As we head toward the end of January, how many of your new year’s resolutions have you stuck with? Or did you even bother to make them at all?
If your best intentions fell by the wayside, or if you avoided the disappointment of not living up to your goals by not setting any, we’ve got a few suggestions that will not only improve your world, but also will make the world a better place for animals.
Treat your best friend to a new adventure.
We all enjoy a satisfying new activity, and that goes for our animal companions as well. While routine is important for keeping our pets content, shaking up that routine can add enrichment to their days. Give your dog an extra walk each day, or vary your walking route. Add an extra play session, or try out a new dog park. Treat your cat to a new interactive toy, such as a cat dancer or laser pointer – something that not only engages her imagination but also carves out more quality time you can share. Your rabbit will likely enjoy exploring paper bags or cardboard boxes for crawling inside, or playing with cardboard rolls from paper towels or toilet paper. New activities can help to de-stress and relieve boredom for you and your pets. Be creative!
Extend your goodwill to shelter pets.
Shelters and rescue groups are always looking for volunteers to walk dogs, socialize cats and kittens, or provide foster care. Whether you want to make a commitment to volunteering at a shelter weekly or monthly, or welcoming a homeless pet into your home to help prepare him for adoption (and free up space at a shelter to enable it to save more animals), you’ll discover that your act of generosity will enrich your life as well as the lives of the animals you help.
Help community cats.
No matter where you live, you’re probably only a stone’s throw from a colony of outdoor community cats that depend upon dedicated volunteers to care for them. Chances are you already know someone who is feeding and caring for a colony, large or small. You might start by providing an extra set of hands for an experienced TNR caretaker who can teach you the ropes. Bideawee’s Feral Cat Initiative, a program created by the Alliance and now managed by Bideawee, can help you get started. Visit their website to learn more.
Give a fellow pet owner a hand.
Somewhere along the way you’ve no doubt relied upon the kindness of a stranger to get through a tight spot. Why not pay it forward and offer to help someone who might be struggling to care for his or her pet?
Perhaps you know an older adult or an individual living with illness or disability who is having trouble managing routine care for their pets. Offering to walk their dog, change their cats’ litter box, or take their pet to the vet can be a tremendous help for them – and might even make the difference between keeping their beloved companion in their home or giving them up for adoption.
If you don’t know of someone who can use assistance, you can volunteer with an organization like PAWS NY, which provides services to vulnerable New Yorkers who need support caring for their pets.
New years and their accompanying resolutions come and go, but kindness and generosity are forever. If you already are practicing some of our suggestions, we salute you! If not, we hope you will consider giving some of our ideas a try. And please check out the Want to Help? section on our website for more ideas that can make your 2023 more memorable and satisfying!
Looking to adopt a new companion this year? Adopt a Little New Yorker Today!. Pet adoption is rewarding and life-changing – but chances are you already know that!
Need help with a pet-related issue? If you or someone you know is looking for resources to help care for a pet or other pet-related needs, please visit our website’s Need Help? section. Or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.