There are a variety of ways you can help the homeless animals who are awaiting rescue at your local animal shelter.
Of course, one of the greatest things you can do is to donate money. The funds you give are available to be spent as needed, be it on food, medical care, or advertising the pet's availability.
Another is to volunteer. Volunteers are the backbone of any rescue program or animal shelter. Volunteers can transport animals to veterinary appointments, can bathe, groom, clean cages, socialize animals and the like. All that is needed is a heart full of kindness and general, basic skill with animals.
Yet another way to contribute is to donate needed items, such as leashes, collars, crates, towels, blankets, food, toys and grooming products. Most shelters have a never ending need for such items.
Finally, consider donating your time. People are frequently needed to help transport animals via canine "underground railroads" to their eventually forever homes. You might wish to foster a dog or cat until a forever home can be found. Doing so acclimates the animal to a "normal" home environment while simultaneously freeing space for another animal to be rescued. Simply caring enough to provide the next most needed thing is sometimes all that is necessary to save a worthy animal's life.