For those of us dedicated to this breed or to the plight of shelter animals in general we often find ourselves asking "How can I help?" In a tough economy many of us our finding ourselves with limited funds, making donations difficult if not impossible. There are a number of ways you can contribute to your local shelter without spending money, simply by donating some things you have around the house.
Office Supplies: Many of us have the dreaded desk/phone drawer filled with old pens, highlighters, tape rolls etc. Over the years we accumualte so much more of the items then we really need. Decide how many of each item you need to keep in your house and give the rest to your local shelter. It's one less thing for them to spend money on.
Plants: It's easy to fill your house with plants and sometimes maybe more then you need. Shelters can always use plants to brighten up the look of the shelter and plants have a natural ability to clean air. You should always check to make sure they can take them but many shelters are very happy to have them. Another great thing about many plants is that man can be populated so even if you don't have too many plants you can usually make more from your existing plants. Most vines simply need to be snipped and placed in water. Other basic house plants like spider plants can also be reproduced. You can google any type of plant to see if/how it can be populated.
Old Blankets, Towel, Sheets: Another thing that is easy to hold onto is old blankets. For most of us they can just take up space in our closets. For some animals at the shelter it's the difference between sleeping on concrete or having a nice soft place to curl up on. Try to remember the last time you used the blankets or sheets in your closet. If you can't, give them to someone who can really use them!
Cleaning Products/Cleaning Tools: When we buy a certain cleaning product, mop, scrubbing brush, etc. that you don't particularly like, while we may stop using it we often don't have the heart to throw it out. This items tend to accumulate in a closet or in a box and donating it to your shelter is the perfect opportunity to clear away some clutter without being wasteful.
Pet Items: It's easy to spoil your cat or dog by buying lots of toys. If you have more then 5 toys it's probably easy for you to rank the toys based on how much they play with them. If you have toys your dog rarely plays with, move them along to someone who could make that toy their #1. Collars and leashes are always needed at shelters so if you have any you don't need anymore, donate them!
Furniture: If you have any old furniture you aren't using, check with your local shelter to see if they could use it. Items like desks, book shelves, Shelves or anything they can use to get organized can be very helpful.
Printers and Computers: Shelters can often use these but only consider donating ones that are fairly new and in good working condition.
Last but certainly not least Time: If you have it there are a number of ways shelters can use your help. Walking dogs, spending time with them, cleaning cages, grooming dogs, etc. There are so many areas shelters need help in. If you have some time to spare find out how you can help.