While you’re spoiling your dog with tasty treats, it may have occurred to you that you’d like to do a little more to earn that animal champion trophy.
We’ve got a list for you, and you might be surprised to find that some of the suggestions don’t require much effort at all to make a real difference.
Here’s how to be a pet hero in five easy steps.
- Start at home.
Your own pets need TLC – Training, Love and Care. You are in charge of home care (which includes positive attention and interaction, fresh and healthy food and water, regular exercise and a hygienic living space); your vet handles the medical side, and we take care of reducing the vet bills.
Be your pet’s hero, protect them against accidents and illnesses, get a quick online quote now!
- Adopt a shelter pet.
We’re big on being the change we need to see, and actively support the adoption of shelter pets. A visit to your local animal shelter will show you that homeless pets are carefully vetted, medically checked and super excited to give you tonnes of love. What’s more, shelters offer sterilisation, either free or at affordable rates. Taking a darling pet into your heart and home can make the world of difference to a lonely dog, cat or bunny that could bring endless joy to your life. What’s more, we help you help other animals. If you cover your pet(s) with dotsure.co.za, we feed a shelter pet for a month on your behalf. Go on, have a chat with the good people at the Animal Anti-Cruelty League (AACL) in Jozi.
- Donate your time.
Volunteering is a way to give from the heart with the hands. If you’ve got as little as two hours a week to spare, there are many animal welfare organisations that will welcome your active support at their premises. These are largely animal shelters for pets, but may include other animals (for example, in rural farmland areas you may encounter farm animals). You might find yourself cuddling kitties, walking doggies, teaching tricks to pets, and even caring for new-born lambs who’ve lost their mums. We love the work of Greyton Animal Sanctuary in the Western Cape and TEARS in Cape Town!
- Give your money.
You can support an array of excellent animal organisations that actively campaign for and act on the well-being of wild and tame creatures all over the country. Whether you want to make a difference to pets, domestic animals or wildlife, there’s an official organisation doing great work that needs your moolah. Make a donation today to make a difference tomorrow too. Pick an endangered wild animal from this list or explore the wildlife organisations listed here and ask your friends and acquaintances in forums on social media about smaller, nearby organisations making a real difference and in need of real support. As the smaller organisations are often individuals doing it on their own, every cent counts. And because every cent counts, make sure they are a registered non-profit with a track record of making a difference so that you know the cash will be used appropriately. We’re fans of The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) which runs a variety of very successful and important wildlife and wild habitat protection programmes. And also the relentless and effective Highveld Horsecare Unit which rescues and rehabilitates horses, donkeys and mules and compassionately educates the humans who might be caring for them. Feeling skint? You can also donate without spending a cent – if you have a MySchool My Planet card, log in, pick an animal charity, and swipe the card with every purchase of your own at participating stores nationwide, like Woolworths. MySchool will donate a percentage of what you spend to that animal charity on your behalf. We’ve also got a top ten list of wildlife charities from Getaway for you.
- Share stories.
This approach costs you nothing but time and not even very much of it. How long does it really take to read a post, love it, hit like and share it with your connections? Yet those few seconds could encourage others who see it to adopt a shelter pet of their own. Many animal shelters publish heart-warming micro-stories of the animals they’re caring for while they await adoption. Follow shelters like your local SPCA, AACL, or other small organisations on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter then simply blog and hit the share button. If you’re volunteering, you might even create some of that content yourself and be personally responsible for getting a pet adopted! Now that’s a good feeling. We love the frequent updates from CAT Garden Route, a small organisation with a huge heart. Check out this recent post about a formerly feral (previously unhomed) cat from an industrial area who turned into a lap cat overnight.
Got a suggestion for giving back to pets and wildlife for our pet-loving community? Now is the time to share! Post to our pet page on Facebook and tell us how you earned number one status from the animals in your life (even the ones you haven’t met).