10 Ways to Help Animals in Your Local Area – Norfolk & Suffolk

10 Ways to Help Animals in Your Local Area

As pet owners and animal lovers we’re always looking for ways to help animals in need. And, aside from digging into our pockets and simply donating money to charities, there are plenty of other ways to help ensure all animals have the best chance in life. 

Here at Animed Direct, part of the CVS vet group, we’re based in Norfolk, and are currently helping out by donating food to the Blue Cross Suffolk Rehoming centre, to show appreciation for the hard work charities do to help our furry friends. If you’re looking for ways to help animals in Norfolk or Suffolk, it’s easier than you think to get started! We’ve compiled a handy list of things you can do…

1. Volunteer at your local shelter

 

Animal shelters are always looking for volunteers to help out. With everything from hands-on animal care, such as exercising, grooming and cleaning out cages, to helping out in charity shops or at fundraising events, there are plenty of ways you can help out. 

Don’t worry if you don’t have much time on your hands, an hour or so every week can really make a difference. Shelters have seen the impact of the COVID pandemic recently, which means they will likely see an influx of cats and dogs in shelters. This combined with a reduction in donations at this time makes anything you are able to do to help even more helpful at this time.

If you’re interested in helping out, simply get in touch with a shelter near you. Here are some great places in East Anglia to get you started:

Norfolk

PACT Animal Sanctuary  

PACT is the largest ‘all animal’ sanctuary in Norfolk. They specialise in ‘problem animals’ – those who have been victims of physical or mental abuse. PACT works to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome neglected animals. They have a strict no kill policy, offering a second chance to animals where euthanasia would be the only option. They currently care for over 1,600 animals.

F.A.I.T.H Animal Rescue 

F.A.I.T.H Animal Rescue offers a safe space for animals who have been abused, neglected or have been left homeless. Primarily working with cats and dogs, F.A.I.T.H works to rehabilitate and rehome their animals into their forever homes.

West Norfolk RSPCA 

The RSPCA has rehoming centres and shelters across the UK. The West Norfolk branch is an independent branch of the RSPCA, on the outskirts of King’s Lynn, and rehomes on average 20 dogs, 12 cats and a number of other small animals a month. 

Dogs Trust Snetterton

This Dogs Trust centre in Snetterton is home to a wide variety of pups and dogs looking for their forever home. Their Supporter Relations Officer (SRO) also offer free talks to community groups.

Suffolk

Suffolk Animal Rescue 

Suffolk Animal Rescue works with hard-to-home animals, such as dog breeds considered less ‘easy’ and feral cats. Formed in 1997, the animal shelter focuses on helping the animals that need it most. 

Ipswich RSPCA

As with the Norfolk rehoming centre, the Suffolk East & Ipswich RSPCA helps animals through rehoming, rehabilitation, veterinary care, neutering and microchipping. They are a separate charity to the national RSPCA and so rely on fundraising, events and donations. 

Whippet Rescue 

The Whippet Rescue Centre specialises in the rehabilitation and rehoming of lost, abandoned and stray whippet dogs. They are always looking for help with fostering dogs or assisting with fundraising efforts. There’s a helpful form on their site you can fill in to offer help.

2. Sponsor an animal

 

Helping animals to find their forever homes isn’t the only way to help out. Sometimes animals have such complex needs or difficult personalities that they aren’t able to be rehomed. These animals tend to stay at animal shelters or foster homes for the rest of their lives. But, you can still help out! Why not sponsor an animal to help pay for its ongoing care. This usually only costs a few pounds a month, and can make a massive difference.  Get in touch with your local charity to see if there are sponsorship options available, you’ll usually be kept up to date with news about how your fluffy companion is getting on. 

Additionally, many zoos are in need of charitable donations. For example, you can sponsor an animal at Banham Zoo in Norfolk with a one off donation of £45 or £70. You will receive a sponsorship pack with a certificate, animal information and complimentary zoo admission ticket. Alternatively, at Hillside Animal Sanctuary you can adopt a rescued animal for only £10 a year or sponsor a rescue dog for the same cost. You will receive a certificate and a twice yearly report and photographs to keep you up to date with your sponsored animal. 

There are also opportunities to help in Suffolk, with Jimmy’s Farm, a free-range livestock farm, offering a range of adoption packages for their animals to support the conservation they do. The gold package even includes an animal experience with your chosen animal. Africa Alive, formerly known as Suffolk Wildlife Park also offer animal sponsorship as “a perfect way for you to play a role in wildlife conservation”.

3. Make your garden an animal sanctuary

 

You don’t need to travel far to help animals, and you’ll be surprised at just how much you can do in your very own garden. From nature ponds to bird feeders and baths, small changes are a great way to support wild animals in your area. 

There are hundreds of animals and creatures that call your garden home, which is why we feel that we should make their home as hospitable as possible. Spending time making your home a creature haven is also a great way to get the whole family involved, and is the perfect way to educate children about animal welfare in a fun and interesting way. If you’re looking for some tips to help your kids connect with the nature in your garden, check out Learning Resources’ safe ways to connect with nature, where you can learn more about creating a mini nature reserve at home. 

4. Dog walking or pet sitter programs

 

Nothing beats taking a dog for a walk, but unfortunately for some people poor health or other commitments mean they are unable to meet their dog’s walking needs. If you’re able bodied and have some spare time on your hands, why not train to be a dog walker? Tom & Toto offer a professional dog walking service in the Norwich area, offering dog walks 365 days of the year. Alternatively, you can list your dog walking service on Bark.

If you love the idea of helping out by taking our four legged friends out for a walk but can’t commit to training to be a professional walker, why not ask friends and family if they need a hand instead? Many older people struggle to walk their dogs, but don’t have the money to sign up for a service. Why not help out those struggling in your area?

5. Fundraising

 

Whether it’s attending an event in your neighborhood or hosting your own, fundraising is a great way to show your support to animals in need. If you’re looking for events in Norfolk or Suffolk, the Eventbrite website allows you to search for charity events taking place near you. 

If you’d prefer to set something up yourself but don’t know where to start, there are plenty of really easy ways to fundraise for an animal charity near you. If you’ve got an attic full of unused items, why not go to a carboot sale and donate your profits to a charity of your choice? Alternatively, bake sales and coffee mornings are a really easy way to raise money, and have a great time doing it!

Fundraising opportunities may be limited at this time, with the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus outbreak, but there are still ways to raise money for animals in need from your home. There are a few options available for virtual fundraising, such as Zoom events, live Facebook, Instagram and Youtube events, to name a few ideas. Soapbox Engage has some great examples of virtual fundraising ideas for you to try out.

6. Handmade products

 

You don’t need a lot of money to do a lot of good. If you’re into getting crafty, why not use your skill to help animals near you? Whether you love sewing or knitting and can create the perfect bedding for animals to donate to your local shelter, or you can create trinkets and gifts to donate to be sold in animal charity shops.  Alternatively, why not set up a stall at a craft fair, or an online store such as eBay or Etsy, with all profits going to your favourite animal charity.

7. Litter picks

 

Although litter picking may not seem like the most important way to help animals, with tens of thousands of animals killed or injured by our waste every year, it’s a really powerful way to help out. It’s also really easy to get involved with a litter pick. If you’re in Norfolk, head to the South Norfolk Council website to find out more about getting involved, they even lend you all the equipment you need. Similarly, in Suffolk the Suffolk Recycles site lists upcoming events and gives advice about getting started. 

Being surrounded by a beautiful coastline, there are also a lot of beach cleaning opportunities in Norfolk and Suffolk. Friends of Horsey Seals are a brilliant Norfolk based charity where you can donate or sign up to be a volunteer.

8. Donate what you don’t need

 

While donating to charity shops is a great way to raise money for animal charities in your area, there are other ways you can donate. Many people donate their old, good quality items to charity stores, but tend to throw away things deemed to be ‘past their best’. Old blankets, cushions and towels are great for making catteries and kennels feel more like home. So, next time you’re about to throw out that frayed blanket or threadbare towel, think to yourself – would a little kitty or puppy enjoy snuggling in this? I bet 99% of the time the answer will be yes!

9. Educate the people you know

 

There’s power in numbers, and the more people you can educate on the importance of animal welfare the more help animals in need will receive. So, the final tip on our list is to share this information with as many people as possible and keep the conversation of animal welfare alive.

10. Raising awareness of Cinnamon Trust

 

Cinnamon Trust is the only specialist national charity for people in their last years and their much loved companion animals. They’re looking for help to raise awareness throughout September, and it’s really easy (and completely free) to get involved. All you need to do it post a picture of you and your dog enjoying a walk on your social media profile with the following caption and hashtags: 

Today we’re walking to raise awareness for The Cinnamon Trust who help the elderly and terminally ill look after their pets #CVSSteptember #CinnamonTrust

Don’t have a furry friend of your own? You can still post a picture of you and a family or friends dog (a great way to help out in more than one way). Or, if you have some spare time on your hands, why not volunteer as a dog walker

And there you have it, our top tips for helping animals in Norfolk and Suffolk. Are you interested in learning more about any of these points? Or, maybe you’re already helping out in a different way. We’d love to hear how you’re getting involved in the comments section below.