Beginner-friendly Ideas for Helping Animals

photo of person touching brown puppy

So you’ve just found out that you were born to help animals. Maybe it was an incident that triggered the realization. Maybe you’ve been doing it on a small scale/passively for years, leading to the sober realization that this is your life’s purpose, or at least a big part of it.

Now the big question in front of you is: “How exactly am I supposed to go about making a difference?

On one hand, there is so much to do, so you can’t possibly save everyone alone. On the other hand, there are thousands of people – entire groups, companies, and lobbies – already involved in this cause full-time, so will your actions make any significant difference at all?

It’s such a paradox.

Then there’s also the question of sustainability. If you leave your job & dedicate your whole day to healing or fighting for animals, will your family be okay with it? More importantly, will you be able to manage it yourself & not burn out in a few months? Nope. So is there no other way you can continue making an impact without taking your entirel life apart?

So. Many. Questions.

I found myself at this juncture at the tender age of 22. I had been a community stray dog & cat feeder since school but only did it as a hobby whenever I got the time. Soon adult life consumed me, and I found myself caught up in a hopeless job salary cycle that didn’t fuel my core passion.

I realized I had lost my way, and it was time to enter the animal welfare/rights field again. After a lot of mulling & brainstorming, I developed some idea about how I was going to apply myself here. So I started Snugo – a small store that sells merch & donates a chunk of the profits to grassroots animal feeding, rescue, rehab, and awareness groups. It was a simple enough & practical idea, but a herd of crazy folks has joined me on my mission since, and we’re slowly blooming into a community of like-minded individuals.

I know that there are many youngsters who are on these crossroads like me. And so I decided to write this blog post as a means of compiling resources & ideas for such people who know they want to help animals, but don’t have a clear direction on how to take the first steps, and more importantly, how to scale their efforts.

Here’s the rundown on how to become a part of the cause in an organized manner that would be more impactful than a haphazard individual approach.


Idea 1: Volunteer on the weekends

Let’s start from the basics.

Giving your time & labour is the purest way to help an animal. You could do it individually but will often fall short of resources to tend to more than one case at once. So it’s best to join a group.

Relax, you don’t have to set up your own community from scratch. There are several NGOs already present in every city on this planet. They all share the same mission of making the world a better place for all living beings.

These charities carry out all or some of these functions:

  • Rescue & rehab centers – tending to injured animals & try to rehome them
  • Wildlife, farm, or abandoned/aged pet sanctuaries – giving animals a dignified shelter
  • Online awareness groups – using social media to spread the message
  • Educationers – conducting seminars in school/offices to teach & promote animal welfare
  • Activist Fronts – conducting live street rallies & peaceful demonstrations
  • Social Biz – raising capital for the cause (like us) or creating vegan products

You don’t have to go searching for these anywhere. Just access our worldwide list here.

My suggestion is that you should first sign up for one such organization, and spend a few months seeing how the seniors get the job done there. Observe what kind of tools they use, how they communicate or “sell” their vision to other members, and how exactly do they manage the limited resources/time on their hands.

Just like entrepreneurs are advised to first work in startups & gain experience, people who aspire to lead the animal rights movement should first actively immerse themselves in it.

You don’t have to agree with everything your leaders say, or the way in which they think. Remember, you’re just here for “field testing.”

So fill up whatever volunteer registration form they have, and dedicate a few hours every weekend at the grassroots level – accompany them on offline activities & campaigns such as rescue missions, feeding or vaccination drives, adoption events, etc.

Try to understand the complications, issues, and barriers these people face. The knowledge will help you scale your efforts in the future.

If you’re working, you can dedicate a few hours or a Sunday – it’ll still be more than nothing.


Idea 2: Use your Profession

This point is tied to the previous one. Instead of plainly helping at the grassroots level, see if you can use your personal skills, talents, or gifts to contribute in a creative or more meaningful way.

For example, if you’re good at photography & photo editing, then you can sign up to click cute photos of the stray animals & get them adopted through social media.

If you’re a writer or content creator, you can write the captions for those adoption please. You can also make blog posts (such as this one), Reels, or carousels that propogate the message in an engaging manner.

If you’re good at singing or musical instruments, you can host online Live Shows & donate the proceeds from the ticket sales to your trusted animal NGO.

If you’re a financial expert or Chartered Accoutant, you can help to manage the donations & books for the charity of your choice, help them save through tax rebates, and figure out ways to creatively raise funds for their activities.

If you’re into sports or gyming, you can spread awarness about animal-free vegan food alternatives that are good for people’s health.

App or website developers/coders can develop cool new platforms or tools to help animals, such as an animal blood donor matcher, animal abuse reporting portal, search directory of animal-friendly services in every city, etc.

The challenge is to identify what you do or know best, and then somehow apply it to further the cause.

To give you more intimate examples, I knew I had the graphic design skills, so I used those to create tshirt & merch designs that would help me spread my love all animals – that’s how Snugo was created.

On the other hand, my co-founder Sarvesh is a certified Lawyer by profession, so he consults NGOs in building cases of animal abuses, and fights to bring justice to the victims, whilst fairly punishing the perpertrators.

All of us are born with some cool talents, or have at least picked up some hard/technical skills through years of education or work experience. So why not apply them to this cause, too?

If anything, this individual uniqueness will allow us to create a larger impact because it leverages what each of us does best!


Idea 3: Buy from Animal-friendly Biz

When you’re not chasing around animals in need, the simplest thing you can do to continue helping them in real life is to buy from animal-friendly businesses. The more we support this industry, the more their demand will grow.

And as demand for ethical, cruelty-free, animal-product-free alternatives grows, less animals will be tortured or hurt in the process.

Some of the businesses to consider are:

  • Selling any kind of stuff to raise funds for animal charities (eg. like us at Snugo)
  • Manufacturing animal-free vegan products (eg. food, fashion, bath & beauty, etc.)
  • Providing eco-tourism/travel experiences that respect animals (eg. sanctuary tours)
  • Services that don’t involve, hurt, or abuse animals (eg. no-animal circuses)

Again, you don’t have to go looking anywhere for these, because we have a worldwide directory of such enterprises readily available, too.

Just filter by each category (FMCG, F&B, B&W, Fashion, etc.), and you’ll be able to transform your shopping list into a fully ethical & responsible one overnight!

If the options on our list don’t suffice, you can also take help of aggregator website such as:

You can not only buy from these brands, but maybe start one on your own, too!? Wouldn’t it be fun to build a business that truly speaks to your purpose/passion, and contributes to it in a meaningful way?

It can be scary at first, but after taking the plunge, I can assure you that the feeling of being your own boss totally beats all the pains & struggles you may go through on the way!


Idea 4: Stay pupdated with the News

Staying knowledgeable about events related to animal rights & care will help you make more updated & cohesive arguments.

Having a robust knowledge bank to draw facts & figures is a must for any activist or entrepreneur trying to make a difference. So spend 5-10 minutes every day browsing through the news to know what’s buzzing around this topic.

As you might be anticipating, we’ve curated a list of top reliable media sources that you can bookmark & open daily for this very purpose!

If you spot a good article, do support the journalists & content creators by tweeting the link. This actually brings us to our last idea.


Idea 5: Share on social media

Last but not the least, you can keep reaching out to your online network by sharing updates or resources that might steer them towards our side, or at least serve as constant reminders of why we do what we do.

You can share:

  • Animal adoption plea posts (with contact details provided)
  • Blogs & news articles about animal rights, welfare, or veganism
  • Videos or Reels with info on how to help community (stray) animals
  • Happy posivie stories of kindness towards animals, animal recovery
  • Vegan product, restaurant, or service reviews

When you’re talking about our cause online, remember to always be supportive, encouraging, understanding, and empathetic towards others. We’re working to “build” awarness that’s not there, so it will take some time.

You may not always get positive responses, and many people may even ignore your posts or Stories at first, but regardless of what happens, stay courteous & respectful, no matter what. Walk away from any confrontations.

Keep in mind that you’re representing an entire movement, so don’t give anyone a chance to argue that we’re a hateful, intolerant bunch.

Remember, every share makes a difference, which actually brings me to my most important takeaway for you from this article…


Conclusion: Just take the first small step

When I set out to help animals, it felt overwhelming because there is so much going on in this movement, and yet so much left to do. Even today, after a decade in this field, I feel depressed & burned out at times.

But I remind myself that I’m a small drop, which joins with others to make an ocean. I’m a valid & important part of a big whole that’ll only keep growing in the future. So I neither have to do this alone, nor will I be able to if I ever took up the challenge. This thinking keeps me humble and hopeful at the same time.

I wake up every day knowing that I’ll leave a better world behind for my furry friends, and yet the fight will continue long & hard for centuries after I’m gone. So I should only focus on taking it one day at time – doing whatever I can to contribute in a way that makes me personally contended & happy.

In this blog post, I laid out just 5 basic ideas to help you get some clarity for yourself:

  1. Volunteer part-time/on weekends at your local charity
  2. Use your profession, talents, skills, or network
  3. Buy from animal-friendly businesses (or setting one up)
  4. Stay abreast with the latest news surrounding animals
  5. Share animal news & updates on social media

But it goes without saying that these aren’t the only right answers for everybody. There may be other creative ways to help out, and BTW, I’d love to hear them in the comments.

Case in point, the only thing left for you to do now is to just step out & take the first step in any direction as per your current situation & availability. Your destiny will automatically set you on the right path and get the job done, don’t worry about it!

Welcome to the Cause for Paws, my friend!

2 thoughts on “Beginner-friendly Ideas for Helping Animals

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