Here at the PDX pride, we have many causes that are near and dear to our furry hearts. Today is the Be the Change for Animals blog hop, and we encourage all our readers to go on over to their website and pawticipate. Take a few minutes of your time to read and comment on your fellow bloggers' posts, see what you can do to be the change, and share your favorite posts with your followers.
So, without further ado, here are our top ways to support our favorite animal causes and charities. Some of these cost money, but many do not.
1. Blog about, talk about, feed, and create shelters for feral cats. Mommy just published her children's book about this, and our friend Sparkle reviewed it as part of her post today. Mommy's book website is linked on our sidebar and has more feral cat links. The cats in the book are part of our feral family and our former foster family. We currently have one semi-feral boy, Panther, whom we are fostering and continuing to socialize.
2. Blog about, talk about, and foster abandoned cats or kittens. Whether through a shelter network or unaffiliated, fostering is the second most important role in a stray or abandoned feline's life (the first being a forever home). If fostering through a shelter or humane society network, many costs are reimbursed by the organization. If fostering on your own, the costs are yours to carry. Either way, the rewards are simply priceless as you see each cat or kitten blossom and trust humans, finally finding them forever homes of their own! We are proud to be a foster family for two young cats right now (Dare and Panther), and have fostered for years.
3. Walk, run, or bike for animals. This option doesn't cost a thing other than the data plan on your smartphone. It uses an app called CharityMiles to track your workout by GPS. Sponsors donate money to a charity of your choice based on your workout miles, although the app tracks your time and route as well. The animal-themed charities at this time are the ASPCA and the Nature Conservancy, although there are many non-animal-themed charities to choose from also.
4. Catalogue birds and other wildlife as and where you see them. This is another option that doesn't cost a thing other than your computer's internet connection or your phone's data plan, depending on which app you use. The three apps that Mommy has installed on her phone are iNaturalist, BirdLog and Pocket Ranger. BirdLog costs $9.99 per year, but uploads your data directly to the Audubon Society's eBird website for use by researchers all over the world. Don't worry; it keeps your personal information safe! iNaturalist is a free app and free website that makes it easy to take pictures and catalogue all kinds of wildlife and plant life. However, you do need to take a picture of the organism in question when using the phone app for this one. Pocket Ranger is a series of free phone apps for each state in the U.S. Each app allows you to record wildlife within state parks and also takes you on guided tours. There are challenges you can participate in as well.
5. Volunteer with or without your pet. Tabby and Mommy do this as an animal-assisted therapy/animal-assisted activities team. They visit nursing homes to cheer up the residents, and also educate the public by demonstrating Tabby's feline therapy skills while riding the bus to and from their visits. Volunteer opportunities are available in most communities throughout the world, with humane societies, rescue organizations, animal transport networks, and education organizations. Be sure to ask around to see where your special skills could best be utilized. Not every volunteer job is working directly with animals. Some are in offices, as phone coordinators or phone triage personnel, donation pickup and delivery, or packing boxes for food banks that supply pet food to low-income families for their pets.
Whatever option you choose, being the change for animals ultimately benefits more than just one other being. Being the change means that the whole world changes for that being, whether it is a human, animal, or whole community. That being then changes others' lives, so more ripples of change and benefit are created!