Bank Independent 6th Annual Shelter Share Drive

2019-PuppyShelter Share is an annual drive through Bank Independent’s Helping Hands initiatives. The aim of Shelter Share is to provide much needed assistance to local animal shelters in donations of supplies and funds, as well as, volunteer support. For three weeks during February, Bank Independent will be accepting donations at all locations.

Recognizing a need

Every year, nationwide, there are an estimated 7.6 million companion animals which find themselves in animal shelters. That is approximately 3.9 million dogs and 3.4 million cats. The burden of supplying basic vaccinations and medical care, along with food, toys, cleaning supplies and enough hands to help can be overwhelming for shelters across the country.

If you consider an average shelter can house between 50 to 150 animals a day, multiply that by 365 days in a year, that is between 18,250 and 54,750 meals a year. Estimate that each animal receives ¼ cup to 2 cups a day, that equals 38 to 300 cups a day and 13,870 to 109,500 cups a year. The cost of feeding shelter animals can be upwards of $20,000 a year.

Shelters require other necessities to meet the needs of animals in their care. Cat litter, for instance, cuts down on odor, acclimatizes adoptees for their new life, and makes for easier clean up for staff and volunteers. Chlorine bleach cleans, disinfects and cuts down on the spread of diseases. Shelters go through food bowls and litter pans quickly. Typically supplied 2 per kennel, the containers are utilitarian and often double as toys.

Monetary donations and volunteer hours round off the needs most shelters require to operate sufficiently. Money can be used to fill the gaps in budgeted needs. And volunteers ease the strain of under or insufficient staffing.

From Shelter to Home

Shelters fill a critical role in providing basic care for animals in need. However, the long-term goal is to be a stepping stone for these animals between abandonment and adoption. Shelters look out for the best interest of animals in their care, so that when they find their adopted home, they can settle in more quickly.

Animals understand the value of adoption. But often their human counterparts need a bit more convincing. Many studies have been done measuring and verifying the positive benefits of keeping a pet to include:

  • Pet owners enjoy better heart health.
  • Pets help lower blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Pets increase resistance to allergies
  • Pet owners get more exercise
  • Pets help lessen anxiety and improve mood
  • Pet ownership teaches empathy
  • Pets help broaden social circles

The overall cost to adopt, maintain and care for a pet is statistically less than $3 a day. Nearly 80 million U.S. households have a pet, and of that number, 42% have more than one. And of those households, the majority would consider the pet an integral part of the family.

How you can make a positive difference

The 2018 Shelter Share collected and distributed over 1,175 items and more than $330 in donations to shelters in northwest Alabama last year. Donations were used to supplement resources available to local shelters.

If you would like to donate supplies for this year's Shelter Share, every Bank Independent sales office will accept donations of pet food, kitty litter, paper towels, nursing bottles, cleaning supplies, first aid items, used blankets, bedding and towels until the last day of our drive on March 1.

The donated supplies will be delivered by Bank employees to the Athens Limestone County Animal Shelter, Colbert County Animal Shelter, Decatur Animal Services, Huntsville Animal Services, Morgan County Animal Shelter and Florence Lauderdale Animal Shelter in early March.

If you would like to donate your time, contact your local animal shelter. Not all shelters are equipped to accept volunteer services. So, call around to find out where your time and talents can best be put to use.

If you can open your home to a new pet, consider adoption. The rewards and benefits of pet ownership far outweigh the concerns of adoption.

To learn more about Shelter Share, please follow the link to our Helping Hands page.

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Bank Independent does not endorse, nor is responsible for the content in the linked 3rd party websites. Bank Independent's privacy policies do not apply to these linked websites.