There are millions of pets sitting in animal shelters all across the United States waiting for their forever homes. It may seem like a hopeless situation, but that is not the case. In fact, there are so many things that you can do to make life better for these animals! Consider adopting, volunteering at the shelter, or donating money. If you can’t adopt, maybe you could foster a pet temporarily. Even if none of these things are doable for you, there are tons of items that would be of use at the shelter that you could donate to make life better for the animals.
Donated Items Every Animal Shelter Needs
1. Disposable gloves: Volunteers and staff will greatly appreciate having disposable gloves on hand for cleaning up messes.
2. Pet Bowls: They need new bowls in all different sizes for food and water. It’s best to avoid plastic ones, if you can.
3. Cleaning Supplies: As you can imagine, shelters go through tons of cleaning supplies. Bleach and other disinfectants are super important. Dish soap for washes dishes and all-purpose cleaner for cleaning floors will also be appreciated. Mops, brooms, and sponges will also be helpful to them. Laundry detergent is another crucial item they can’t live without.
4. Paper and plastic products: They go through lots of paper towels and trash bags which are useful for cleaning up messes.
5. Heating pads: It is crucial that young or sick animals don’t get chilled. Having a heating pad on hand could save an animal’s life.
6. Hand sanitizer and hand soap: For obvious reasons!
7. Pet carriers and crates: These are needed for transporting animals and also for emergency overflow.
8. Dog and cat food and treats: This is obviously something the will never have too much of. Each shelter publishes a list of their preferred food and treat preferences.
9. Non clumping cat litter and litter boxes: Another item they can’t get by without.
10. Towels: Towels have a ton of uses in a shelter. They need washcloths and towels for cleaning, hand towels for drying dishes and hands, and larger ones for drying animals off or giving them something to lay on. They will gladly accept used ones, there’s no need to go out and buy new ones to donate.
11. Leashes and collars: These will be needed in all sizes for dogs to be walked. They also need them for dogs going out to be fostered and sometimes to send home with adopted dogs, too.
12. Shampoo and other grooming supplies: Animals come to the shelter in serious need of a bath most of the time. Donations of shampoo, brushes, combs, and any other grooming supplies will always be put to good use.
13. Toys: Want to brighten up a shelter animal’s day? Donate some dog or cat toys! Animals in shelters are often bored and lonely, so donating toys is a great idea.
If you’ve ever worked or volunteered at an animal shelter before and know of something else that should be on our list, please post it in the comments below!