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Have you ever wondered how you can help a dog rescue shelter without adopting a dog? Helping dog rescue shelters can be very rewarding for you and the dogs, and there are many ways you can help.

Many people for various reasons are not able to adopt a dog as they might live in an apartment that doesn’t allow dogs or they travel often. Below you will find ways that you can help without adopting!


You can find many ways to help dog rescue shelters. Cash donations are always needed, especially for veterinarian fees as all of the dogs at the shelter will see a veterinarian to make sure they are healthy and they have had all of their shots.

Some dogs that come to the shelter have injuries and some are sick. It takes money for treatments and medicines to nurse the dogs back to health.

Below are more ways you can help a shelter without adopting a dog, and no, you don’t have to have money to help. Some ways do require money, but many just require your time.


Donations of water and food bowls, toys, leashes, collars, grooming tools, and beds are needed. Other needs include food for the puppies and the dogs, treats, paper towels, office supplies, laundry detergent, trash bags, old towels, blankets, and sheets.


dog transport Transporters are needed to take dogs to visit the veterinarian for their health care and sometimes dogs are moved from one shelter to another shelter.

Some shelters have long distance adoptions, where there will be many transporters that coordinate together to travel long distances. Each transporter will drive around 50 to 100 miles to meet the next transporter.

Social Media Sharing

Social media sharing is another way to help. Connect with dog rescue shelters on social media and share their posts with your friends and family, and encourage them to share the post also.

Take Photos

Take photos of the dogs that are available for adoption and try to capture unique and interesting photos to draw attention to them to help find their forever home. Shelters will also need someone to write interesting details about each dog to post with their pictures.

Computer Work

Are you good with a computer? You can create posts on social media to look for prospective adopters and also perform data entry. Talk to the shelter staff to see what their current needs are and how you can help.

Dog Walker

Become a dog walker at a dog rescue shelter. All dogs need walking each day and you could free up some time for the shelter workers to be doing other things. You will both benefit from the exercise.

Play and Teach

dog – playingDogs need to play, especially younger dogs and puppies. Spend some time playing with the dogs and puppies to help them release their energy and teach them some basic commands to help them to be more adoptable.

Dog Washing or Grooming

Give a dog a bath or be a dog groomer. Dogs need brushing to remove loose hair and some dogs will need to have their hair trimmed periodically. All of the dogs need to look their best for those wanting to adopt a dog.

Foster Homes

Quite often the shelters are full and temporary foster homes are needed. Providing a foster home means you will bring a dog into your home temporarily while they are waiting for their forever home, for a few days or months. Talk to the shelter staff about your availability.

Some shelters will allow for weekend foster homes for people who are very busy during the week, but have free time on the weekends. The dogs will get time away from the shelter and will be able to live inside a home. It will also be a chance to work on socialization skills. The one on one attention is excellent for the dogs.

Professional Skills

Offer your professional skills whether you are a lawyer, an accountant, or a carpenter. Shelters need people with a wide variety of skills to help the shelter run smoothly and find good homes for the dogs.

So, what are you waiting for? Give a call to a shelter near you and find out how you can help and what they need. As you can see, there are many ways to help dog rescue shelters without adopting and helping the dogs is very rewarding. It will make you feel fantastic!

Feel free to leave a comment below. The information on this website is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian, dog trainer, or dog behavioral specialist.

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