Every day we are inspired by animals who provide unconditional love regardless of the hardships they face. The least we can do is offer them all of the comforts of home while their wait for their forever family with supplies that help keep them healthy, happy and having fun!
Here a few of the items they love:
You would get bored if you had to lay in a crate alone all day, wouldn’t you? Animals in shelters get bored, too. It keeps the animals from being so lonely and bored and allows them to get exercise.
- Durable/washable toys: Kongs (all sizes especially larger ones), Nylabones, buster cubes, jolly balls, food puzzle toys
- Tennis balls: Tennis balls are great to toss around to give the dogs some exercise. Ask your local tennis clubs or school gymnasium if they have used tennis balls to donate. The dogs don’t care if they are not brand new!
- Plush toys: Some shelters don’t like plush toys but rescues and boarding/vet facilities welcomed them. They provide just the right amount of warm and fuzzy the homeless pets can play and snuggle with to help lift their spirits. And who can deny them that joy?
Tip: You could go out and buy new toys, or you could donate toys your pets may have not gotten much use out of. It’s as simple as that.
Pet food & treats
Full bellies make animals happier in a scary situation. And both dogs and cats look forward to treats whenever they can get them. You can really help them out by bringing in a few cans or bag of food. It goes a long way.
- Food: Unopened dry & wet dog and cat food. Allergy formula is appreciated.
- Treats: Hard and soft treats. New, packaged, preferably healthy and not made in China. Please, no rawhide
- Formulas & nursing bottles: Replacement milk for puppy or kitten and nursing bottles, for those unfortunate babies separated from their mothers
Tip: Search online for coupons so you can get a good deal. Treats are often on sale at stores, and can be purchased cheap.
Towels & blankets
Animals like to have a blanket to curl up on. Towels are a big help to dry animals off after being bathed or if they come in wet. Towels can also be used to line the bottoms of cages. The towels or blankets don’t have to be brand new or in perfect condition. The animals won’t mind, as long as they’re usable.
- Put aside your old blankets, quilts or sheets in a separate box marked “donation”; you can keep this all year long
- Ask family, friends & neighbors to keep this in mind for their next house cleaning
- Ask your local spas to donate their sheets & blankets when the season changes
- Check yard sales. Often, people sell them very cheap
- Don’t donate fitted sheets, pillows, comforters or couch cushions; the shelters can’t use them
Collars, leashes & harnesses
Shelters often use them to walk animals, and they also often give them away with adoptions, so they are always in short supply. They aren’t very expensive, but when you go through so many, the cost adds up for the shelters. All sizes are needed and used.
- Collars: All sizes, all colors, buckle or snap, please make sure they aren’t broken — it would be tragic to lose a dog on a walk. No choke collar or flexi-lead, please
- Leashes & harnesses: All sizes, all colors — make sure the clasp works and isn’t broken. Please, no leashes that have been chewed or ripped
- Go to your local pet supply store and rummage through the clearance or sale bins and buy new ones
- If you’re an online shopper you can buy sale and clearance collars/leashes and have them sent directly to the addresses on our list
- Don’t forget you can also check out second-hand and thrift stores!
Can you imagine how many of these shelters go through on a regular basis? They get worn out, pushed around, and broken. New ones are also something that isn’t expensive, but eats into a shelter budget. Stainless steel no-flip bowls (all sizes) are preferred.
Some things shelters need are obvious, some are not. Helping may not be as hard as you think.
Grooming supplies: Dogs and cats often come in dirty or end up getting dirty. They need to be bathed, brushed, kept fresh and most importantly, adoptable. Grooming supplies can include shampoo, brushes, combs, haircutting scissors, nail clippers, etc. Sometimes, you can get these things from a dollar store cheap.
Crates & carriers: Animals need to be transported, and the cost of multiple crates and carriers can add up quickly. You can donate ones you stopped using that are still in good condition or you could go buy one for a decent price. This helps the shelter tremendously
Dog & cat beds: Homeless pets deserve a soft place to sleep, too. Animal beds are so loved by the animals. If you have them, if you see them on sale, or if you know someone getting rid of theirs… Comfort is important and the beds can offer them a soft place to lay and relax instead of a kennel or cage floor
- Paper towels & cleaning supplies — There are a lot of situations that get messy, so paper towels are a big help
- Hand wash & hand sanitizer — People who work at shelters need to keep their hands clean for their and the animals’ health
- Laundry detergent, fabric softener & bleach — Those blankets and towels get soiled often so they have to be washed. Laundry detergent, if not donated, comes out of the shelter’s budget. Fabric softener is also very welcome!
- Garbage bags, mops, brooms & sponges — The shelter uses these every day and clean up supplies can get expensive
- Flea & tick treatment — A lot of animals go through the shelters and they often have fleas or ticks
- Heartworm preventatives — Frontline, Heartgard
Heating pads: Many animals come in cold or are young and need warmth. Heating pads can replace a mother’s warmth
Office supplies: Copy paper and pens, pencils, post-it notes and staples. You can’t forget about all the paperwork that has to be done. Donating these items makes it so the shelter doesn’t have to buy them on their own
Gift cards: Shelters always welcome gift cards to stock up on supplies, from Costco to Home Depot to various pet stores. Prepaid gas cards are welcomed as animals need to be transported