One of my favorite shows on t.v. is this series called Pitbulls and Parolees on Animal Planet. The show is about Tia Torres, a truly amazing individual who runs the Villalobos Rescue Center together with her two daughters, Tania and Mariah.
It is amazing how much adversity they have faced, and yet they are still very committed, and do their absolute best to give both dogs and people a second chance.
Many of us love dogs very much, but may not have a lot of funds to donate to a dog rescue or shelter. Times are tough, and many of us are struggling and working hard, just to keep things afloat. Even so, heroes like Tia show us that there is much that we can do to help dogs who are in need, and to help promote responsible dog ownership.
Here are 5 easy ways to help dogs without leaving our home. It will not cost us any extra money, and will not involve very much effort. All we need is our trusty computer, and reliable online access.
Help Dogs 1 – Amazon Shopping
Nowadays, I get many of my household items from Amazon including cooking utensils, toothpaste, canned goods, as well as dog supplies such as dog toys, and dog food. All this amounts to a sizable Amazon bill every month.
How can my Amazon purchases help dogs?
It turns out that many dog rescues and shelters have their own Amazon store, or Amazon ads on their website. If we visit Amazon through our favorite dog rescue site, they will get a commission for any purchases we make. Note - it does not matter if we buy from their store or not, as long as we visit Amazon from their storefront or website ad.
In this way, we easily make a contribution to them through our regular online shopping. The amount we pay to Amazon will be the same. The only difference is that when we go to Amazon directly, then Amazon gets to pocket the commission.
- Here is the Northern California Sled Dog Rescue (NorSled) Amazon store.
- Here is the San Francisco Samoyed Rescue homepage. There is an Amazon link on the left, right below the Donate buttons.
In addition, if you are involved with a dog rescue organization, consider putting up an Amazon store or link to expand your contribution alternatives.
Help Dogs 2 – Click for Free Kibble
Freekibble.com is a fun site that helps to feed homeless dogs and cats.
Every day, there is a new dog related trivia question on the site. By simply clicking on one of the answers, the site sponsors will donate some free kibble to shelters, rescues, and food-banks across the country. It does not matter whether we answered correctly or not. A donation is made just for our participation!
In fact, I only just visited the site and earned a 10 piece kibble donation.
It is true that 10 pieces of kibble may not seem like much, but if 100,000 people click, that is 1 million pieces of kibble. It is simple and fun, so I usually drop by in the early morning before firing up my e-mail.
It is a great way to start to my day!
The Animal Rescue Site also donates food to shelter animals based on clicks.
Help Dogs 3 – Vote on Google
One of the largest villains in dogdom is the puppy mill. Not surprisingly, passionate dog lovers have a fair number of disagreements over dog training methods, and lifestyle choices. However, pretty much everyone agrees that puppy mills are just bad, bad, bad.
Despite this concerted effort, puppy mills are still around and still going strong.Why?
There is great demand for purebred puppies and designer dogs, which translates to a lot of money if we do not mind cutting some corners, exploiting dogs, and lying to people. Many puppy mills go to great lengths to deny what they actually are. They create fuzzy websites, with seemingly happy looking dogs, in beautiful pastoral surroundings. They claim to have AKC registration papers, and offer to send pictures of their healthy puppies. However, reality turns out to be quite different from their well-constructed illusion. Here is a great article from the ASPCA on Puppy Scams and Cons.
In addition, these puppy mill sites and the online puppy stores, are very willing to engage in spammy web practices in order to gain online visibility. When I do a Google search on “buy puppy” or “buy Siberian Husky“, there are many puppy stores that appear at the top of my search results.
One thing that we can do, is use Google to filter out these crappy puppy mill and online store sites.
- Log into our Google account. If we do not have a Google Account, we can sign up for one here.
- Go to our Blocked Sites page.
- Enter in the URL that we want to block, and click the Block button.
- Repeat step 3 for each crappy puppy mill site. We can block up to 500 sites.
This blocking function will not only clean up our Google results page and enhance our search experience, but it will also indicate to Google that this is a rubbish site. If enough people block these puppy store sites, then they will likely get downgraded in the general Google Search rankings. This will cause them to lose online visibility, and limit their access to new customers.
By blocking a site, only your own search results will be directly affected. However, Google may use blocking information to improve the ranking of search results overall.
Help Dogs 4 – Write
The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought, this in turn makes us think more deeply about life, which helps us regain our equilibrium.
Writing is good for the soul. It can help us dispel anger, frame our thoughts, structure our chaotic emotions, and help us regain balance. It allows us to share knowledge, exchange information, and explore new worlds together, hand in hand.
Writing can also be used to help our dogs.
In fact, we do not even have to write about dogs; we can write about whatever we want. There are many free writing websites today that will host our articles for free, and also share advertising revenue with us. HubPages is one such site. Another one is Squidoo.
The nice thing about Squidoo is that they allow us to put a portion of our earnings directly into a charity of our choice. There are currently over 200 charity options at Squidoo, including dog related organizations such as the ASPCA. Squidoo itself is also active in terms of its charitable donations.
In October 2008, Squidoo donated $80,000 to charity. [...] On October 13, 2010, the company donated an additional $275,000 to charity to celebrate their 5th anniversary.
Of course we can also just write on HubPages, and donate some of our earnings to the rescue or shelter of our choice, through PayPal.
Help Dogs 5 – Spread the Word
The power of online activity is that we have the power to get other people involved. What we do individually may seem small, but if we are able to get our friends involved, then the resulting network effect could make a very significant difference. Once an idea gains online social momentum, it will be difficult to stop.
In short, we can make all this happen with just a few clicks, and right from the comfort of our living rooms. Let us all make a difference for dogs everywhere, because they have already made such a big and positive difference for us.
I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being.
Animals are reliable, many full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions, grateful and loyal. Difficult standards for people to live up to.
~~[Alfred A. Montapert]