10 ways to support your local animal rescue this Christmas

The global pandemic has had a huge impact on independent animal rescues in the UK, with many having to navigate through a difficult period of reduced income versus an increase in animals needing their services.

This time of the year can be particularly tough, with colder weather meaning increased heating expenses, less fund-raising activities and tighter purse-strings.

Eight independent rescue centres from across the UK shared their ‘wish-list’ with pet food company Arden Grange. Here is what they really need this Christmas, and how you can help.

1. Donate Money

Regular donations are at the beating heart of independent rescue centres, who rely on the generosity of animal-lovers to keep going. If you can afford to donate money, this is the most immediate and effective action you can take for your local centre this season.

2. Provide a Food Donation

Food donations are a great way to give support. It’s worthwhile contacting your local centre to find out exactly which foods they need. Many rescued cats and dogs have been through some tough times and often require a sensitive diet, K9 Rescue recommends grain-free food if in doubt!

3. Sponsor a resident

An ideal gift for animal lovers! The Cotswold Cats and Dogs Home are among many rescue centres providing the opportunity to sponsor a resident and receive regular updates on your sponsored animal. Your sponsorship will help to provide expert care, rehabilitation, medical treatment and a safe space for animals awaiting rehoming.

4. Sponsor a Kennel, Save a Life

Like many rescue centres, Doris Barnham Dog Rescue in Cottam works hard to save dogs from the pound – who would otherwise be put down. Sponsoring a kennel means provides valuable fund to help keep kennels available for when dogs need them. Your donation could give many dogs a last chance at life.

5. Fundraising Events

The world is your oyster when it comes to fund-raising! You could run, walk or sky-dive, or host a bake sale or group dog walk. Another option is to join an event that your local rescue centre is hosting. Friends of Animals in Wales is hosting a Boxing Day Walk for the Wonkies, to raise funds for ex-breeding puppy farm mothers.

6. Share the Love on Social Media

“You can support your local animal shelter without having to spend a penny, simply by spreading the word.” Explains the team at Holbrook Animal Rescue. With so many dogs and cats looking for new homes, your post could help to provide a new home with someone in your network!

 7. In Memory of…

Supporters of Many Tears Animal Rescue in Carmarthenshire can sponsor a leaf on its Memorial Tree. Jenna from Many Tears explains how it works: “For a donation of £10 we can engrave a beautiful bronze coloured leaf with a few words in memory of a loved one or sadly departed pet which will stay on our special tree.” A leaf can also make a thoughtful gift for a loved one.

8. Donate as you shop

For last minute Christmas gifts, online shopping outlets are making it easier to buy what you need AND donate to a local charity. Sunshine cat rescue in Chipping Norton cites online shopping as a purrfect way to donate – it doubles that feelgood feeling after a purchase.

9. Donate your unwanted items

Anything from furniture to costume jewellery – Save our strays in Redcar is always looking for good quality items to sell in its charity shop. While at Holbrook Animal Rescue, the team provides a house clearance service, selling on the items to others who need them.

10. Long-term love

Animal rescues need support at Christmas and throughout the year. From becoming a volunteer to adopting a pet yourself, there are so many ways to help. Money is the ‘most-wanted’ gift and top of the list would be a regular donation – a small contribution could make a big difference.

Visit the website of your local animal rescue centre or get in touch with them directly, to find out what you can do to help.