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11 Ways To Help Dogs, Cats, and Shelters This Spring

Spring is all about new life and fresh starts. The warmer temps and longer days are a great reminder to get outside, be more active, and do some good. Back in December I shared ways to celebrate the holidays by helping animals. This is the spring version with even more fun ideas to help rescue dogs, cats, and animal shelters in your community.

 11 ways to help dogs, cats, and shelters this spring

11 Ways To Help Dogs, Cats, and Shelters This Spring

1. Spring Cleaning. If you are like me you probably have way more pet supplies than you can ever use. Donate unopened treats or new (or gently used) toys to your local animal shelter. Have extra towels, blankets or pillows that are in good shape – they might make a perfect bed or safe place for a frightened dog or cat. Of course, make sure all donated items are clean and machine washable.

2. Spring Shower. Spring is kitten season and most shelters are overrun with little guys, some with moms and some without. Why not host a kitten shower and ask guests to bring kitten supplies like kitten replacement milk, meat baby food, warm blankets, cat beds, and heating pads for orphaned kittens. You can reward your guests with pink cupcakes and cat videos.

3. Spring Garden. In addition to kittens, many shelters are overwhelmed with abandoned ‘Easter’ bunnies at this time of year. If you have a backyard or existing garden, plant some extra red leaf lettuce, basil, cilantro, or parsley for your local bunny-friendly shelter. You can find a list of approved bunny produce here.

11 Ways to Help dogs, cats, and shelters this spring

4. Spring Shape Up. Get in shape by participating in dog walks for local animal shelters and dog rescues. Depending on where you live, you might even be able to sign up for one walk per weekend. Create a fun training log on social media and ask friends to pledge based on number of steps, miles, or walks completed.

5. Spring Spay. Help reduce future litters of kittens by participating in trap/neuter/release efforts in your community. Supervise traps, transport cats to clinics, or provide recovery space.

11 amazing and easy ways to help dogs, cats, and shelters this spring

6. Spring Cookout. Host a dog-friendly spring cookout and ask guests to bring a donation for a shelter or rescue. You can make it a potluck but instead of bringing food ask guests to bring something off your local shelter’s wish list.

7. Spring Foster. Fostering a homeless pet from a rescue or shelter is a great thing to do any time of the year. Make fostering a rescue dog, abandoned Easter bunny, or litter of orphaned kittens a new spring tradition.

8. Spring Sale. Take spring-cleaning to the next level by organizing a neighborhood garage sale and donating the profits to an animal shelter or dog rescue.

11 super simple ways to help dogs, cats, and shelters this spring

9. Spring Lessons. Use the warmer temperatures and longer days as an opportunity to teach neighborhood kids how to interact safely with dogs. P.S. Next week is National Dog Bite Prevention Week (4/8-4/14)

10. Spring Transport. Now that the weather is better and the roads are clear, save lives by signing up for dog transport from overcrowded facilities to animal shelters and rescues with more space.

11. Spring Dining. Have a regular dog-friendly bar or restaurant that you frequent? Ask them to donate a portion of sales for one night or create a monthly drink or food special that benefits homeless pets in your community. Help promote the event and make sure all your friends and family participate.

11 great ways to help dogs, cats, and shelters this spring

Spring is the perfect time to renew your commitment to the causes and issues that matter to you. Animal shelters and rescues need support all year long. Donate time, money, and your skills to organizations working to help animals. Volunteer to walk dogs, socialize with cats, clean cages, whatever it takes.

Have other suggestions of ways to celebrate spring and help dogs, cats, and shelters in your community? Please share in the comments!

11 Ways To Celebrate Spring By Helping Dogs, Cats, & Animal Shelters


  1. Yamini MacLean
    April 6, 2018 / 12:35 pm

    hari OMThat's a comprehensive list – am struggling to spring any further ideas to add to the pot! YAM xx

  2. Denise Gruzensky
    April 6, 2018 / 2:16 pm

    Oh my goodness, my mind is spinning as there are SO MANY of these AMAZING ideas I want to use! I need to start putting them on my calendar!!

  3. Molly the AireGirl
    April 6, 2018 / 2:45 pm

    What great ideas!

  4. Hindy Pearson
    April 6, 2018 / 4:25 pm

    Fantastic ideas! My favourite and one I had never heard of or thought of is planting extra lettuce, parsley… to donate to a bunny friendly shelter. Absolutely brilliant and one I'm going to keep in mind.

  5. ♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥
    April 6, 2018 / 7:09 pm

    Those are some very good ideas, Ruby and Mom. We always try to bring some extra food or treats to one of our local shelters too. We will get Mom on it.Woos – Lightning, Misty, and Timber

  6. The Swiss Cats
    April 6, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    Those are all pawsome ideas ! Purrs

  7. Millie and Walter
    April 6, 2018 / 8:44 pm

    Those are all great ideas.

  8. Brian
    April 6, 2018 / 9:42 pm

    Such a wonderful list and the shelter critters deserve every happy they can get!

  9. Inger
    April 6, 2018 / 10:06 pm

    I love how dedicated you are to helping animals in need. These were such helpful suggestions. I have been busy going through my stuff and donating to thrift stores, but now I will think about the animals too and give away blankets and other stuff to our local rescues. I have a cat carrier and lots of blankets and food bowls after all the dogs and cats that have lived with me over the years. Thanks for this!

  10. pilch92 15andmeowing
    April 6, 2018 / 10:31 pm

    These are all great ideas, thanks for sharing.

  11. Melissa, Mudpie and Angel Truffles (Mochas, Mysteries and Meows)
    April 6, 2018 / 10:46 pm

    These are fabulous ideas! I'll definitely be sharing 🙂

  12. Jan K
    April 6, 2018 / 11:17 pm

    What great ideas! I've had it on my to-do list to clean out the toy boxes and wash and gather up the unused dog beds and get them to the shelter.Since we're currently waiting for spring, and still can't get outside a lot, this is the perfect time to do it.We don't have a lot of fundraisers in our rural area, but I am determined this year to work my way up to a 5K run and then find one to enter for a rescue.

  13. LP
    April 7, 2018 / 12:29 am

    Those are great ideas/suggestions! Our humom likes to donate toys we don't use, as well as blankets/towels and cleaning supplies to shelters. She had better spring to it! ;p Thanks for the reminder!the critters in the cottage xo

  14. The Island Cats
    April 7, 2018 / 2:43 am

    These are some great ideas! Our local shelter participates in a city wide garage sale in the spring so we’ll be doing some spring cleaning and donating to it.

  15. Foley Monster, Pocket and River Song
    April 7, 2018 / 2:51 am

    We are headed for the shelter with 30 pounds of food tomorrow. Thaks for the ideas.

  16. Idaho PugRanch
    April 7, 2018 / 3:30 am

    Mom signed us up for Run With the Big Dogs. It is a fundraiser for our local shelter on April 21st!hugsHazel & Mabel

  17. Tenacious Little Terrier
    April 7, 2018 / 3:40 am

    The local shelter here is hosting a kitten shower. I saw the event invite and it looked cute. We're going to go through stuff soon and donate.

  18. Emma
    April 7, 2018 / 10:51 am

    Oddly there are not a lot of shelters around here. There are rescue programs, but the shelters are not very close to us.

  19. Tails Around the Ranch
    April 7, 2018 / 12:58 pm

    Such a good list to keep the love flowing for shelter pets until they find their fur-ever homes. Thanks for sharing.

  20. Kamira G
    April 7, 2018 / 2:12 pm

    What a cute list of clever ideas. I was just thinking last night its about time I volunteer again soon, especially since the weather is getting warmer and I must get out the house. Perfect way to help other animals in need. Thanks for sharing these clever ideas.

  21. Madi and Mom
    April 7, 2018 / 4:30 pm

    Ruby give your assistant a treat or two this is a wonderful postHugs madi your bfff

  22. The Gang at LLB
    April 7, 2018 / 6:23 pm

    What a wonderful and creative list of ideas!!

  23. Caren Gittleman
    April 7, 2018 / 6:35 pm

    not only are these great suggestions for Spring, but many can be done all year! catchatwithcarenandcody

  24. The Adventures of The Bell Fur Zoo
    April 7, 2018 / 8:31 pm

    These are such great tips!! Mama tries to look on our local shelters sites to see what they are in need of and donate once a month or once every other month. We definitely need to go through our towels and blankeys though and donate some soon..xoxo,Matt & Matilda

  25. Jana Rade
    April 8, 2018 / 1:00 am

    What a thoughtful, comprehensive list of easy ways to help shelter dogs and cats. Love the ideas.

  26. Pam Greer
    April 8, 2018 / 1:35 am

    What a great list!

  27. Irene
    April 8, 2018 / 1:56 am

    These are all such accessible ideas. I know I'll start my Spring cleaning at some point soon, but this post also makes me think about connecting with some pet-loving friends to see if we want to throw a kitten shower. Would be a good excuse to get a group of friends together who have very different and wacky schedules!

  28. Talent Hounds
    April 8, 2018 / 3:56 am

    Love this list of ideas. I need to do more. We have done our Forever PSA and some contests and contributed to socks and calendars and other fundraisers. Spring has not sprung here just yet. We had snow today so my herbs are still inside. XS

  29. Cathy Armato
    April 8, 2018 / 4:05 pm

    Excellent ideas! I love donating items to my local shelters, I think part of that is not only a passion to help animals but my love of shopping – all kinds of shopping, LOL! Another great idea is to use Amazon Smile, the part of Amazon that will donate a % of your purchase to a non profit you select (at no extra cost to you). The CEO of one of my local shelters actually asked us volunteers to do that during one of our meetings – it hadn't occurred to me before! Thanks for this wonderful post Kristin!Love & Biscuits,Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  30. Beth
    April 8, 2018 / 4:14 pm

    These are all wonderful ideas! The Kitten Shower party is perfect for a Brownie troop or a class project!

  31. FiveSibesMom
    April 8, 2018 / 8:57 pm

    What a wonderful list of ideas! I love the idea of the cookout!

  32. meowmeowmans
    April 9, 2018 / 12:29 am

    What a wonderful list of ways to help shelter pets! We're having a kitten shower at PAWS soon!

  33. Sweet Purrfections
    April 9, 2018 / 2:47 am

    this is such a wonderful list of ideas for helping animals in shelters during the Spring. I know this is definitely kitten season. I love the idea of a kitten shower.

  34. Animal Lover Amelia
    April 9, 2018 / 4:20 am

    I am in the process of selling a house and have the towels and blankets earmarked for the local shelter. I really applaud the volunteers that can love on those pets while they are waiting to be adopted. Thanks for creating this list of heartwarming ides.

  35. Stephanie Seger
    April 9, 2018 / 5:35 am

    These are fantastic ideas, many of which take no time at all for us, but are endlessly meaningful to the animals in shelters and rescues. One of the things I do with my kids is teach them to donate 10% of their commission money to a cause of their choice. Both of my kids regularly donate to our no-kill shelter in town.

  36. Three Chatty Cats
    April 9, 2018 / 1:22 pm

    What a great list! Anything to help shelter cats and dogs is good in my book!

  37. Katie Sample
    April 9, 2018 / 3:23 pm

    These are all great ideas! I need to do a spring cleaning and donate some of our dog stuff that we do not use anymore.

  38. Bryn Nowell
    April 9, 2018 / 7:51 pm

    I want to have a Kitten Baby Shower RIGHT NOW! Such an awesome collection of ideas in this post. We had a tag sale this past fall with our proceeds donated to the local shelter and were able to give over $250 to them AND have a house filled with less s*it! Not too shabby!

  39. Heather
    April 9, 2018 / 10:09 pm

    This is an awesome post! I work for a no-kill shelter and I can say that this list is amazing and so helpful. I'm just shared it with all of my volunteers!

  40. Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat
    April 11, 2018 / 7:52 pm

    Wonderful ideas! So many people don't realize just how easy it is to make a difference in an animal's life!

  41. Rafa
    April 12, 2018 / 9:58 pm

    Awesome ideas! The cookout idea is new to me. I'll to my part here in Brazil =)

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