As all of our customers (and anyone that has been keeping up to date with Buddy Bites) will know, supporting the dog shelters in both Singapore and Hong Kong – is incredibly important to us. Though our ‘sell 2kg, donate 1kg’ model, giving back to our various shelter partners is at the heart of our business and through the support of all our ‘Buddy Biters’, we are now donating over 3500kg every month!
So, whilst we hope to offer an easy way to support the shelters through buying Buddy Bites, there are a number of other ways that shelters will always appreciate being supported and we wanted to highlight some of these in this blog.
The most obvious way, is through donations. While cash is the preferred choice, because it allows the shelters to put it towards the most urgent of bills or needs that particular day…..they will also be incredibly appreciative of dog gates, carriers, toys, treats, dog beds, shampoo and towels. “Something we very much appreciate is frontline or similar products, heartguard tablets are very expensive and we will gladly accept an opened box. Outdoor furniture is also great and gets well used!” Catherine from Catherine’s Puppies.
As you might imagine, with a tight budget, the dogs in all the shelters have a fairly limited diet when it comes to treats, chews and other snacks. So, if you ever want to spoil them, they would love anything you send their way and we would gladly deliver Buddy Bites Treats or Chews purchased through the website, directly to the shelter for you.
The other major way to give back to the shelters is your time. This has been made incredibly difficult for the last two years with social distancing limiting both access to the shelters themselves but also the amount of in-person events, so we have missed out on adoption days and other fundraising events for what feels like an eternity. Shelters would always love to have an extra hand with taking care of the dogs and are always on the lookout for volunteers. From spreading the word on social media to being physically present at the shelter with the dogs, there are a number of ways you could volunteer your time that will definitely have an impact no matter how big or small. Simply drop a message to a shelter to ask what areas they need help in and let them know how you can help!
“We are hoping (desperately now) to open the shelter again to small groups and start adoption events as soon as possible. Keeping the staff and volunteers safe and abiding by government regulations have taken a huge toll on adoptions and we have had to rely solely on foster parents to coordinate meeting potential adopters, not easy.” Catherine added.
Shelters are always looking for dog walking volunteers and people willing to take a dog out on an ‘adventure’ for the day or just a few hours. The dogs have lost lots of socialising time and there is a concern the dogs are now too institutionalised, making it even harder to find them a better home and life. So, any time spent out and about is great for their temperament as well as chance of finding a family to take them home. Kids enjoying school holidays are always welcomed (with parent’s permission) to roll their sleeves up and help any of the fantastic shelter teams out with the day to day tasks, or taking the dogs for a walk about.
If you’re unable to commit permanently to adopting a dog, you could also try your hand at fostering to help ease the burden off the shelters. Finding a permanent home for shelter animals will take some time and having dogs spend time with a regular family might make it easier for them to be adopted too!
We will continue to think of ways to help support these fantastic organisations, but we hope the above offers some insight in to how we can support them in the meantime.