It's garage sale time. We'll see them popping up in every neighborhood, near and far, almost every weekend now. Folks deciding to clean out their attic, basement, garage, or their whole house.
I love garage sales, don't you? You can find the best stuff in garage sales. Here, in our new home, we found a bookcase that matches two end tables we bought, for our front room. It was quite a find. As if they were made for each other.
Here's an idea, though... many times you see 'junk' at garage sales. Not sure who said "one man's treasure is another's man's junk"...or even if I got that quote right, but in essence, it's true. And, what's even more true about it is this - I bet a whole lot of stuff offered at garage sales could be useful to your local animal shelter. Shouldn't we at least THINK about that, as we drive around and peruse the 'stuff' our neighbors are giving away (or selling for a dollar?)
Animal shelters are always in need of things we use every day. Recently, I saw a small shelter group asking people to donate toys to their shelter. That's right - toys for the dogs and cats to play with. It's a simple thing; a chew toy or a feather toy or something the animals can amuse themselves with as they patiently wait for their new home. I'd never thought much about donating a dog or cat toy to my local shelter. Now, I do.
Other things you might find at shelters that could go to "the dogs"...if you will (or cats, or ferrets or any of the animals at your local shelter), are ... well, suppose you buy a few pieces of clothing - garage sales always have lots of clothing - and you take your stash home and create a dog bed out of the clothing. Put it in an old blanket, stitch it up, and there you have it...something for the dogs in the kennels.
What if you take kids toys, being careful to look them over so no small pieces will come off and end up choking a waiting pet, and you washed them and gave them to the shelter as ways for the shelter to amuse their pets in holding? I see a lot of leftover kid's stuff that could be repurposed for pets.
A great place to start your search is at your shelter's website. They almost all have 'wish lists' online, showing you what they need the most. I've been to garage sales where a family lost their pet recently, and for whatever reason, was not going to adopt a new pet right away... so they had kitty litter left over or a dog bed or pet food and water bowls. Certainly, those are great items to give to your shelter, yes?
Why not go out once a month, to garage sales in your area...and OUT of your AREA...don't hesitate to travel a fair bit... and get a trunk load of stuff you can donate? If you have kids, this is a great way to build their respect for charitable giving - showcasing the different ways you can give back. Make sure you take them with you to the shelter, when you give the items away. Make sure you tell them how important it is to support your local shelter - because the animals there will someday make another family happy.
It's little enough we can do - without a lot of effort. And it goes a long way to helping the animals in shelters feel comforted. An animal that is being taken care of by having toys, a bed, good food and attention from trusted staff, at a shelter, is more likely to appeal to a new family looking for a new pet.
What else do you think we can do to support our local shelters? Share ideas...