12 Items to Donate to Your Local Animal Shelter

These donations are sure to win you some wagging tails and slobbery kisses.

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Old Towels + Blankets

We all deserve to sleep cozy and warm in our beds at night, and that includes our four-legged friends that live at the animal shelter. Wash any of your old, forgotten blankets or towels and bring them by your local shelter for the fur-babies to enjoy.

Unopened Pet Food

Keep those kibble bags sealed before heading off to donate. Shelters only accept sealed pet food to ensure the safety of their animals. Our go-to for food donation is BOGO Bowl. Buy a bag of premium dog or cat food from BOGO Bowl, and the company will donate a bag of food to a shelter, rescue group or pet pantry. DONATE: BOGO Bowl

Raised Cot Bed

Ensure that shelter pups snooze soundly on raised cot bed, like picture above. The Animal Humane Society requests specific donations of the Kuranda bed for their shelter. DONATE: Kuranda.com, $59

Paper Towels + Tissue

I adopted a puppy last summer and I feel confident in saying that I went through more paper towels in the first two months than I went through during all my years away at college. Keep in mind, I was only dealing with one potty-training puppy as the time. Imagine that, multiplied by 50. Or more. Yes, the shelter will be grateful for even one roll of paper towels.

Cleaning Supplies

Ah, cleaning supplies… This doesn't need too much of an explanation, does it? Before heading to the store, give your local shelter a call and find out what they're low on now. Who knows, you may make their day with a fresh bottle of dish soap.

Shredded Office Paper + Newspaper

Think twice before tossing your shredded office paper and skimmed newspapers. Add a pile of paper to your donation box, instead.

New Cat + Dog Toys

There's nothing sweeter than seeing animals get excited over a brand-new, never-chewed-on toy. Gift your local shelter with new, inexpensive dog and cat toys, and volunteer your time to spend an afternoon helping those cuties break 'em in.

Gentle Leads + Leashes

Gentle leads, leashes and collars are all great items for donation. While the Animal Humane Society welcomes these items for pets of all sizes, the shelter asks specifically for medium and large sizes for leads and leash donations on their wish list. Reach out to your shelter about any specific sizes they need.

Office Supplies

Think outside the (litter)box when gathering items for donation. Office supplies are often overlooked but are a necessity for shelters to run properly. Think: Printing paper, pens, pencils, paper clips and lined notebooks.

Window-Mounted Cat Bed

The Animal Humane Society seeks to keep cats and kittens comfy during their shelter stay, with a little help from Sunny Seat window-mounted bed donations. DONATE: Amazon, $15

Flea + Tick Prevention

Shelters strive to give pets the best care possible while they wait on their fur-ever family to find them. One way to help shelters in their efforts is by donating medicine that prevents against pesky fleas and ticks. And while you're writing this down, go ahead and add heartworm medication to your list, too.

Kongs

Call or go online to check out any wants or needs specific to your local shelter. Example: My go-to shelter, the Humane Society of Charlotte, has an Amazon registry that requests donations of new, XL Kong dog toys. What better way to use your Prime membership, right? DONATE: Kong Company

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