Gimme Shelter

How you can help shelter animals.

October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog month and unfortunately, local shelters are overrun with dogs and cats in need of homes. If you were thinking of adopting an animal in the near future, now is a good time to do so.

But even if you’re not able to add a new member to your family, there are still things you can do to help out shelter animals.

Be a Foster Parent

Foster parents provide temporary in-home care for puppies and kittens until they are old enough or weigh enough to be available for adoption. The Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority (SVACA) is one organization looking for foster parent volunteers.

In order to qualify, you need to be 18 years or older and have an extra room in your house to keep the foster animals separate from other animals in the household. SVACA provides food and approved veterinary care, but you may need to pay for crates or other supplies.

Fostering is not for everyone, but it’s a rewarding and fulfilling program that helps save the lives of animals that might not otherwise have a chance. For more information about becoming a foster parent, visit the SVACA website.

Volunteer at a Shelter

Contact your local shelter or rescue group and sign up as a volunteer. Shelters are in need of volunteers to socialize dogs and cats by playing with them and taking them out for potty breaks, people to help facilitate adoptions and volunteers to help out with off-site adoption events.

If you are a shutterbug, you can volunteer to take photos of dogs and cats in shelters. Research shows that animals who have more appealing photos are more likely to be adopted and less likely to be euthanized.

The Humane Society Silicon Valley (HSSV) offers monthly orientations called, PAW’er Hours for people 18 and older who are interested in volunteering. The next PAW’er Hour is Saturday, Oct. 22, from 9 to 10 a.m. You can register in advance at the HSSV website.

Donate Money or Supplies

Another way you can help homeless animals is to donate money or pet supplies to your local shelter. The County of Santa Clara Animal Shelter in San Martin has the following needs:

  • Cat and dog toys and treats
  • Canned cat and dog food
  • Towels and small blankets
  • Cat carriers
  • Dog crates and pens

Visit the website for the shelter’s hours of operation to drop off supplies.

Pet of the Week

Meet Rocket, a one-year-old American pit bull mix. True to his name, Rocket is a bundle of energy who would thrive with an active family. Rocket is on the way to learning his doggy manners and some extra training would help him become a well-rounded dog.

Rocket enjoys wrestling with other dogs who also have a full-contact play style. Rocket’s adoption fees have been paid by the Homeward Bound program. For more information about Rocket, visit the Humane Society Silicon Valley website.


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