Here’s an easy way to help out animals in your local shelter, and not have to leave your house. Google the name of the shelter or rescue you’d like to assist and the words “wish list.” It’s almost guaranteed that you’ll find they’ve put together a list of items that will help them out, items that can be delivered right to the facility through a retailer like Petco or Chewy. Toys and beds, comforting items that may ease a scary shelter environment for the animals there. Many times shipping is free, especially if the store is running specials.
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Items many shelters and rescues have on their wish lists are things you’d expect such as harnesses, leashes, litter, pet shampoo and pet beds, all of which can be purchased at many retail sites.
If you’d like to up the ante, organize a simple fundraiser in your school or office. When the donation jar is filled, contact an organization like Kuranda, the pet bed company. They have a donate-a-bed program, where you can get pet beds sent to your local shelter at a discounted rate! Click here for details!
Some shelters would love donations of wet and dry food, treats and dog bones, while others already have relationships with pet food companies and don’t accept food from outside sources; check the facilities wishlist to see where they stand. Don’t forget that there may be animals other than dogs and cats in need as well, such as rabbits or farm animals, depending where you’re located.
Got some lightly used pet toys, beds, bowls, blankets, scratching posts, brushes, combs or towels? You can be sure that your local shelter will welcome these items. And the pets there will love them.
If purchasing items online is beyond your reach, check local Craigslist ads and Facebook swap groups. Many people have items like these to give away. Just collect what’s available or set up a drop off area and bring them to the shelter. Hotels are always replacing their used linens; check with them to see if they have any they’d like to donate. Nothing is older than yesterday’s news; collect used dry newspapers in a neat pile and drop them off.
Any of these ideas will work for someone who is allergic to animals, doesn’t have the time or space to adopt one, or whose lifestyle isn’t compatible with being a pet owner, yet still wants to help the animals in their community!
Many shelters have specific needs. Here are a few shelters and the items they’re looking for that you probably never thought of:
Humane Society of Huron Valley – Spray canned cheese, Greenies Pill Pockets, Timothy hay for the rabbits, even toothbrushes for pet dental care. Broward Humane list includes rubber ice trays, Popsicle molds and ping pong balls for their cats to play with.
Ziplock bags are among the items found on the list for OCAS in Orlando and Michigan’s Last Day Dog Rescue. Like many rescues, Last Day is foster based, without a facility, and the volunteers pay for everything, from puppy and kitten formula to nail trimmers.
This Kentucky shelter can turn your recyclables, such as aluminum cans, used ink jet or computer cartridges, even old cell phones, into cash. They use that cash for fuel for transporters, vet services and medications not covered by the shelter budget.
Florida’s Brevard Humane has many small animal needs on their list, including food for birds, rats, rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters. And KONGS are king almost everywhere.
Shelter and rescue animals in your community thrive with small acts of kindness. To quote Desmond Tutu, “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”