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Show Some Love to Animals in Need

Simple Ways to Support Young-Williams

It goes without saying that adopting a new animal into the family is one of the best ways to support a local shelter. However, if adding one more pup to the house isn't a workable option, Amy Miller, marketing director of Young-Williams Animal Center, says there are plenty of other ways to show support that have a direct, positive impact on the lives of animals in need.

“We have 10,000 animals who come through our doors every year. It’s a high volume. In 2021 we took in 9,780 domestic animals and adopted out 6,198. We maintained No-Kill status with a Save Rate of 93%. Non-adopted out outcomes include things like animals that were re-claimed by their owners or transferred out to other rescues or organizations,” she says. “We love talking about the Pet Resource Center and our Spay/Neuter Clinic because we are so much more than adoption. There are a lot of programs we provide to help families, people, and pets in the community.” 

Become a Foster 

Intake numbers increased last year, and while some portion of those numbers were surrenders, the bulk of the statistic is rooted in people returning to semi-normal life and finding more strays. In 2020, fewer people were out-and-about, so fewer strays were found. That wasn’t the case for 2021, so it didn’t take long for the shelter to fill up, especially with extra litters of kittens.

“You can foster any of the animals we have, depending on what the need is, and the only thing you give is time and love,” says Amy. “We give food, bedding, coaching, leashes, litter boxes — anything you need. The beauty of fostering is that when you talk about a brick-and-mortar shelter, you have a definitive number of kennels and spaces. When you have fosters, you have limitless opportunities. This is a key factor in Young-Williams achieving a no-kill status.” 

Whether a new litter of kittens or a dog who’s stressed out by the kennel environment, there are myriad fostering opportunities to suit anyone’s preferences and availability.

Volunteer at the Shelter, at an Event, or at Home

“Every time someone can come in and assist, it’s a big deal. Dog-walking is a huge part, and we need in-house kitty caretakers to clean areas and socialize kittens,” says Amy. “But we also have administrative volunteers, so maybe you’re really good at data entry or you’re able to stuff letters. We have positions for everyone.” 

One volunteer job that became invaluable when the pandemic hit was scheduling people to transcribe voicemail messages, which is a job someone can do from home. There are also plenty of service projects reserved for big groups. All one needs to do is contact the shelter to get the ball rolling.  

Mardi Growl, scheduled for Saturday, March 5, is the organization’s signature event in the community, and it requires a number of volunteers to be successful. (For more information, visit 

Make an In-Kind Donation or Become a Regular Supporter

“We are in constant need of kitten or puppy meal replacement, so donating a case of kitten pate food once a month from May to October — I’m telling you — if we have ten people who do that, that’s food we don’t have to purchase and it’s feeding all the babies coming in here,” says Amy. “There is one particular meal replacer we like called Breeder’s Edge Meal Replacement. One tub lasts six weeks, and it’s on our Amazon Wish List.” 

Whether food, supplies, or a monetary donation, every little bit helps. Contributions can be nonspecific, but they can also be designated for the Pet Resource Center, a collection of services designed to help pet owners keep their pets in times of hardship. There’s a pet food pantry folks can access, a temporary boarding unit for times of crisis, and a team of people dedicated to fielding phone calls about housing, behavior, or feeding issues. 

“It’s tough to ask for help, but that’s what we’re here for,” she says. “We want to give you options so you don’t have to surrender or abandon your pet.” 

Be an Advocate

“What does it cost you to spread the word about our services? It’s no cost. If you become a social follower and share our messages, you’re being an advocate,” says Amy. “Having community members champion our cause is something everyone can do. Click share or like something we post. It helps us distribute information.” 

For more on how you can help animals in need this year, visit

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