2001-Sat Jun 24 03:12:24 EDT 2017
Vetstreet. All rights reserved. Powered by Brightspot.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
It takes a special kind of person to work with homeless or sick animals. And while there's never awrong time of year to show your appreciation for all they do, the holiday season is an excellent opportunity to give your favorite animal rescue or vet clinic a little something special.
But what exactly should you give? And what gifts should you avoid? If you want to make this holiday season sparkle for a shelter or vet clinic near and dear to your heart, we have tips to help you do just that.
Monetary donations:"A lot of shelters really look forward to the holiday time because not only do we find loving homes for so many homeless animals, but it’s also a time when people give," says Sylvia Ottaka,senior director of operations for North Shore Animal League America (NSALA). And when it comes to giving, the most helpful gift might also be the most obvious. "Honestly, the number-one thing is monetary donations," Ottaka says, "because shelters can’t do what they do without those types of donations."
Shopping and wish lists:Many shelters and rescues also have ways for you to put your money to work in specific ways. For example, NSALA has a whole page dedicated to outlets through which you can shop and have a portion of proceeds benefit their organization. You might want to contact your local shelter and ask if they have something similar or if perhaps they have a shopping wish list of items they need at Amazon.com or another retailer. (And hey, if they don't, maybe you could offer to help create one for them!)
Sponsored pets:Another way to put your money directly to work is by sponsoring a pet. Some organizations make it easy to sponsor individual animals. NSALA hasa list of animals with lifelong medical conditions who can be sponsored, as well as a "Help Me Heal" program that allows your donation to help rescue an animal requiring urgent medical care. If the shelter or rescue you'd like to help doesn't have this information available online, ask them if they have a sponsorship program or if there's a specific animal whose life you could improve with your donation. You could also consider keeping the gift going as a monthly donation.
Blankets, bedding and toys:Prefer the idea of delivering a gift to the shelter yourself? There are plenty of items that most shelters could always use."There’s always a need for towels, for blankets, for different-sized bedding — you’d be surprised how much bedding we go through, from rambunctious puppies chewing on it to senior dogs having accidents — and of course, toys," Ottaka says. Quality toys can help enrich shelter animals' lives, she adds. It's preferable to donate new items, but clean, gently used bedding and toys are OK.
Gifts to avoid:"Many times people want to do something special and they’ll bake homemade goods for the animals," says Ottaka. While this is incredibly thoughtful, it's not a great option as giving the animals a rich, unusual treat can cause stomach upset and some animals might be on special diets. Some shelters may also have policies against taking baked goods for pets because they don't know what's in them.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Bartonella is a type bacteria that can be transmitted to cats, dogs and humans from exposure to infected fleas and…
Want to give your pup yummy, low-calorie treats? We’ve got the skinny on which foods are OK to feed him.
Not sure about food puzzles? Our veterinarian reveals why the payoff for your pet is well worth any extra work.
With these simple dental care tips, you can help keep your canine’s adorable smile shiny and healthy for life.
The friendly and inquisitive LaPerm has an easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.