FOO Crew

FOO Crew Animals

Why Is It Important To Help Animal Shelters?

Shelters across the country are constantly constrained by the large numbers of animals that enter their facilities. In fact, the ASPCA figures that about 6.3 million companion animals enter shelters each year. Of that number, they estimate that 3.1 million are dogs, while 3.2 million are cats. It is unreal the number of animals that end up in shelters each year.

With such striking statistics, it’s not surprising that animal shelters are in need of support. You can have a direct impact on your local community by volunteering or supporting your local animal shelter in some capacity. It may seem like a small step, but if replicated across the country, we can all stand to make a difference in the lives of animals. There are some things we most likely throw in the trash that can be donated to make a difference!

Check out : for stats regarding animals in shelters each year. Top Items local animal shelters need:

  1. Money

Money is the number one item most shelters need! They tend to work on tight budgets and can really use extra funds to help animals in need. Sometimes the money is used for medical procedures, medicine, or treatments as well. You can make donations by check, cash, or credit card directly to most animal shelters. Have extra gift cards ying around that you don’t need? You can also donate gift cards from local pet supply stores, Amazon, or other stores that can be used!

  1. Food & Treats

The huge part of any shelter’s budget is spent on food, especially if there are many animals in the shelter. Donate pet food or treats to make a difference — just make sure that all the food has not expired or gone bad and hasn’t been recalled.

You don’t have to donate pet food specifically; you can also donate things like peanut butter, canned tuna, hot dogs, fresh vegetables, etc. Have leftover baby jars or other items in the cupboard? Even meat-based baby food is a good choice since shelters often mix it with dry dog food.

  1. Toys

Almost all animals enjoy toys. Lightly used toys are OK too as long as they have been cleaned. Avoid toys that are stuffed or cannot be washed, toxic, or squeaky.

The best brands to donate are durable brands, like KONG or Nylabone.

  1. Cleaning Supplies

Cleaning supplies can be donated to include bleach, dish detergents, dish rags, soap, mops, sponges, floor cleaner, gloves, and other other items to be used to clean up. Plastic shopping bags are great for cleanup too.

  1. Grooming Supplies

Many of the animals come to the shelter and are dirty. Items of need include: shampoos, combs, brushes, clippers, etc,

  1. Towels and Blankets

Towels can be used to clean the animals and also for bedding. Blankets can be used to keep the animals warm. Both are in high need and just need to be clean, not in perfect condition. Try to wash them in unscented laundry detergent so there are no reactions to perfumes and other ingredients in the detergent.

  1. Leashes and Collars

Shelter animals need to be walked for exercise so many need harnesses, leashes, and collars. Used or new- they will come in handy!

  1. Furniture
Don’t throw away your old dog or cat beds when you get a replacement… donate them instead.
  1. Crates and Carriers

Crates and carriers can be very expensive, so there is a need for these at the shelters since many animals will be transported. If you see them at your local Goodwill, purchase and donate them to the shelter! Carriers and kennels also effectively create a small, safe place for cats and dogs to feel safe within.

  1. Water and Food Bowls

Water and food bowls are always a great gift to the shelters as this is something they often need replaced. Look for sturdy options that can be easily cleaned.

  1. Potty Supplies

Pee pads, litter boxes, litter bags, kitty litter, or training mats are useful in shelters. Many of the dogs that come to the shelter are not house trained.

  1. Office Supplies

Running a shelter requires a lot more than pet items… Office supplies like paper, pens, staples, sticky notes, and anything to help the admins keep everything organized.

  1. Volunteers

Without volunteers, many of the organizations would have a difficult time doing all that they do! You can give your time in person or offer other support by raising awareness, posting on social media like Facebook or Instagram, having an adoption day, or come up with an idea of your own!

  1. Gift Cards or Gifts for Volunteers & Staff

If you love to bake, drop off some cookies or a cake to your local shelter to say thank you! Get the kids involved if they are not old enough to volunteer and make cards for the staff and volunteers. Make goodie bags with dog treats for those who can adopt. Sometimes, we get $5 gift cards to Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks and give them to the volunteers to say thank you! Without volunteers, many of the organizations would have a difficult time doing all that they do!

Call your local shelter and see what they need or how you can help!

We give back to many shelters and organizations in need! We support shelters and rescues first. It’s our mission to enhance the lives of the animals in this country through donations and support. You can make a difference in an animal’s life through donation, volunteering, social outreach and promotion. Honestly, the list is endless! All support matters in a unique way.

Information modified and taken from local shelter interviews, as well as Shelter Animals Count.

Check out : for stats regarding animals in shelters each year.

"Saving one animal may not change the world, but surely for that one animal, the world will change forever." - Unknown