Local shelters depend on donations to stay within their usually meager budgets. Before you pack up your trunk with items that you’re sure will help, take a look at our list of regular household bedding and other products that will make the biggest difference to your local shelter. A few of them you might not have even considered donating before.
Towels may not technically be bedding, but for an animal, they may be. These household cast-offs are like gold for shelters because they can be used in so many ways. Small dogs and cats used them as bedding and volunteers cut or rip them into pieces to be used as rags to clean animals, cages, and the occasional accident.
It doesn’t matter what kind of bed your blankets fit on, they’ll find new use at a shelter. Blankets, like towels, make wonderful bedding except they can be used for animals of all sizes. Fleece blankets are highly coveted for their soft, comfortable texture and ability to keep body temperatures up. For a shelter animal, a blanket of their own can make what space they have feel like a home.
3. Gently Used Pet Bedding
If your own pet’s bed is ready for an upgrade, his gently used bedding will work for a rescue animal. Animals of all sizes end up in shelters so the size of the bedding doesn’t matter. It just needs to be intact enough that the filling isn’t coming out, creating a potential choking hazard.
4. Heating Pads
Once you’re ready to replace your old heating pad, it can find new life at a shelter. Newborns and babies of all species can’t regulate their body temperatures as well as adults. Young animals may come to the shelter after their mothers have been killed or separated from them so they’re going to need the extra warmth their mother used to provide.
5. Non-Bedding Donations
Of course, shelters need far more than bedding. We’ve put together a few other suggestions for items you may have lying around the house:
- Extra/Used Pet Accessories:
Leashes, collars, sweaters, and coats can all be put to use. Like bedding, make sure there aren’t any tears that could make them dangerous for another animal.
- Pet Food: OK, you’re not going to have unwanted pet food around, but why not buy one extra bag every few months and give it to the shelter? It will help them stay within their budget, and make you feel good knowing you’re helping hungry animals.
- Newspaper: Once those old newspapers start piling up, drop them off at a shelter where they’ll be used to line crates and cages. Newspapers quickly get used up so shelters are always in need.
- Office Supplies: This is another one you may not have thought of but volunteers have to print and fill out a lot of forms. Any extra office supplies can help keep the shelter within budget. The more money they save the more animals they can help.
Donations get used items out of your house and into the hands (or paws) of those who need them. While you can’t bring home every animal in the shelter, you can certainly help them on their journey to their forever home.
Guest Blog post by SleepHelp.org