Things We Use in the Shelter:
Of course financial donations help us the most, but there are also items that we go through so quickly that having them donated is a huge help to us.
- Gift cards. Gift cards are donation items that are extremely helpful for us and very easy for the donor. They are sort of halfway between a “thing” and a financial donation, but allow us to immediately purchase special items needed for any type of pet we might have in the shelter. We are set up to care for dogs and cats, but throughout the year, we may have up to 100 other animals who come in and need our care. Bearded dragons (we had at least 3 in 2018), bunnies, guinea pigs, birds, and other animals require food, supplies, and sometimes fresh produce that we just can’t keep stocked year round. Pet supply stores are great, but stores like Safeway, Target, Walmart, and Fred Meyer are helpful too as are general Visa gift cards, which are accepted anywhere.
- Cat paper pellet litter (unscented). This is the only type of litter that we are able to use here at our shelter, and as you might imagine, we go through a LOT of it. Here are some examples of the kinds that we can use: Yesterday's News Cat Litter, Okocat Natural Paper Cat Litter, Fresh News Cat Litter, So Phresh Paper Pellet Cat Litter. There are links on our Amazon wish list if you want to make it easy – they can deliver directly to us!
- Lean Treats for Dog and for Cats. Lean Treats brand treats are our approved treat for use in-shelter. You can purchase them at most veterinary offices and also through Amazon and Chewy.com.
- Cat toys (no catnip please). For our cats, the best toys are those that do not contain catnip and can easily be sanitized. Ping pong balls and plastic balls that rattle or jingle are great.
- Hand towels and washcloths. Gently used or new and in good condition, please. At this time, we cannot accept any towles larger than a hand towel as our storage areas are already full.
- Purell Brand Hand Sanitizer
Easy Online Donations
- Our Amazon wish list is another way that you can give us the specific items that we need most. We update this as our needs change, but these items are guaranteed to be ones that we will use in our shelter. They can deliver directly to us, but sometimes the donor information doesn’t come through clearly (or we only have a name that we can’t match up in our system), so if a receipt is important, please bring the items in in person.
- Kuranda beds for cats. We currently have plenty of dog Kuranda beds, but definitely need more kitty beds. The Kuranda brand ones are very sturdy and easy to sanitize. You can donate Kuranda beds at a discount and have them shipped directly to the shelter from their website.
- You can make online financial donations through our website at WashingtonCountyPets.com
Things We Occasionally Need:
There are certain things that we have greater need for at various times throughout the year. These items may be seasonal or things that we have limited storage space for. We appreciate donations of these items, but prefer that people wait until we ask for them on Facebook.
- Crate pads for cats and dogs
- Kong toys for dogs and other interactive/enrichment toys
- Kitten or other specialty food
- Towels and washcloths
Things We Can Sell or Give Away:
Sometimes we are given very nice new or gently used pet supplies that we either don’t have room to store, or can’t practically use here at the shelter. These items may be used as prizes for our events, passed on to other organizations, or placed for sale at a discount in our store. Each item we sell brings in a few dollars, which definitely adds up. However, the last thing we want is for you to purchase a $15 dog toy, only for us to put it up for sale for $2. When in doubt, please focus on the items we can use listed above. You can also see “Donation Resources” on the back for other ways to help animals in our community.
- Crates (both wire and plastic airline style)
- Exercise pens
- Pet stairs and ramps
- Collars, leashes, harnesses and pet clothing
- Unopened store bought treats (we do use Lean Treats in shelter)
- Stuffed squeaky toys, rope toys, tugs, bones and any other items that we can’t safely leave unattended with dogs in their kennels.
Things We Cannot Accept:
Unfortunately, we receive many well-meaning donations of things that we cannot use, sell, or give away. These items must be disposed of at our expense and this takes staff and resources away from the animals. Things that we cannot accept include:
- Opened pet food or treats – Even if it is high quality food and you only recently opened it, we cannot guarantee that we will go through all donated food quickly enough to prevent it from expiring or spoiling.
- Homemade pet treats – We are certain that they are delicious and made with love, but we are unable to accept homemade treats as they may spoil more quickly without preservatives and we have no way to verify the ingredients.
- Unused pet or human medications – We are not able to accept any medications. Please visit the Washington County Department of Health and Human Services page on Medication, Needles and Other Medical Waste for tips on appropriate and safe disposal.
- Used litter boxes or other items that have had pet urine on them.
- Pillows, blankets, and other bedding (including pet beds) – These items are too large for our kennels and tend to cause havoc with our laundry machines.
- Anything soiled, worn out, or in need of repair.
If you have open food that you no longer need, please consider donating Fido Pet Food Bank. Their website is FidoAniMeals.org and they have a donation bin in Washington County at Aloha Animal Medical Center, 17455 SW Farmington, Suite 29A, Aloha, OR 97007
If you have certain pet medications, supplies, or prescription foods, Paw Team may be able to use those. Please visit their website at PawTeam.org for more information.
Used household and pet items in good condition can be donated to a local thrift store. If you want your goods to help animals, there is a Thrift Store Benefiting Cat Adoption Team. Their website is CatThriftStore.org and they accept donations at their location in Raleigh Hills. Please visit their website for more information.
If you would like a printable pdf handout version of this information, please click here.