14 Things You Should Donate To Your Local Animal Shelter
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14 Things You Should Donate To Your Local Animal Shelter

And, you probably already have all of them at your house...

14 Things You Should Donate To Your Local Animal Shelter

The employees and volunteers at animal shelters and rescues are true angels -- they give and help until they literally cannot any more. They give much more than their time, but also tend to help foster, tend to events, transport animals, donate toys, and donate money. It can be incredibly taxing on ones wallet to work or volunteer for shelters, since many are 'funded' by the state, aka they have extremely limited resources to provide everything to keep the animals safe, happy and healthy. But, when communities pitch in, it can make a world of difference! There are likely a ton of items you have in your house that can be donated to a shelter and you don't even realize. Before your next garage sale or Goodwill drop, scan your items to see if you have any of these to take to your local shelter instead.

Towels and washcloths

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F07%2F25%2F636050175558820288-1467199688_towel.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=721&h=1d36a95267eccbbde231171471bf133306e0656d3f6bb8b49e85bbffeaeae179&size=980x&c=3757029118 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F07%252F25%252F636050175558820288-1467199688_towel.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D721%26h%3D1d36a95267eccbbde231171471bf133306e0656d3f6bb8b49e85bbffeaeae179%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3757029118%22%7D" expand=1]

Aside from the obvious purposes of bathing and cleaning, shelter workers often use towels as bedding for young animals or when it is cold.


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You guessed it, animals love to make messes and throwing away newspaper is much easier than cleaning out kennels ten times a day. Plus, sometimes they like to play in it, which is kinda cute.

Cleaning supplies

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F07%2F25%2F636050184139152590-823958352_clean.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=192&h=7310dd06c907a6558693cb634b330565241a9912fb9b3b37a0e747cfc5659b94&size=980x&c=2584333192 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F07%252F25%252F636050184139152590-823958352_clean.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D192%26h%3D7310dd06c907a6558693cb634b330565241a9912fb9b3b37a0e747cfc5659b94%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2584333192%22%7D" expand=1]

No matter the time of year or how many animals they have, shelters always can use cleaning supplies. Laundry detergent, trash bags, bleach, hand and dish soap, sponges, hand sanitizer, paper towels, the list goes on forever. Most of them are cheap and easy to find, especially in the midst of your back-to-school shopping... *hint hint*

Rice, beans and socks

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F07%2F25%2F6360501879586310141581067938_sock.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=439&h=15127b70b6e5e21b1de7e3e6c3105fb27b8301904a21cdbb68dd303ad808160a&size=980x&c=477735897 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F07%252F25%252F6360501879586310141581067938_sock.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D439%26h%3D15127b70b6e5e21b1de7e3e6c3105fb27b8301904a21cdbb68dd303ad808160a%26size%3D980x%26c%3D477735897%22%7D" expand=1]

As much as I wish we actually dressed dogs up in socks, this isn't what we actually use them for. For shelters that perform spay/neuter surgeries and clinics, this is how they make some of their heating pads, and yes I know that it seems odd. We fill the socks with uncooked rice or beans, stick them in the microwave, and use them as warming pads when animals recover from surgery. The more the merrier, for sure.

Pillow cases, sheets, blankets and comforters

Similar to towels, these are also used to make animals more comfortable while in shelters. Many would otherwise have to lay on the ground or plastic bottom of a kennel, so any sort of padding is helpful for comfort and warmth. Plus, it is always nice to make them feel like they are at home, even if they don't have one yet.

Empty boxes

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Okay, so in moderation, boxes are awesome. Cats love to play in them and sometimes puppies do, too. If your shelter has a large play area for cats or even kennels large enough to hold a box, they will likely welcome any small boxes you bring in.


[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F07%2F25%2F636050199338846292332090959_camera.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=1018&h=ecf1342c58b351dbbf7939e471582e0984f878191de7f7da5cd4daf88ec78017&size=980x&c=2976746934 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F07%252F25%252F636050199338846292332090959_camera.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D1018%26h%3Decf1342c58b351dbbf7939e471582e0984f878191de7f7da5cd4daf88ec78017%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2976746934%22%7D" expand=1]

Some shelters are more welcoming to used cameras than others, but your local shelter could probably use another camera or two. Since a lot of traffic to shelters is via online postings, capturing quality photos is key to many volunteers. Old cameras or phones with cameras can be very useful!

Office supplies

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Again, if you realize you have an overwhelming amount of pens, tape, Sharpies, or tissues when sorting through or purchasing your back-to-school items, drop them off at a shelter. Most have one budget that covers everything in the shelter, so the money they have to allocate toward sticky notes and printer paper could have alternatively been used to buy another bag of treats or some toys.

All joking aside, there is a very good chance that you already have plenty to donate to a shelter in your own home. When you decide to open your home, heart, or even your wallet to these shelters, no matter what you give, you are positively impacting the staff and volunteers, as well as the animals they care for. Many things are needed, and everything is appreciated.

If you're looking for a local shelter, below are some in North Carolina who could always use your support.

Burlington Animal Services

Charlotte Animal Control

Humane Society of Charlotte

Wake County Animal Shelter

Asheville Humane Society

New Hanover County Animal Control

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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