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With the way the economy has been going, a lot of individuals and families have been forced to surrender their pets to local shelters.  Unfortunately, now many shelters are reaching full capacity (or already are) and are running low on supplies due to lack of donations.  They need YOUR help!  Even if you can’t make a monetary donation, simply picking up an extra roll of paper towels while you are doing your regular shopping helps.  I’ve compliled a list of supplies that your local shelter may need, and don’t be afraid to call and ask them if there is anything they are in dire need of.

Here is a list of supplies your local animal shelter may need:


  • Various sizes of trash bags (shelters create lots of waste)
  • Lysol or Disinfectant Wipes (to prevent the spread of diseases)
  • Windex (you need clean windows to see those beautiful furry faces!)
  • Brooms & Dustpans (hair! hair! fur! hair! dirt!)
  • Bleach (to exterminate germs)
  • Laundry Detergent (laundry is done, or should be done DAILY and that’s a lot of detergent)
  • Large Towels (most shelters will except your old towels, so think about that before tossing them)
  • Blankets (warm beds of course!)
  • Paper Towels (for easy, disease free clean-up)
  • Powder-Free Latex Gloves (for employee protection against disease)
  • Hand Sanitizer (for employee, and future adoptees to help prevent the spread of disease)
  • Mop Replacement Heads (lots of bleaching will eat away at mop-heads)

Animal Care/Toys:

  • 6-Foot Nylon or Leather leashes & collars (so those caged canines can get out, see some sun, or meet a future family!)
  • Double-Dish plastic puppy bowls (perfect for feeding, but often succomb to those investigative teeth)
  • Cat & Dog Shampoo (regular & flea/tick) (so everyone can stay clean, smell nice for meetings with families, and take care of fleas and ticks)
  • Bagged Timothy Hay (if your shelter takes in and adopts out small animals such as guinea pigs and rabbits)
  • One Touch Ultra Test Strips (older dogs with diabetes can often be surrendered because insulin can become expensive)
  • Cat Condos (the shelter I worked at liked to alternate all the cats from cages to condos for some more room to play every few days, so the more the better)
  • Large Dog Crates (for transporting to the vet, or to the shelter)
  • Kongs/Dog Toys/Cat Toys (dogs and cats get bored and need toys, but you probably already knew that!)
  • Pet Beds (concrete is not comfy)


  • Dog & Puppy Chow (unopened) (some shelters will not accept opened bags of food due to possibly contamination, not even a rip or puncture can sometimes be accepted)
  • Cat & Kitten Chow (unopened) (see above)
  • Rabbit & Guinea Pig Food (unopened) (a lot of people forget about the little guys!)
  • KMR (kitten formula) (kittens of very very very young ages are often found, and left at shelters for a multitude of reasons and often need a milk replacement when a mom isn’t available)
  • Esbilac (puppy formula) (puppies are often left in boxes, same as kittens, at very young ages and often need a milk replacement for nourishment)
  • Milkbones (non-flavored usually works best, and will most likely get along with everybody’s stomachs!)

Office Supplies:

  • Postage Stamps (to send out letters to businesses, and individuals about upcoming events)
  • Gift Cards (Pet stores, Gas Cards, Office Suppy stores) (gift cards are great!)
  • Copier Paper (colored & white) (to print out and put in stamped envelopes to send out to businesses, and individuals about upcoming events)
  • Card Stock Paper (colored & white)
  • Dry Erase Markers (to keep an eye on sick animals, or make a note on a specific dog/cat, incomings/outgoings, etc. dry-erase boards are great with so many animals leaving and coming in)


  • You (if you have some extra time find out about how you can get involved, whether it’s by walking dogs for a couple hours, bathing, or cleaning cages)


Print it out.  Keep it with you and remember you have it when you’re at the store.  And don’t forget, you can also call your shelter and ask if there is anything they need immediately, there is most likely something.  Everything, no matter how big or small, is most certainly appreciated by the shelter staff and the animals.

If you support your local shelter in a way that is not listed here, feel free to share on how you help!

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