Many of us swing into the holiday season with the usual shopping checklists that’ll ensure the magic of Christmas is sorted before the big day. Despite its magic, Christmas can feel like a reflective time of year as we consider less fortunate furry friends who need extra love during the holiday season. There are plenty of animal welfare charities that will be grateful for your holiday cheer. Whether you’re donating on behalf of yourself or as a wonderful gift idea, any size donation will help little paws in need.
Deciding who to donate to can feel like a challenge but remember any donation to any charity is a good thing. Consider what is important to you or your benefactor; you can donate locally, nationally, internationally. Or is there a particular issue that you or they feel passionate about?
Helping furry friends close to home
There are plenty of fantastic nationally recognised dog and cat charities that have a local presence around the country. Cats Protection (formerly the Cats Protection League) is the UK’s largest cat charity, which helps 200,000 cats and kittens every year, and would make a purrfect donation for any cat lover. For dog lovers, The Dogs Trust is the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, which works tirelessly at rehoming and sponsoring pups.
For London-based donors, All Dogs Matter is a fantastic dog rescue charity that transforms the lives of the city’s unwanted and abandoned dogs. They also recently branched out to finding forever homes for pups living in Egypt, Italy, China, Romania and South Korea.
The Grey Hound Trust is another UK-based charity, specifically helping to secure a bright future for Britain’s retired racing greyhounds. They help over 4,000 hounds a year and do incredible work for this canine community that need care and attention after their racing days are over.
International animal welfare charities
Cast your eyes further afield and you’ll find a plethora of fantastic animal charities that do brave work in countries less fortunate than our own. Disaster, war and poverty impact the lives of our global four-legged friends. International Cat Care work for unowned cats, demand information on cat welfare and work with veterinary organisations worldwide. Crucially, they ensure cat welfare information is accurate and up to date worldwide, providing one source of truth for people in many different countries.
Wild at Heart Foundation supports and funds animal welfare projects around the world, in particular focusing on the stray dog population. With 600 million stray dogs with paws in need, lending a helping paw will help the Foundation continue to sponsor vital rescue projects, neutering programmes, awareness campaigns and education initiatives.
Animals living on the streets around the world is always a concern. This year, choose to extend a helping paw to charities that help in specific areas around the world. The Kat Centre, for example, do wonderful work in Kathmandu, in Nepal, rescuing and neutering the city’s many needy street dogs. You can choose to donate in a number ways of ways, like sponsoring a dog or kennel, and they also help donors with further fundraising initiatives.
Other ways to give
There are plenty of ways to help paws in need this festive season beyond donations. A very effective way to make a difference is opting to buy your Christmas cards and other festive items directly from animal welfare charities. Guide Dogs is one of the UK’s best-known sight loss charities, helping pups to help our fellow human. They have a great range of stationery and gifts on Dogalogue, their online shop, where 100% of profits go to Guide Dogs. You can also pick up lovely RSPCA Christmas cards from many retailers, including Amazon, where the proceeds go to helping animals around the country.
However you choose to make a difference this Christmas, the important thing is that you’re choosing to. No donation is too small and even smallest gesture can make the biggest difference.
For top tips on what to do and where to go with your pup in the run-up to Christmas, check out this handy article.