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The new year is almost here, and with it comes tax season. Exciting; we know. But did you know that there’s a way to help animals and save on your taxes all at the same time? You probably already know that donating to 501(c)(3) organization is tax deductible, but did you realize that most shelters qualify as nonprofits, making most donations tax deductible? Maybe you’re not looking to save on taxes; maybe you just want to donate to your local shelter to help animals in need. Whatever the case, donating to your local shelter is a great way to give back to your community and the animals that live there. Here are the top 10 items that most shelters will need in 2018.
Seems like a weird request right? But paper towels play a large role in keeping your local shelter clean and germ-free. A shelter can go through multiple rolls of paper towels just in one day from cleaning and maintaining their facility. Litter boxes need to be wiped down, door handles disinfected, and cages cleaned, all of which requires cleaning products and paper towels.
Towels and Blankets
Whether they’re new or gently used, towels and blankets go a long way in shelters. Animals can use them for beds, vets can use them to keep animals warm post-op, and team members can use them to wipe paws or dry animals off after a bath. Old towels can also easily be transformed into chew toys for dogs and kitties will love to curl up in DIY used blanket pet beds.
A lot of cats means a lot of waste, and that waste has got to go somewhere. Shelters always need more cat litter. To keep all of their residents happy and healthy, shelters need to clean out their litter boxes frequently. And, shelters will need litter throughout their building, from the adoption area to the med bay, to recovery rooms, if there’s a cat there’s a need for cat litter.
Seems like a weird request right? What could they possibly do with old newspapers? The answer is, more than you think! Shelters frequently use old newspapers to line the bottom of crates and carriers so that clean up is easier after accidents. These newspapers get used quickly and frequently, so feel free to keep coming back with more.
If your pet has an abundance of toys, or if you recently had a pet pass away, a great way of honoring their memory is by donating their old toys to your local shelter. Of course, if there’s a great sale, shelters would love to get new toy donations but gently used and washed cat and dogs toys will work just as well. Have a bucket of tennis balls lying around? Why not take them to your local shelter! Even the smallest jingle ball or stuffed toy will make a homeless pet’s day. Toys should be in good condition, and stuffed toys should not have plastic removable eyes or zippers.
From visitors to staff, everyone that enters a pet shelter will most likely need hand sanitizer before they leave. Most shelters even require you to use hand sanitizer before entering a pet bay or after exiting to keep disease from spreading in close quarters or to keep puppies, kitties, and elderly pets safe from transmittable illnesses.
Just like the paper towels, garbage bags are one of those items that are vitally important to shelters but are often overlooked by donors. Shelters have to keep all of their areas clean and sterile to keep pets, visitors, and staff healthy and happy. The cost of garbage bags can quickly add up when you need to take out pounds of kitty litter and other pet waste each day.
Bleach and Laundry Detergent
Animals are messy, from spilled food to accidents to illness, the likelihood is high that the fabric surfaces in shelters like beds and blankets are going to get soiled repeatedly. It’s not practical to throw away a dog bed everytime it gets dirty, so shelters need lots of bleach and laundry detergent to keep their residents healthy. Bleach can also be diluted and then used to kill germs throughout the shelter.
Pet Food and Treats
Some shelters are lucky enough to have deals with local pet stores to receive their food at a discount or in bulk, but a helping hand never hurt. When you donate food or treats it frees up some of the money that the shelter was planning on using for food for other purchases. We recommend calling ahead and asking your shelter which brand and type of food they prefer if they have a preference. You can ask the same question when it comes to treats.
Sometimes the best gift you can give is your time. Look into volunteering for dog walking, cleaning, or office work. Even a few hours can make a huge difference. Plus you’ll get to meet some adorable animals along the way, so everyone wins.
Although it’s the gift that everyone thinks of, money is one of the most, if not the most important donation shelters receive. When shelters are performing their life saving work every dollar counts. So if you’re so inclined, we urge you to consider a tax deductible charitable monetary donation to your local shelter.
Find the Perfect Donation with PetPlace
We think that it’s great that you want to donate to your local shelter. Whether you purchase new products for tax deductions or pass on gently used items, the animals will appreciate it all the same. This year, know that you can turn to PetPlace for all your pet needs from charitable donations to adoption.