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Donatable Items Every Animal Rescue Needs

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Thousands of animal rescues were already struggling to ramp up for puppy and kitten season when the COVID-19 pandemic began adding more pressure to already crowded shelters.

While you’re making social-distancing preparations and stocking your own pantries, consider making a donation to your favorite no-kill animal rescue, too. But, don’t just buy any old gift. There are specific items that rescues need. Here’s a list of the top products animal rescues actually need – you may be surprised… 

Donatable Items


There’s not a rescue out there that won’t benefit a shipment of clean, soft, absorbent towels. It’s tough to keep up with the laundry in a rescue, and dogs rely on towels to stay warm, hide inside when they first arrive, and cuddle up with in the evenings. A dog’s towel is often his prime source of comfort in the shelter.

Outdoor Kennels and Fencing

Large kennels are one of the most expensive things a rescue has to buy. They go through these products by the boatload, so consider investing in one for your favorite shelter. Large kennels are difficult to come by in rescue, but they really aren’t one of the biggest ticket items. Find some that are available and ask a friend to join in and help offset costs. Rescues use these to give stressed dogs their privacy and keep new arrivals separate from the pack. They also make great gifts for cat rescues and are often used to build outdoor enclosures for new cats to get some fresh air. Don’t forget to make sure they are fully enclosed and contain a shade cover.

Gift Cards

Often the most useful of all donations is an Amazon gift card. Animal rescues can find that unique clasp required to fix the only fencing they have, a specialty pet food that an animal must eat because she’s allergic to other types of food, or the expensive heartworm medication that all of the dogs in their care need to be on. You can’t go wrong with a gift card and there’s not a rescue out there who won’t appreciate your thoughtfulness. Best of all you can choose gift cards from any number of stores who offer discount rates on their cards. Buy $100 gift card for only $80 – no one will know but you! 

Donatable Items


We’re fast approaching kitten and puppy season. This means there is an even greater need for private cages and crates where a dog can care for her young without being invaded by the pack. These also provide a home for weaned puppies and give shelters the ability to easily transport their animals to rescue events. Next to towels, crates and cages are among the most useful gifts you can give a rescue. 

Portable Heaters or Fans

As shelters become crowded, many will be forced to house animals in outdoor enclosures. This makes portable heaters or fans critical in regulating temperatures and keeping pets comfortable. Because they’ll get tons of use, make sure they are rated for heavy duty. 

While these items are sure to be welcomed with opened arms at any rescue or shelter, there are dozens more items your favorite shelter will appreciate. Ask your favorite rescue or shelter for their donation wish list. And, if you don’t have the means to donate, there are plenty of other ways to help.

Animal rescues and other nonprofit organizations rely on your donations. Don’t forget about them this challenging time.

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