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What Animal Shelters Really Want You To Donate During the Holidays

Shelters appreciate any donation, physical or monetary to care for their animals during the busy holiday season.


You’ve already received the best gift anyone can ask for, a precious pet to love! Now, give back to the people and places that dedicate themselves to looking after our furry-friends when they’re between homes. Any form of donation, whether it’s a physical donation or monetary, is always appreciated, however there are a couple of things that are sure to be on every shelters holiday wishlist:

Physical Donations

  • Gently used or new bath towels (no hand towels) as well as yards of cotton cloth
  • Laundry-machine friendly blankets and pet beds
  • Pet food in the original bag/can (up to 3 months after the expiration date) as well as canned pet food (both dogs & cats)
  • Waterless pet shampoo, Alcohol (must be 70% CLEAR alcohol – no scent)
  • Scoopable cat litter (clay also works, just make sure it’s unscented and non-clumping)
  • Office supplies such as plastic spray bottles, kleenex, paper towel, liquid laundry detergent, long rubber gloves, etc.

Gift Cards

  • Gift cards from places like Amazon.com, pet supply stores, and office supply stores allow shelters to pick and choose exactly what they need!


  • Donations help lower overhead costs, and can even allow some shelters to get more for less using nonprofit rates. Any dollar amount helps, so feel free to check out their website for instructions on where/how you can donate.

Lending a helping hand to shelters is a great way to spread the holiday cheer, and sometimes it’s not the things we give, it’s the time! Most shelters can certainly always use volunteer help with basic things like cleaning, laundry, administrative tasks, helping at special events and/or fostering animals. The best thing to do is check your local shelter’s website for information on both things or give them a call to learn about how you can help your local shelter feel a little more jolly this time of year.

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