Our Most Needed Items
by Brandon Mustful
What do you guys need most? This is a common question that we hear at the shelter. Thankfully, not only do we receive that question, but we often receive in-kind donations from people who want to support our work. Most of the things people donate we can use, some things we can’t. Today, I would like to offer some clarification on exactly what kind of items we need most.
A lot of people donate dry dog and cat food to us. We greatly appreciate these donations, and use much of it directly to help the animals. However, we usually get more than we need! Additionally, since we get so many different brands of food donated, we end up mixing it together before offering it to the pets. Using this mixed version of the food has worked out pretty well, but in a perfect world, we would use only one brand of food unless an animal had some kind of digestive issue. What I’m getting at, is that dry dog and cat food isn’t always are greatest need. If you are going to donate it though, please be sure to label it well if it is not in the original bag, and seal it well. There’s nothing worse than grabbing a bag of food and having it spill all over the floor! Another tip, if you are going to donate dry food, we can always use more puppy and kitten food. It seems like we are always short on that when we get a litter in.
Some other food items that we need which you might not think about include peanut butter, hot dogs, and pill pockets. All of those items are really useful when giving medications to the animals. We also put the peanut butter in Kong toys along with dog food and give those to the dogs. Having the dogs work for their meals is a good enrichment activity rather than having them just gobble up their food in 10 seconds! Additionally, donations of other enrichment games can be really useful. There are a lot of cool new items out there that make playtime fun and a learning experience for dogs and cats. Just do a search for “enrichment toys for dogs and cats,” and you’ll see what I mean.
In the realm of cleaning, we can always, always use more bleach. We use a lot of that around here. In addition, things like window washer, toilet bowl cleaner, floor cleaner, sanitizing wipes, paper towels, toilet paper, disposable gloves, hand soap, and hand sanitizer are really useful to us. Just make sure you don’t donate anything with Lysol, as that can be really harmful to animals. Another item that people love to give our old towels and rags. Although we usually have plenty, we can always use more because they tend to break down over time. When we get too much, we just throw out the old ones, or even take some over to another donation center. We just ask that any towels and rags you donate are clean and in relatively good condition.
As far as office supplies, some of our main needs include printer paper, file folders, postage stamps, envelopes, Post-its, Scotch tape, and packing tape. We tend to go through quite a bit of office supplies, and it is nice when we don’t have to spend our donation money on these items.
Still, there are other random things that can come in handy. If you have something that you think might be useful to us, please just call us first and check. If you just drop it off by our door, and we can’t use it, we will end up just taking it to the dump! Some examples of things we can’t use include used litter boxes, old and dirty carriers or kennels, old computer equipment, and most flea/tick products.
Below is a full list of our needed items. You can also check out our Wish List on Amazon.com. You can order items directly from that list and have them shipped to the Rescue. It is pretty fun when we get a package in the mail that we weren’t expecting! Just click the link below to see that list:
Another fun way to donate is to hold a supply drive at work or school. It is a great way to support our cause, and get others involved. You can distribute a list of our needed items and give people a deadline bring things in. We suggest even making the donation drive into a friendly competition and have little prizes for people who bring things in. That will make the drive more fun for everyone. Then, when you donate the items, we can get a group photo with you to show everybody what you’ve accomplished.
One final note on donating items to the shelter. If you want a receipt for your items, please ask for it and we will be happy to write one out. We will list the items on the receipt, but not the financial value. It is up to you to report that value on your taxes.
Thank you for all your support! I look forward to seeing you donate to our shelter.
Canned Dog Food
Dog & Cat Brushes
Front Clip Harnesses
Stainless steel water pails
Liquid Fabric Softener
Disposable Rubber Gloves
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
8 1/2 x 11 Copy Paper