If You Can’t Adopt…

Luckily, Purina scientists and its pet welfare team have put together a list of five things pet lovers can do if they can’t adopt.   
By Pets Team
Published on Tuesday, 21 April 2020
Photo: PixRepo

 

It’s no secret that most people love pets. But for a variety of reasons, not everyone can adopt a pet. If you can’t, don’t worry, there are other ways you can still help.

Purina senior scientist, Dr Ragen McGowan, and her
colleagues set out to research the impact just 15
minutes of undivided attention from a volunteer
might have on the emotional well-being of shelter dogs.
It turns out, 15 minutes of petting and cuddles
from a stranger makes the lives of shelter pets better. 

1.  Volunteer
Purina senior scientist, Dr Ragen McGowan, and her colleagues set out to research the impact just 15 minutes of undivided attention from a volunteer might have on the emotional well-being of shelter dogs. It turns out, 15 minutes of petting and cuddles from a stranger makes the lives of shelter pets better. 

“We were able to detect positive physiological and behavioural changes in the dogs after only a 15-minute session,” said Dr McGowan. “Overall, the dogs’ heart rates were lower, their heart rate variability was higher (associated with positive emotions), and they showed more behaviour like lying down and cuddling with the volunteer at the end of the session than at the beginning of the session.” 

2.  Fill Their Food Bowls
The cost of food is among the top expenses a pet shelter has, leaving most shelters to rely on the community for support. 

3.  Share Your Talents
Whether you’re a graphic designer who might lend a hand designing an appeal mailer, a DIY weekend warrior with basic construction skills, or simply someone who likes to plan events, many shelters are always looking for more hands and minds to help keep the organisation running. 

4. Foster
Foster families are often the unsung heroes of the pet welfare community. By opening your home to a cat or dog in-waiting for even a short time, you can help develop a pet’s social skills, experience life in a family and allow the shelter to take in another pet in need.  

5.  Donate
Did you know that the typical adoption fee only covers a portion of the investment that a shelter makes in most animals? Aside from the basic costs of owning and operating a facility, all pets coming into a shelter receive a complete veterinary exam, along with standard vaccines to protect against disease.