If you love them like we do, you’ll want to help animals in every way you can. Whether you’re in the UK or living abroad, there are many things you can do to ensure animals around the world are getting the care they deserve. Check out our guide on how to help animals below. If you have friends or family who adore animals too, share this with them and maybe give them a gift for animal lovers while you’re at it.
Consider adopting an animal
There are thousands of animals in shelters waiting to be adopted by caring owners. Some have been orphaned and mistreated and would like nothing more than a warm and loving home to live in.
Some people prefer going straight to a breeder, but adopting an animal not only gives existing animals a much-needed home, it also helps prevent overpopulation. Getting a rescue animal is a truly rewarding experience for all parties.
As part of our work, SPANA often encounters abandoned working animals in need of help. Why not consider supporting our appeal if you are able to. Or become a Stable Sponsor and provide a haven for working animals needing veterinary treatment and extended periods of recovery.
Research animal attractions before you go
Zoos, aquariums, sanctuaries… the list goes on. There are numerous attractions that feature animals, so it’s important to do your research both at home and abroad. Find out whether the organisation is ethical, and that its animals receive the best possible care.
Check out our Holiday Hooves Guide which is packed full of advice on how you can make informed choices and ensure that animals you may encounter on your excursions abroad are fit and healthy, such as working horses, donkeys and camels used to give rides, treks and tours. It also contains information about what to do if you have concerns about an animals’ welfare while on holiday.
Donate to an animal charity
Donating to an animal charity like SPANA is a great way to help animals in need. There are charities that focus on rescuing, veterinary care, preventing animal cruelty, and more.
Like many not-for-profit organisations, most animal charities rely on your donations to be able to operate. To help us care for working animals all over the world, a donation or fundraising activity is the best way. See the different ways you can donate to our special cause.
Consider vegan and cruelty-free products
In recent years, it has become much easier to consider reducing the amount of meat and fish in our diet, or to make animal-friendly choices by switching to cruelty-free products.
Vegan and cruelty-free products are slightly different. A vegan product doesn’t contain any animal derivatives, while a cruelty-free product will have been created and produced without any form of animal testing.
The desire for vegan and cruelty-free goods has significantly increased as people have become more aware of the ingredients in certain products. Most established brands will have a certified logo to prove their product has passed strict criteria.
Visit the SPANA shop for our range of responsibly-sourced, Fairtrade and handcrafted products. Not only do they make a wonderful treat for yourself or a gift for a loved one, each purchase helps working animals.
Educate yourself on how to be a responsible pet owner
Animal lovers tend to be great pet owners, so it’s likely that you do a good job of caring for your pets. But there’s always room to learn more. Make time to research additional ways to add to your pets’ comfort and happiness. If you’re thinking about getting larger animals, check out our basic guides on looking after horses and donkeys.
For other domesticated animals like dogs, cats and rabbits, seek advice online or, ideally, a vet or expert on how you can provide the best quality of life for them. Doing this is the best way to help the animals closest to you.
Photography with SPANA and Aware Trust Vets in Zimbabwe 2013, to document working animals and mobile vet clinics in Manicaland Province
Buy from charitable organisations
Whether you’re gifting a friend or treating yourself, buying from a charitable animal organisation is a great way to indirectly help animals. Check out the SPANA shop where you can buy calendars, soft toys, food and home and garden accessories. All proceeds go towards helping working animals in need.
Appreciate the environment and wildlife
Making environmentally-friendly decisions is another way to help animals indirectly. Climate change and the destruction of wildlife habitats are impacting many animals around the world, like polar bears and orangutans. Reducing your carbon footprint by doing things like recycling, limiting plastic usage, and walking or cycling when possible is extremely important.
You can also appreciate the wildlife that you may find in your local area! Even if you only have a small space, you can utilise it for wildlife to thrive. Providing water and birdfeed is a great way to start.
You can also join community efforts like park and beach clean-ups to do your bit and help animals in your area.
Report animal abuse
If you experience anyone acting inappropriately towards an animal, it is extremely important that you report it. If you are concerned about a working animal in a country in which we work, please do contact us and we will make an attempt to locate and assist the animal if possible. If you have concerns regarding an animal in the UK, please contact the RSPCA.
The last item on our guide on helping animals is volunteering. Whether it is dog walking, cleaning, campaigning, IT assistance or research, every single volunteer is helping improve the lives of animals in some way. Get in touch with your local vets or animal shelter to find out if they need volunteers.
At SPANA, veterinary professionals can put their skills and knowledge to great use by treating animals in Morocco. Find out more about our Vet Volunteer programme.