Animal Shelter Donations That Don’t Require Lots of Cash

Animal Shelter DonationsYears ago, I volunteered at my local animal shelter. It was a very difficult, yet rewarding, hob. During my time there, I realized just how difficult and expensive it was to run a shelter. Since then, I’ve always looked for ways to help, even if it was just a little something here and there.

Donating to your local animal shelter is a great way to give back to and help your community. Animal shelters require a great deal of resources to stay open and care for the animals they take in. As you can imagine, it takes a great deal of money to shelter, feed, and care for several animals, and the majority of animal shelters rely on donations from the community.

Animal shelters are also causes that you can donate to that don’t require a great deal of money. In fact, you may not need any many at all to help support these organizations.

Here is a list of ideas for animal shelter donations that don’t require lots of cash.


The people that work at animal shelters are usually volunteers, and can always use a helping hand. If you have any extra time, it could be one of the best animal shelter donations that you could give. Inquire at your local shelter for more information about how you can volunteer your time. Tasks vary by shelter, but you may be required to clean cages, feed the animals, walk the dogs, or even play with the animals.


If you have a professional service that you can offer your local animal shelter, this can be another great way to give back. Animal shelter donations in the form of professional services are always appreciated, since this eliminates the need to pay for these services. For instance, you could take photos of animals that need adopted if you’re a photographer, write a blog for the shelter if you’re a writer, or groom animals if you’re a groomer.


Feeding all of the animals is a huge expense for most animal shelters, and animal shelter donations in the form of food are always appreciated. Consider donating what’s left in the bottom of your own pet’s food bag, but make sure you don’t mix different types of food. If you don’t have any pets of your own, you might consider picking up some pet food when you can get it for dirt cheap or free with coupons and donating that.


The sheer amount of kitty litter that animal shelters need is astounding and expensive. If you looking for ideas for animal shelter donations and you have lots of extra litter, consider donating it.


Old blankets and towels serve a number of different purposes at animal shelters. They can be used as bedding and to clean up messes around the shelter. Many shelters will gladly accept any of your old blankets, sheets, and towels.

Laundry Detergent

This is one of the lesser known animal shelter donations, but it makes sense. Animals are messy beings, and their bedding as well as cleaning rags need to be washed regularly at animal shelters. This could be a great way to clear out all of those laundry detergent samples piled up in your laundry room. You can also donate the remaining little bit of laundry detergent in your jugs by removing the pour spout, twisting the cap on, and turning the jug upside down for a day or two. Do this with several bottles of laundry detergent and combine them before you donate them to the shelter.

Cleaning Supplies

As mentioned in the above point, animals are messy – almost as messy as kids. If you have a large stock of cleaning supplies, you should be able to donate them to your local shelter. A word of caution, though – never mix different types of cleaning supplies to combine them into one container. This could actually create a volatile and deadly gas if you inadvertently mix bleach with ammonia.

Pet Accessories

Other ideas for animal shelter donations include a wide array of pet accessories, including leashes, toys, beds, and collars. I’ve bought brand new collars and leashes at the thrift store that still had the tags on them in the past, and donated those items. This might be a good way to get rid of some of your pet’s belongings after they have passed away.

Before dropping off animal shelter donations, always make sure you call ahead of time and ask if they can use your items. Some shelters will gladly accept the majority of donations, while others have a specific list of what they need at any given time.

Any other ideas for animal shelter donations?