Your local shelter might not be the first place you think of when looking for help with your pet. But many shelters are a hub for your community's expert behaviorists and trainers, and a great place to connect with other local resources that might be just what you need.
Here are a few surprising ways your shelter might be able to help you.
Many shelters offer training and obedience classes. Their behaviorists are pros at socializing pets, and you can know all the costs are going toward a good cause. If your shelter doesn't provide classes, they will most likely be able to recommend the best place in town to find training for your pet.
Finding Financial Help and Other Community Services
Programs like Wisconsin's Helping Hands for Pets can help people who are having trouble with finances receive some extra help in making sure their pets get what they need. Your shelter is a great place to get acquainted with other community organizations that can help senior citizens, veterans and many more in making sure their pets are always safe and happy.
Low Cost Spaying and Neutering
Spaying or neutering your pet can help prevent overpopulation. It can also lead to more harmonious interactions with your pet, and help you avoid the trouble of finding homes for a new, unexpected litter. Many communities have organizations that offer low cost spaying and neutering. Talk to your shelter and see what opportunities might be available for you.
It's always good to do research before adopting a new pet. When looking for advice, you can often find it right in the shelter, where the staff's goal is the help the right pets find the right owners. Tell them about your lifestyle, and they'll help you decide whether your circumstances are right for getting a new cat or dog. If you already have a pet and want additional help, your shelter may have a 24-hour behavior help line.
Education for Children
Some of the work shelters do happens outside the shelter - in schools. Many shelters have educational programs that help children learn about pets, and about themselves. Check out The North Shore Animal League's Mutt-i-gree program to learn more about one innovative program.
A Place to Volunteer
Giving back by volunteering at a shelter can help you gain some feel-good points and know you've made a difference. Get started helping at your local shelter.