Holiday Gifts That Give Back to Animals
Books, clothing, accessories and stuffed animals are all great presents for the holidays. But what if each of those purchases also meant giving the gift of help to animals? Sounds like a win-win to us!
We've rounded up some of our favorite gift ideas for everyone on your list — and every single one gives back to animal organizations. Happy holidays, indeed.
Adopt a Species
For $50, you can symbolically adopt a species of wild animal through the World Wildlife Fund. In return, you’ll get an adoption certificate, a stuffed animal depicting the species you choose and a WWF gift bag — along with the knowledge that your gift is helping that species to survive. You can select from dozens of species, including tigers (which are the most popular), three-toed sloths, African rhinos, orca whales and more. If you increase your contribution to $75, you’ll also get the group’s reusable red cardinal tote. And depending on the species you choose, there are other packages to select as your donation increases.
WWF offers even more gifts that give back at its gift center. Shipping is free for any gift, and 84 cents of every dollar donated goes toward conservation.
Wear Your Support on Your Sleeve (or Coffee Cup)
Looking for something useful to give this year? A variety of groups offer items like sweatshirts, coffee mugs, bags and hats that showcase their organization’s logo and also raise funds to help animals. World Vets, one of the key groups helping animals affected by the typhoon that hit the Philippines last month, offers gifts at a range of price points, from $5.99 for a pet tag to $41.99 for a sweatshirt. They also have hoodies for your four-legged friend for $21.59. You can also support the Penn Vet Working Dog Center by purchasing clothing, bracelets or notecards from its Capable Canine shop. Items range from $10 to $69. The WDC trains dogs to work in search-and-rescue or as medical assistants.
The Pedigree Foundation, which helps shelter dogs find homes, also offers some fun gear for pet people. You can get the dog lover in your life (or yourself) a shirt, hat or mug that says Dogs Rule. Prices range from $10 to $45, and all proceeds go to the foundation.
The headband is the hot accessory of the season, but it’s unlikely you’ve seen one quite like this anywhere else! The limited-edition Frisky Feline Headband from the Fresh Step Feline Arts Council features ears made from shear black lace, sitting on a black satin band. All of the proceeds from the sale of the $20 headband go to the ASPCA. The headband is designed by Sabrina Chin, owner of Love at First Blush on Etsy.
BarkBoxes to Benefit Shelters
Any shelter or rescue in the U.S. or Canada can work with BarkBox to get money — and goodies — through the purchase of these monthly boxes for dogs. The subscriptions range from $19 to $24 a month — but if you buy through a participating shelter or rescue, you save $5, the shelter gets a $15 donation and the company will donate a BarkBox for every adopted pup through Dec. 31. Talk about a gift that keeps on giving! You can find out more at the BarkBox website.
Looking for the perfect card for everyone on your list? Choose from a wide variety of adorable puppy, kitten and Santa cards from the American Humane Association. Prices range from $19.50 to $28 for a box of 25 cards (and some are on sale now), and proceeds benefit the AHA. If you buy three or more boxes, you can get free personalization on the cards. The cards also come with two free gifts — personalized address labels and decorative envelope seals.
Here's an endorsement for you: Oprah once recommended these cool cards from Hooray for the Underdog. At $3.50 per card or $17.50 for a box of 10, you get 5×7 greeting cards featuring dogs and cats who were photographed when they were in a shelter awaiting adoption. Ten percent of the proceeds go to animal rescue organizations and charities, and you can get free shipping on orders over $55.
Signed Dog Book
W. Bruce Cameron, author of the bestseller A Dog’s Purpose, has a new book out, The Dogs of Christmas, about a man named Josh who normally keeps to himself but winds up taking care of a pregnant and abandoned dog at Christmas. The book is a great gift itself, but here's an even better deal: Until Christmas, you can get a signed first edition through one of three booksellers selected by the author. Cameron will donate $2 for each book purchased at one of those sellers to one of three animal groups. Signed copies are $15.99 each while supplies last. Find out how to purchase from these sellers at Cameron’s website.
If you can’t find the right thing for everyone on your list above, you’ll certainly find it at AmazonSmile. When you shop at the smile.amazon.com version of the site, you can choose from among hundreds of animal charity organizations (as well as other charities) that will receive 0.5 percent of your purchase. There are 1 million charities to choose from. There’s no cap on the amount of money Amazon will donate, and almost every product on the massive site is eligible. It doesn’t get much easier than that!