Kitties in a basket

Help Animal Rescues by Donating Items You Get Rid of Anyway!

Do you donate items you no longer need to thrift stores?

Do you recycle your newspapers?

If you do, PLEASE read the rest of this to learn an easy way you can HELP animals in need!

I’m all about reducing, reusing and recycling. I am an avid thrift store shopper and try to always bring my own bags to the store. I recycle all items that can be recycled, and donate all my still usable but no longer needed items. Kudos to everyone else who does the same!!!

I am also passionate about animal rescue groups. A few weeks ago, Don and I went on a tour at a local rescue called Animis Foundation. I was in heaven seeing all the animals, and was very hands on with the animals that could be petted.

As we went on the tour, the guide talked about some of the needs the foundation has for the care of the animals. I noted that a lot of the things they need desperately are things that many people throw away or give away to thrift stores or “curb alerts.” This got me excited to write a blog post about it to share how easy it would be to help!

Many people might want to help rescues, but aren’t able to donate time or money or purchase new items that are needed. There are SOO many things that go to the dump or to thrift stores to be eventually thrown away that could instead be given directly to an animal rescue group and be needed and used immediately.

I have made a VERY partial list here to get you started. You can check with your local rescue groups for their own needs list and if anything is on the list that you have and were going to donate elsewhere, recycle or throw away, PLEASE consider giving it to the rescue instead.

  1. Newspapers

So many newspapers get thrown away or recycled (recycling is awesome, by the way.) Since Rescues are desperate for newspaper to use to line cages or litter boxes, shred for rodent nests and other uses, it would go to MUCH better use donated there.

  1. Blankets and linens

Blankets of all sizes and materials such as fleece, flannel, baby blankets, soft rugs. Think of snuggling babies, making pouches, hammocks and beds for the animals.

  1. Household Items you usually too have many of or have updated to “new and improved”


Tupperware/Rubbermaid storage containers (all sizes)

towels and wash cloths

laundry baskets




  1. Appliances you might have upgraded when the old one still works fine

Small refrigerators

vacuum cleaners




  1. Things your family has outgrown

Stuffed Animals

Baby gates

Baby Bottles

  1. Animal items you no longer use that are still in good shape

Dog Kennel/carrier

Pet beds

Pet pee pads (or human bed protector sheets that are basically the same thing)

Litter pans

Food/water bowls

Cat trees/scratching posts

Leashes, halters and collars

Grooming supplies

This is by no means a complete list.

I used the Animis Foundation list for some of the suggestions and my own knowledge and common sense (I do have some) for the others. Whenever I see an animal item at the thrift store, I cringe, wishing the well-meaning previous owner had donated it to an animal rescue instead of the thrift store, where it may or may not be sold.

I hope this post gives those of you who have items you have been meaning to get rid of a nudge to check out your local rescue wish list and donate what you can to them before doing anything else with your stuff.  I hope those of you who regularly recycle or donate will look at your items with fresh “could a rescue use this” eyes before using your usual means of disposal.

If anybody has any other suggestions for items that can be used by animal rescues, please leave a comment below with those suggestions.

Finally, please share this post, or at least the ideas it is suggesting, to others so we can get the rescues the items they need AND reduce waste at the same time.

Thank you to ALL those who work at, donate to, volunteer for and otherwise support animal rescue and animal advocacy. Together, we CAN and WILL make a difference.

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