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Every week, join Sydney Waters as she helps you navigate life as a smart consumer. You'll cover everything in avoiding the latest scams, including phishing emails, medical equipment fraud, understanding layaway, hiring a reputable tax preparer, and even digital spring cleaning. Add to your toolbox and flip through your Consumer Handbook Thursdays during NPR’s Morning Edition at 6:42 a.m. and 8:42 a.m., only on KRCU.

Consumer Handbook: Animal Shelter Volunteering Tips

Young adult woman working and playing with dogs in animal shelter
mladenbalinovac/Getty Images/iStockphoto
Young adult woman working and playing with dogs in animal shelter

Several rescue animals could use a little time out from the shelter and a new home, and maybe you have a little extra time or space.

Many shelters may be at capacity with dogs, cats, or rabbits in need of a home, and this is putting a strain on the staff and the animals.

Because of this, area shelters are asking pet lovers for some help. Fostering a pet may be the ideal stress reliever for both you and the shelter.

If you could use some tail-wagging happiness or a purr-fectly content companion, reach out to a local shelter to see how you can help by fostering.

The Better Business Bureau has some tips when volunteering to help a shelter:

Consider your time.
Be ready to devote 30-60 minutes daily to pet care, walks, etc. Think about the best way to involve the whole family in daily care, from feeding, to walking, to playing, and keeping an eye on the pet. If you are working from home, can you make a plan to keep your fostered guest entertained while on a conference video or audio call?

Consider your space.
Many breeds, larger ones especially, need a lot of room to run and play. Do you have a yard or a nearby park where your new pup can get lots of exercise?

Consider your family.
A puppy may be a handful if you have young children at home. A grown dog with a calm temperament might be a better choice.

Consider other pet family members.
Are your other pets willing to bring in another member to the pack? Carefully think about temperament and if there are enough places in the home for them to be apart when necessary.

Beware of possible scams when considering adopting an animal and check out the shelter on BBB.org

Sydney Waters is the new Regional Director of Better Business Bureau in Cape Girardeau and responsible for outreach efforts in Southern Illinois and Eastern and Southwest Missouri.