It’s a New Year! Though the parties have ended—and perhaps you’ve already broken a resolution (or two)— you can still take small steps that add up to big impact for the animals. Here are six easy ways to live kinder this year.

1. Get the Pet Plate

Purchase the Ohio Pet Plate for your vehicle and support spay/neuter and education programs throughout the state. You can still get personalized plates! Order anytime through or at your local Deputy Registrar’s office. For more information visit:

2. Spay/Neuter Your Pet87-1249563161n50K

Spaying and neutering is one of the most important actions you can take to help prevent unwanted litters and pet overpopulation. View our list of low cost spay/neuter service providers here. If your pet is already spayed or neutered, offer to get your neighbor’s pet fixed, or make a donation to a local rescue or shelter to spay/neuter a homeless animal.

3. Make Your Dollars Count

Consider shopping at stores that directly benefit the animals. Some rescues, such as Colony Cats in Dublin, operate retail storefronts to raise funds for their rescue work. Others, such as Cat Welfare, hold a continuous garage sale. Make your online purchases count as well. Choose to shop through such sites as GoodShop, iGive, and AmazonSmile and a percentage of your purchases will benefit the charity of your choice!

4. Adopt a Homeless Pet

If you have been thinking about adding a pet to your family, opt to adopt! There are many loving animals waiting for their forever home at your local rescue or shelter. Although many only house dogs or cats, there are some that also have homeless birds, hamsters, rabbits and ferrets. Check out PetFinder for your perfect match!

5. Feed the Birds

Winter can be harsh for our wild neighbors. Make it a little easier for them by putting out bird feeders and heated water sources. Good winter foods are black oil sunflower seeds and high energy suet. Consider getting an Ohio bird book and some binoculars to learn more about your feeder visitors.

6. Donate Supplies

Rescues and shelters are in constant need of pet food and other supplies. While you’re out shopping, grab an extra can or bag of pet food and donate it to your local shelter. You may also have household items that you don’t need anymore that can help the animals. Many shelters regularly need old towels, paper towels, and cleaning products.  — Jill Herbst