Editorials, Opinion

Love animals? Here are some ways to show it

WVAQ’s Just Jaime will be “ruffin’” it (to borrow Erin Cleavenger’s pun) outside of The Glass Factory in Star City this weekend. She’ll be pitching her tent in the parking lot as part of the Camping for Canines fundraiser for Animal Friends of North-Central West Virginia.

She’s aiming to get $10,000 in whatever way she can — cash, credit or coin (hold the pocket lint). For those who don’t carry cash anymore, Jaime and Animal Friends will gladly take payments via PayPal or Venmo.

Animal Friends runs a nonprofit, no-kill shelter that provides veterinary services, facilitates adoptions and houses and feeds abandoned and unwanted animals. On average, the organization rescues around 500 local animals every year, but the shelter coordinator told our reporter that this year has been busier than normal. Which means every penny counts, and Camping for Canines is the nonprofit’s biggest fundraising event of the year.

So make sure you stop by The Glass Factory today or tomorrow, say hi to Jaime and donate a few dollars to a great cause.

Other ways to help:

Donations of cash or supplies are always welcome, but sometimes what shelters and rescue groups need is another set of hands — and you can help by volunteering or fostering.            

Adoption is always the end goal, but we know there are people who would love to take in an animal but can’t do so permanently.  Pets are a lifetime commitment and some people are only in town for a short time, with no guarantee they can take a pet with them to the next place. Some people aren’t sure if they’re ready to make that furever promise.

We encourage those people to look into volunteering and/or becoming an animal foster parent. As a volunteer, you can get all the dog and kitty time you want without the long-term time and financial commitment of fostering or adoption. Many shelters would welcome having help walking dogs or spending time with the cats.

As a foster, you get to experience the love and joy of having a pet; the animal gets a loving home, with its very own human(s) and house; and the shelters get to free up space to take in more animals in need. This is a great way to do a trial run to see if having a pet is right for you. And it’s a great way for college students living in pet-friendly housing to have a companion without worrying about not being able to take it home after the school year ends. (Please don’t adopt unless you are sure you can make that kind of lifetime promise.)

Here are some of the local organizations looking for volunteers and/or fosters:

  • Animal Friends of NCWV — animalfriendswv.org/help-us/
  • Appalachian Peace Paws Rescue — appalachianpeacepaws.org/foster
  • Homeward Bound WV — homewardboundwv.org
  • Mountaineers for Mutts — m4mutts.org/volunteering/
  • The Davis Crew Kittens (cats only) — facebook.com/rescueWVcats
  • Mon County Canine Adoption Center (call 304-291-7267)