Around 250,000 pets come into rescue centres in the UK each year. It may have been because their owners can no longer cope or simply doesn’t want the animal anymore. Sometimes pets have been rescued from horrendous situations or found as strays on the street.
While rescue centres work hard to find forever homes for these animals, they also need to keep them happy and healthy during their stay. But to do this takes time, dedication and crucial supplies that rescue centres get through very quickly, especially during the colder months.
How can you help?
Take a good look around your home and see what you have that you can get rid of that a rescue centre may be able to use. It won’t cost you anything to donate items to a shelter and the bonus is you will have cleared out some unwanted junk from your home. Not to mention all the cats and dogs you will be helping too.
Before you pack up your unwanted items and head to the rescue centre, call them first to find out what they need and are able to accept. Pet rescue centres often vary in what types of items they can accept.
Here are just 5 items that you probably will already find around your house that you can donate to a pet rescue centre to help special animals in need.
1. Unopened food and treats
Pet rescue centres get through a huge amount of pet food each week. You may have found yourself buying the wrong food or treats for your pet by mistake, or you are switching your pet’s food to something else and have unopened bags leftover, or perhaps you’ve just bought in bulk. You can donate unopened bags and packets of pet food and treats to a pet centre. Just make sure that the food items are still sealed and have not reached their expiration date. If you have any unwanted food and water bowls, many rescue centres would welcome these too, just check with your local centre first.
2. Collars, harnesses and leads
At most rescue centres, staff and volunteers will regularly take out dogs for walks to give them the exercise they need and also to have some playtime. Regular dog walking is also important to help the animals with their social skills and get them ready for rehoming. However, dogs of all breeds and sizes can end up in a rescue centre and all need walking supplies that fit them. If you have collars, harnesses and leads at home that has never been used or perhaps only used once or twice, many pet rescue centres would welcome them.
3. Pet toys
Most pet owners would probably admit to having more pet toys in their home than they know what to do with. Both cats and dogs love playtime and its also a great way to keep them happy during their stay at a rescue centre. For dogs in particular, playing with toys helps to keep their minds stimulated, feeling calm and even just helps to pass the time. Simply throwing away good quality pet toys is a waste and there are many cats and dogs in rescue centres who would get endless hours of fun out of it. Not every rescue centre may accept pet toy donations, but many do as long as they are in good condition. Toys such as balls, rope toys and items from well-known brands are often welcome. But the sturdier the better. Some may be happy to take used toys that have a little wear, but it’s worth checking with the rescue centre first.
4. Pet beds, blankets and towels
Pets that come into rescue centres come in all shapes and sizes. Both cats and dogs need comfy blankets, bedding and towels during their stay to keep them comfortable and warm. Dogs, in particular, can go through bedding material quite quickly as a result of chewing, accidents and just general daily use. If you have a dog or cat bed that your pet has never been interested in using (your bed is so much nicer after all), then check whether your local pet rescue centre would like it. Pet rescue centres work hard to ensure that the dogs in their care get plenty of exercise but that means the animals can get muddy and wet, so towels are helpful to keep the canine guests clean and dry. If you have towels going spare that you no longer need, a pet rescue centre would probably love to have them. They probably won’t even mind if they are quite threadbare either.
5. Pet carriers and crates
If you have recently bought a new cat carrier, or perhaps a new dog crate and you don’t want your old one, but it’s still in good condition, then check if a pet rescue centre near you would like it. Crates and carriers can be useful for shelters for when they may need to transport an animal to a local vet or for even when a new owner takes them home. Check what they would be happy to take as some centres don’t want plastic carriers or crates.