I’m Not Crazy About Animals, So Why Should I Help?

I’m Not Crazy About Animals, So Why Should I Help?

The benefits of helping homeless animals, even for people who don’t love pets.

In the pet world, the question of cats vs. dogs is often highly debated by animal lovers. Some people prefer that cats are semi-self sufficient and cuddly, while others love the companionship and activeness of dogs. However, while everyone has their own personal preference for their favorite type of pet―dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, ferrets, you name it―some people simply choose the preference of no pets at all.

Not everyone is a pet lover, and that’s perfectly fine! Whether it is because of animal allergies, a lifestyle that does not allow for the time and care that goes into owning a pet, or they just aren’t too crazy about animals in general, not every person in the world wants to be a pet owner.

However, just because you may not love pets or do not want to become an animal owner does not mean that you aren’t affected by the serious problem of pet overpopulation.  After all, this is a worldwide issue that affects everyone―not just animals and their owners. Plus, donating time and money to local animal shelters actually has a lot of personal benefits, aside from helping to save a life.

If you are looking to make a difference in your local community, but are skeptical about focusing on homeless animals because you are simply not a pet person, here are a few benefits of assisting local shelters that do not involve working one-on-one with animals:

Helping Out Shelter Animals Can Be Tax Deductible

Donating money, goods or food to animal shelters and rescue organizations is almost always tax deductible, as most of these organizations have tax status as a charitable organization. Just keep track of your mileage to and from volunteer work or pet transporting, the value of the goods and money that you donate, and your hours of volunteer work.

As of June 2011, due to a ruling by a U.S. Tax Court judge, fostering and rescuing animals may also allow you to receive further deductions on things such as pet food, paper town and veterinary bills. Talk to your local shelter or rescue center to find out more about if they are a 501(c)(3) charity, which has given tax-exempt status by the IRS, and how you can earn tax deductions through animal rescue.

Fighting for more funding for your local shelters could also help improve the areas around you. Many people do not realize that money for municipal shelters comes directly out of a pool of city coffers.  Meaning, if the pet overpopulation issues are resolved, that money―your tax money―would go directly back into a pool that would benefit other important issues like roads, bridges, police, fire, etc.

Volunteering Can Further Career Skills

Just because you are settled in your career or have finished your education does not mean that you should stop adding to your knowledge and skill level. Getting involved with an animal shelter’s fundraising event can help to develop skills such as goal setting, planning and budgeting skills. Supervising and training other volunteers can also help to grow your supervisory and training skills. Each of these skills can be implemented into the workplace and help facilitate your career.

Many employers also look very positively towards employees who volunteer. In fact, according to a survey carried out by TimeBank, 73% of employers would recruit a candidate with volunteering experience over one without, 94% of employers believe that volunteering can add to skills, and 94% of employees who volunteered to learn new skills had benefited either by getting their first job, improving their salary or being promoted.

If you are interested in learning more about the many benefits that come with volunteering at a local animal shelter or rescue center, contact a homeless animal shelter in your local community or contact the Texas Alliance for Homeless Pets.


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