Dear Humans,

Happy New Year and welcome to a new decade! Starting a new decade, I thought it was worth revisiting a very important subject I have talked about before. If you love animals and want to help them and make a difference in their lives and yours, I would like to suggest making a New Years’ resolution (you humans like to do that every new year!) to volunteer and help local shelter and rescue animals. There are so many non-profit groups that help animals in Tucson and surrounding areas. You can find many shelters and rescue groups in need of your help in every issue of The Tucson Dog in our Animal Resource Guide. There are dogs, cats and even horses just waiting to meet and spend time with you.

I know that you’ve probably seen the TV ads that pull at your heart strings with a sad song and pictures of shelter animals in need asking you to donate to help them. Some of these large organizations bring in millions of dollars every year with very little of that money actually going to the animals and none of it going to our animals locally. A lot of that money goes to big salaries, pension plans and administrative work. Many people don’t know this, but you should which is why, if you want to help animals in your community, consider giving directly to your local rescue or shelter organizations. And Tucson has so many wonderful groups with dedicated people that help animals here.

Our groups still need lots of help financially to save and care for the animals that end up in their care. Veterinary care, spaying and neutering, feeding, housing and re-homing animals is very expensive. Whatever the adoption fee is for different groups, it NEVER covers the cost of all the animals in need. If you want to donate dollars, please choose one of these very deserving local groups to give to.

If you cannot afford to give financially, there are also other very important ways you can help and that is by VOLUNTEERING your time! Many shelters/rescues/non-profits rely on volunteers to help with different jobs. Many of these organizations are listed in our “Shelters, Rescues, and Resources page in every issue. Some of the jobs include, walking dogs, grooming, playing ball, cleaning and more. It’s a great way to make a difference this year for local animals and volunteers are always appreciated.

Another way you can help is fostering an animal as many rescue organizations save animals but do not have a facility where they can keep them, so those groups are in need of foster homes. So, if you have a little space in your home and heart, you may want to consider becoming a foster parent which can mean the difference between life and death in some cases. If organizations don’t have enough foster homes, it limits how many animals they can take in and help. It also helps the animal so much to be in a home than a shelter where some do not do well at all.

So, in this New Year, if you are an animal lover, make some resolutions to help animals in our community in whichever way you can. Whatever your circumstances, I think everyone can contribute in some way and you will feel great doing it! And, you can change the life for the better of a homeless animal!

A lot of progress has been made to help animals in need but there is always more work to do so please, consider volunteering or giving as you will change precious lives forever!

Peace, Love, Biscuits and Happy New Year!!