There's lots of ways YOU can help animals in rescue, and a lot of animals needing our help - so let's get started!

Animal fostering

Volunteering as an animal fosterer is a very rewarding and ‘hands-on’ way to help rescues.

As a foster carer you take on the responsibility of giving an animal a temporary home. This helps rescues to reduce costs, avoiding kennels and catteries, and many animals feel much more comfortable in a home environment.

Whilst the animal is in your care you can assess his/her character and temperament and help the rescue to find a good home.

- Find out more about animal rescue fostering

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Homechecking

Homecheckers play a vital role in rescue.

They visit prospective adopters on behalf of animal rescues to chat with the adopters about adoption and their previous animal experience.

Homecheckers make sure that the home is safe and suitable for the animal they’re hoping to adopt.

- Find out more about homechecking

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Transporting

Logistics is a huge part of rescue!

Animals need transport for a range of reasons, such as moving from a home or kennels in to rescue care, moving from a rescue to a foster home, transport to and from the vets etc.

If you have a little time to spare, a license and a vehicle – you have everything you need to start transporting to help animals!

- Find out more about animal rescue transporting

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Other ways you can help animal rescues...

There’s lots of other ways to help rescues too.


Fundraising

The costs involved in animal rescue are enormous. For every animal a rescue helps, they have to consider costs for:
  • neutering/spaying
  • vaccinations
  • worming
  • flea treatment
  • feeding
  • transport
  • boarding
Often the costs involved in rescuing and rehabilitating an animal are higher than the donation received from the adopter when the animal finds a new home.

 You can help rescues to raise funds

There’ lots of ways to raise funds for animal rescues, and often the most unusual ideas draw the best attention, so feel free to post on the forum if you have any suggestions for new fundraising ideas, we’d love to hear them!

Animal Assessments

When an animal is coming in to rescue, either from a home or from kennels or some other type of care, sometimes rescues need assistance in finding out more about the animal before they can be sure that they can help, and/or so that they can be better prepared.

When helping with an assessment for a dog for example - you'll visit the dog, usually in a home, and make a note of all of their reactions such as how he/she behaves when you arrive (is he/she calm, excited, pushy, aggressive, barking etc.) and how he/she reacts with various things like a ball, a treat, basic commands like sit, stay etc., how does the dog behave on a lead, and (if possible and safe to test) how does the dog react to other animals either in the home or whilst out on a walk.

The rescue or pound helper that has requested the assessment will usually provide a form for you to fill in with all the different points included.

They may sometimes ask for an experienced assessor if they believe the dog might be a bit of a handful or have any temperament problems, but this isn't normally the case and most dogs are safe to visit even if you're new to it all.

’Micro’ volunteering

Raising awareness One of the easiest ways you can help RHU and animal rescues is by spreading the word about our work and crossposting rescue appeals. Easy ways to raise awareness:
  • Word of mouth – get talking to people in your community! Talk to neighbours, local trainers, vets, kennels etc.
  • Put up posters at your local vets, pet shops, kennels, newsagents, supermarkets, hair dressers etc. Visit the downloads section to download our posters and leaflets
  • Share posts on Twitter and Facebook – it’s amazing how online campaigns can grab people’s attention, and by sharing our appeals and messages you could help to save lives! RHU at Twitter, RHU Facebook page, RHU Facebook group
Example of sharing buttons on our blog posts, use these to share posts with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, Google, or share by email and more

Online volunteering

Rescues often need help with tasks that can be done right from your desk, such as:

  • updating websites
  • writing letters
  • designing posters
  • fundraising
  • accounting
  • crossposting appeals on to websites and forums
  • social networking
  • recruiting volunteers
  • making videos

Browse the forum to see the latest requests or post in the Volunteer Help Offered section to let rescues know what you’d like to help with.

And if you’ve got any other ideas on ways you can help you’re welcome to post about it on the forum. We’d love to hear them!

Online petitions

Our members regularly post links to petitions about animal welfare issues, and your signature can really help to make a difference.

The more people that sign the petitions, the more notice the authorities have to take, especially since the UK government have recently brought in the rule that if an e-petition receives 100,000 signatures it can be debated in the House of Commons.

After you’ve signed a petition you can also share it on Twitter, Facebook, by email etc. and encourage other people to sign.

Visit the forum to see animal welfare petitions currently needing our support.

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