1. Social Media
Wish you could volunteer at an animal shelter, but you can’t do it in person? Not to worry. You can help shelter animals without ever leaving your home!
Become a Mutt-i-grees Social Media Ambassador
These days, everyone we meet becomes another contact on Facebook… or Twitter… or Instagram. So, with each passing day, our social media networks grow. And the good news is that our potential to do good in the world grows with them. Here are just a few of the ways you can digitally help rescue pets:
- Spread The Word About Animals In Need
Follow your local animal shelters and favorite rescue organizations on social media. Then, when they post about an animal who needs a home or money for his/her care, share that post on your own newsfeed. That way, all of your friends can see the post too. If even one of your friends clicks “share” or “like,” the post will show up on their friends’ newsfeeds. That sort of ripple effect is invaluable. With just one click, you can expose thousands of people to an animal in need who they might otherwise never have known about. That can make all the difference in the life of an animal! And if you’re looking for stories to post, a great place to start is North Shore Animal League America’s Help Me Heal Program. They regularly post videos and pictures of shelter animals in desperate need of urgent medical care.
- Create your own fundraising page
Have any of your friends or family members ever run a race or grown a mustache for a charity? Did they set up an online fundraising page to help them do it? You can do the same thing for shelter animals! Just visit our Fundraise for Animals page, follow the instructions, and start customizing one with your favorite animals and humane programs. Then share the page with your email contacts, social media networks and family members. You’d be amazed how people love to support both a friend and a good cause!
Raise your voice
Got a camera on your phone or computer? Record a short video about why you believe it’s so important to respect and take care of animals. Then post that video on youtube and/or your social media pages. Shelter cats and dogs can’t use words to speak up for themselves when they’re being mistreated or they need help. So, we have to be their voice. You can do it in the form of a poem… a rap… a casual conversation… whatever floats your boat. Just remember to tag your post #muttigrees. By raising their voices together, Mutt-i-grees students can advance the NO-KILL movement and change the world!
2. Get Creative
Ways Other Students Have Helped
No matter what your interests are or where your skills lie, there is a way that you can use them to help animals. Just look at the creative ways other kids have done it!
Are you artistic? Mutt-i-grees student Kaia makes bracelets and paints tiles. Then, she sells them in the park near her house and donates the profits to animal rescue organizations!
Are you good at video editing? Mutt-i-grees Ambassador, Abby Meeks created this video to support her local shelter.
So sit down and think about what you’re best at. Then, try to think of a way to relate that skill to shelter animals. Get creative! Be inspired! We can’t wait to see what you’ll come up with!
Contact your local shelter and see if you meet their minimum age requirement to volunteer. If not, don’t worry. There’s still many ways you can volunteer your time and energy to help shelter animals.
There are tons of organizations around the country – like Pillows For Paws, Rock & Rawhide, and Animal Haven – that allow kids to pitch in. So get googling and find one that’s just right for you.
4. Find Out What Your Local Shelter Needs
Shelters often need ordinary items like towels, newspapers and tennis balls that you and your friends might have lying around your houses. So call your local shelter, get a list and start collecting. One person’s trash… another’s forgotten possession… can mean the world to a shelter pet.
***You can even start a drive at your school for gently used blankets, toys, canned food and anything else your rescue group of choice needs. If even half of the students and parents at your school contribute, think of how many animals you’ll help!***
5. Start a M.U.T.T.S. Club
A group of motivated Mutt-i-grees® students in Arkansas started a M.U.T.T.S. Club at their school, so that all of the animal-loving students there could join forces and make a difference. They plan and host events to raise money for local animal shelters. They visit rescue groups and volunteer there. They even write and present to politicians about passing important laws for the protection of animals!
Students at schools across the country have followed suit, creating M.U.T.T.S. Clubs and holding events that help save the lives of local dogs and cats in their communities. If you’d like to start a M.U.T.T.S. Club at your school, enlist the help of your favorite teacher and start recruiting friends to join.
6. Host a Fundraiser
Have a bake sale or throw a party where you charge people a small fee to buy a ticket. Then use the proceeds from those tickets to buy toys and other items that your local animal shelter needs! These sorts of events can take all different forms: a garage sale, a concert, a race. Or, leash up your waking buddy and raise money for North Shore Animal League America’s Annual Walk n’ Wag.
Students at South Side High School in Arkansas sold North Shore Animal League America bracelets to raise awareness for rescue animals and money for their M.U.T.T.S. Club. Students from nearby Clinton High School held a pancake breakfast that raised $200 for their local animal shelter. The Clinton Jr. High M.U.T.T.S. Club hosted a car wash that raised over $600. And the Van Buren County M.U.T.T.S. Clubs teamed up to host a golf tournament, pack walk and cutest dog contest, which raised $1,640. What’s more, three local shelter dogs were adopted at the event!
See? The possibilities are endless. Get creative, bring an adult onboard to help, and start planning!
7. Download Apps That Help Animals
Your phone is probably full of apps, rights? Ones that help you get directions… ones that help you locate the nearest Starbucks, or figure out the name of that song you like on the radio… even ones that help you pass the time by throwing angry birds through the air… But did you know that there are actually a few apps that help animals? Seriously, there are. And take our word for it: they’re worth checking out.
WalkForADog and ResQWalk allow you to raise money for rescue animals, just by walking. Seriously. If you walk a mile using Walk For A Dog, WoofTrax (the app maker) will donate money to a local animal shelter. HappyCow helps you locate vegetarian and vegan restaurants wherever you go. Dog Decoder teaches you the proper ways to interact with dogs and what their body language really means. PetFinder helps you search available pets in shelters across the country, and locate your new best friend.
Last but not least, BNB, Leaping Bunny, Animal-Free, Cruelty Cutter and Bunny Free tell you which products and cosmetics are cruelty free. That means that you can send a message to companies – to stop testing their products and ingredients on innocent, defenseless animals – just by buying the things you always buy, but making more informed choices about which companies to support. If enough consumers do this, “testers” will be forced to change their ways to keep business. So, check out the app. Animals will thank you.
8. Be a Mutt-i-grees® Student Ambassador
The Mutt-i-grees Curriculum Student Ambassadors Program identifies exceptional students who advocate and help raise awareness for Mutt-i-grees. Mutt-i-grees Student Ambassadors spend the academic year working on various animal welfare, humane education, and service learning projects of their choosing, with a goal to inspire other students and community members. Elected Ambassadors receive a $500 honorarium, which is sent to their school to be used for activities, materials, and other expenses incurred in connection with their humane advocacy efforts.
To be considered for the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum Student Ambassadors Program, have one of your teachers submit a one-page statement on your behalf. This statement should include your name, grade level, school, and a narrative summarizing why they think you would make a great Mutt-i-grees Student Ambassador and what you hope to achieve if chosen.
To learn more about the student ambassador program, visit our website.
9. Do an Internship
Think you might be interested in an animal welfare career someday? The best thing to do is try it out now. Internships can be fun and valuable learning experiences. Plus, colleges and employers love to see that you’ve taken action to pursue your passions and truly make the world a better place!
There are a multitude of trade opportunities within the field of animal welfare – everything from Grooming and Veterinary Medicine to PR and Marketing. So if you’re passionate about helping animals, there’s bound to be something for you.
If you already know which humane trade you’re interested in, contact your local animal shelters, rescue groups and veterinarians’ offices to see what internship opportunities are available in that discipline.
Alternatively, Mutt-i-grees has a virtual internship that allows you to preview and experience several areas of our operation. And what’s great about this virtual internship is that you can participate from anywhere in the country! You’ll learn about Adoptions, Rescue, Pet Behavior and more!
10. Get Involved In Politics
Passionate and fired up about animal-related issues like puppy mills, banning carriage horses in city parks and establishing an animal abuser registry? Write to your congressman.
Mutt-i-grees students at South Side High School in Bee Branch, Arkansas gave a presentation to the County Judge and Quorom Court on how to turn their local animal shelter into a no-kill facility. Likewise, students at MercyFirst in Syosset, NY found out about pending legislation on the issue of puppy mills. They wrote to Governor Cuomo about it, and he responded!
Humane Laws have been established this way and they will be again. So never think you are too young to make a difference. You can be the spark that gets the next important humane law passed!