DEAR PAW’S CORNER: I gave some money to a pet charity a couple of years ago, and now I am contacted several times a month, by mail and by phone, by this charity asking for more money. Are all pet charities like this? Is there another organization I can donate to, or even just volunteer for? — Jerry C., San Diego
DEAR JERRY: If the calls and letters are annoying, you should be able to contact the charity and ask it to take you off its mailing list. Check one of the mailers for a phone number or email address specifically for this type of request.
It’s likely that whatever charity you give to will begin sending you regular mail, at the very least, since that is an effective method of reminding supporters to donate again. It’s sort of an occupational hazard.
There certainly are other ways to contribute to causes that help animals. Some people have more time than money, or feel that just throwing money at a charity isn’t enough.
Helping out at pet shelters is one of the first options people think of, but each shelter has different rules about volunteers. Most will not allow new volunteers to work directly with shelter animals, for safety reasons. However, they do try to put volunteers into other supportive roles, and some offer periodic training sessions to initiate new volunteers into their programs. (Volunteers often are needed to help with fundraisers — perhaps annoying to some, but direct funding is important.)
Your first step is to look up local pet charities, shelters or clinics, and contact each to find out if it has volunteer programs. The local newspaper, your municipality’s website, or the yellow or white pages are among resources available to find these programs.
Send your questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to Paw’s Corner, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. For more pet care-related advice and information, visit www.pawscorner.com. © 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.