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Start a new Valentine’s Day tradition

Jessie is currently in foster care awaiting her forever home.
Jessie is currently in foster care awaiting her forever home.
Jo Ann Wentzel

What is you Valentine’s tradition? Maybe current traditions for this day of love involve buying each other expensive presents or going out to eat a fabulous dinner. Planning a special meal or party for your children or family may be it. Maybe loved ones always receive good quality chocolates. Those are wonderful ideas, but why not expand upon this day of love. While not suggesting you don’t celebrate this great day and show loved ones that you care, consider a new tradition.

Set aside some of what you would spend for Valentine’s Day and donate it to a pet shelter. Besides the fact that most of them desperately need the money, this would be showing your love in a wonderful way to dozens of animals. This could be a new habit, a loving tradition. It would be a time to spread that love even further.

Another way of celebrating is by donating things these rescues need. They are always in need of pet food, pet treats and some specific food items like peanut butter, pumpkin and hot dogs. When a training class is in session, there will be lots of treats given to animals as positive reinforcement.

Some of their pets go to their foster parents with collars, leashes and harnesses. They are also necessary for their training courses. It would be wonderful to offer them a variety of these items so the rescued dog can look as stylish and be as safe as their permanent home pet friends. Just one way love could be shown.

Cleaning supplies are always needed and this could include disinfectant wipes and various cleaners, especially ‘green’ ones and things that are non-toxic to pets. They must go through an incredible amount of cleaning products since all cages and runs and floors in training and visiting areas must be very clean in order to protect those animals that spend time in those places. Your love could take this form as you help keep all their pets healthy.

All these places, the rescues and shelters, need office equipment and office supplies. They are all non-profit and will be responsible for much record keeping. There are forms to fill out and printing needed to assure the correct information is transferred to prospective foster and adoptive parents, as well as those authorities who monitor these places.

If you have more time than money, why not volunteer for a few hours or a day. What better way to spend some of your Valentine’s Day then by giving of yourself. Give your love and help these places out. You may need to help clean up the kennels or maybe walk the dogs or just be there to socialize because all would-be-family pets need socializing to be ready for permanent homes.

Pet lovers may actually plan to commit time on a regular basis to help them out. Although, most of these places already have volunteers, there are never enough people to help or enough hours in the day. They will be grateful for anything volunteers can do for them.

Another way to show love to pets is to take better care of the ones that live at your house. Well cared for pets will live longer and won’t end up in the shelters. Besides taking care of shots, neutering and spaying, they may also need other vet visits to insure their long life. Treat them to a bath, a nail trimming, a brushing, a walk, a belly rub or a special homemade treat. All pets love the attention and even an extra - long playtime with their family would be special for this day of love.

This year start a new tradition to include pets in your celebration, both those at home and the unwanted, homeless ones. Please subscribe to my articles to not miss any important Rescue Pet issues.