Here’s a look at what animal shelters really need during the holiday season:
- Water and food dishes.
- Pet carriers.
- New or gently used toys.
- Grooming supplies, such as brushes and shampoo.
- Paper towels.
- Cleaning supplies.
- Blankets and towels.
- Pet food (unopened canned or bagged products).
Dynamite Donor Tip: If you’re not sure what to donate to your local animal shelter, they may have a wishlist online. Check it out. This way you don’t purchase items that they don’t need, and they won’t have to go without the essentials.
You can also:
- Donate gift cards to pet supply stores, grocery stores, and/or Amazon.
- Donate money. There is never enough of this vital resource! A monetary donation allows shelter staff to purchase exactly what they need.
- If you have a pet lover on your holiday list, make a donation in their name.
- Don’t need another pair of gloves or box of chocolates? If people ask what you’d like for the holidays, suggest they make a donation to their local animal shelter.
- Share fundraising posts on social media to help get the word out.
There are other ways to give, and they are just as meaningful — and helpful for both staff and animals. A few ways you can donate your time and energy:
- Foster a pet. This is a great way to support to your local shelter, provide a warm, caring environment for an animal — and get a few cuddles in with an adorable cat or dog. There is always a need for foster pet parents, but it’s even more pressing during the holidays as regular volunteers travel or take vacation time.
- Walk dogs. Tired dogs are happy dogs. Take some time to exercise and play with these shelter residents. The socialization is critical, and it can help their chances of being adopted.
- Read to pets. Many shelters have started these great programs; volunteers read to individual animals or a group. This helps them socialize and boost their comfort level with humans. And, if you bring a child, it helps them practice their literacy skills. Win-win.
- Clean kennels and play areas. It’s a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it! That someone could be you. Taking on this task frees staff up to attend to other necessary work.
Holiday Donations to Avoid
Giving comes from the heart, but sometimes well-intentioned actions are not as helpful as folks hope. For example, newspaper is often mentioned as an item that shelters need. But they can become so inundated with old news that they cannot use or store it all. And, of course, some shelters don’t use newspaper at all.
To avoid this problem, consult the shelter’s wish list, call and ask what they want, see if they’ve posted items they’re in search of on social media, and/or give a gift card or cash donation.
Another big don’t: adopting a pet as a gift. Adoption is a wonderful way to welcome a new member of the family, but animals and owners should meet before the pet comes home. Gifting a dog or cat is also “risky,” because the recipient may not be ready/able to take care of a pet. They may not even want a pet or that type of pet.
Avery Creek Pet Hospital Holiday Donation Drive
We want to remind you about our annual holiday drive. Through the month of December, we are collecting monetary donations through our clinic, the VCF fund. For tax-deductible donations visit the Veterinary Care Foundation website, or they donate directly to Boxer Butts and Other Mutts via Amazon.
That said, if you’ve been looking for a canine or feline friend, the holidays may be a great time to visit your local shelter, learn about the adoption process, and find the right fit.
This holiday season, give animals the gift of a better, happier, healthier life. You can do this by donating physical items needed by the shelter, gifting money, or volunteering your time. You’ll find that you reap some pretty big rewards yourself. We can help you with holiday donations and, of course, are always here for you and your family pets.