Posted Online: Jan. 10, 2013, 3:11 pm

Letter: In 2013, resolve to help your local shelter pets

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With the New Year comes new (or not-so-new) resolutions: lose weight, learn a language, spend more time with the kids, get more involved in our local communities.

Instead of becoming overwhelmed, why not make a realistic resolution that can make a real difference in the lives of homeless pets?

By volunteering at your local animal shelter you open up a whole world of opportunities that can benefit both you and the animals.

If you've vowed to get in shape this year, sign up to take shelter dogs for walks or runs -- 30 minutes of walking a day can result in 15 pounds of weight loss in a year. Want to spend more time with the kids?

Work with your child's youth group to gather supplies to donate to a local pet organization. (Many people think donations to national groups like the Humane Society of the U.S. go locally, but they largely don't.) Or, teach your action-minded son or daughter about how laws are made by following an animal-related bill through the legislative process.

No matter how you choose to get involved -- by volunteering, adopting or even just donating locally -- you can make 2013 better and brighter for yourself and your local shelter pets.

Diana Culp,
director,
Humane Society for Shelter Pets