Starting fresh is one of the greatest things about a new year. If one of your resolutions for 2017 is to help those who need it most, here are seven ways you can help animals this year:
Here at the RSPCA, we couldn‚Äôt do what we do what we do without the hard work and dedication of our volunteers. Not only will volunteering change your life, it‚Äôll change the lives of the animals in our care too. Every state and territory RSPCA has volunteer positions available ‚Äìcheck out their websites for further info. (Please note that in many states, you have to be over 18.)
There‚Äôs truly something for everyone - from dog walking and cat cleaning to office admin and laundry (you‚Äôd be surprised how many towels and blankets our shelters go through). We have opportunities for students and skilled volunteers to contribute their expertise as well.
Call for change
Your voice matters. It‚Äôs hard to believe that there are so many legal practises that actually negatively affect the welfare of our country‚Äôs animals. Together, we can call for change.
Find it crazy that more than 11 million hens still spend their lives in battery cages? Add your voice to our call for a national phase-out of battery cages.
Think it‚Äôs time to end the cruel practice of live exports? Email the politicians that can do something about it.
Want to do something about the suffering of dogs with exaggerated features? Visit Love is Blind and tell the Australian National Kennel Council to change the breed standards!
Make sure you also sign up to our e-news mailing list for the latest news on campaigns that need support.
While many people who are passionate about animal welfare choose to go vegetarian or vegan, we believe it‚Äôs also possible for people who eat meat, seafood, milk and eggs to make humane choices. By choosing higher welfare products when you‚Äôre at the supermarket, you‚Äôre making a conscious choice to support the humane treatment of farm animals.
Look for the RSPCA Approved label next time you‚Äôre shopping for chicken, eggs, pork or turkey.
And if you‚Äôre dining out, you can find venues serving humane food by searching your postcode on the Choose Wisely website.
Put the ‚Äòfun‚Äô in fundraise
Raising money for a cause you care about can be rewarding on multiple levels. Not only do you get to feel great about helping those in need, but most fundraising activities also involve ‚Ä¶ well ‚Ä¶ actual fun too!
The RSPCA has two major national fundraising events which raise money to help fight animal cruelty. Million Paws Walk sees thousands of humans and dogs turn out to strut their stuff every year ‚Äì don‚Äôt worry, you can still come along even if you don‚Äôt have a canine of you own - while Cupcake Day might be the sweetest excuse ever to get baking and help animals.
You could set your a personal challenge and ask friends, family and colleagues to support you; or come up with your own fundraising activity!
If you‚Äôre looking for a new pet, choose the adoption option
If you‚Äôre looking to welcome a new pet into your family, adopting from a shelter can be a truly rewarding experience. There are so many animals in need of a second chance and a loving home.
At the RSPCA, all animals undergo health and behaviour assessments to make sure they‚Äôre suitable for adoption. Dogs and cats are also desexed, microchipped and vaccinated. If you‚Äôre ready to make this commitment, visit adoptapet.com.au and check out all the wonderful animals available for adoption.
Become a foster carer
If you love animals but can‚Äôt commit to a pet for life right now, you might be a good candidate for becoming a foster carer.
Foster care gives a temporary home to animals that might not be well-suited to the shelter environment. They might be very young (that‚Äôs right, we‚Äôre talking puppies and kittens), shy or recovering from illness or surgery. Placing these animals into foster care helps to give them the strength and confidence they need in order to be ready to meet their forever families.
For more details on applying, check out the website of your state RSPCA.
Speak out against animal cruelty
If you witness animal cruelty (this includes seeing animals that have been neglected or abandoned), please do inform the RSPCA. This is especially important during the summer months, when a dog left in a hot car can die in just six minutes.
You can report your concerns online or over the phone (a dog in a hot car requires urgent action, so call emergency services). Your details will be kept confidential and all reports are followed up on as soon as possible. Sharing your concerns might feel intimidating or scary, but we all need to look out for animals that can‚Äôt speak for themselves.