Diana Kelly Levey

How to Help Animal Shelters During the COVID-19 Pandemic

A person petting a dog in an animal shelter

May 31, 2021 | Categories:

Adopt a shelter dog day is April 30th but if you’re like many of us, you’re wondering how you can help your local animal shelter during the novel coronavirus pandemic. Since many of us can’t drop off supplies or volunteer to walk dogs, play with cats or clean out crates, we came up with a list of ways you can help your local dog shelter during the COVID-19 crisis.

How to Help Animal Shelters During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Foster a Pet

Some shelters are asking people to foster a pet to reduce the caretaking burden on staff and offer a temporary loving home to their animals. Call your local shelter to see if they are doing this and could use foster “parents.” If you personally can’t foster right now, try to get the word out on social media to help every pet find a loving home.


Most animal shelters are nonprofits and could use extra funds during this crisis—and afterwards. Go to your favorite animal shelter’s website to see if they are taking donations and give if you can afford to during this time. Search for “shelters near me” online if you don’t have a particular facility in mind to see who could use financial assistance. You could also create a ‘Fundraiser’ on Facebook to get your friends & family involved to raise even more!

Another way to help your shelter is to set aside a bag for donations. Gather old towels, bath rugs and linens to donate to an animal shelter when they open again. Most shelters will list what they are in need of!

Use AmazonSmile

Use AmazonSmile to donate to your favorite shelter. Add your local shelter to AmazonSmile so they get some money—about 0.5% of eligible purchases—when you shop. Every little bit helps!

Craft a Toy for Kittens or Treat Dispensers for Dogs

Follow your shelter on social media and see if they are posting what they need on their pages and feeds. Some shelters are asking volunteers to craft toys out of paper towels and make treat dispensers or dog poop bag carriers while they are at home that can be dropped off at a later date when we’re no longer sheltering in place. Search online for DIY dog toys and you can learn how to make rope toys and treat dispensers. (Related: Easy Ways to Show Your Dog You Love Them Every Day)

Use the Wooftrax Walk for a Dog App

This app raises money for your favorite animal shelter based on the amount of miles you and your pup rack up while using the free app. You’ll both get exercise and feel good about giving back while you walk.

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