centres to benefit from the much-needed funds that you contribute.
Read our blog – The Impact of Covid-19 on Dog Rescue Centres