Animal rescues need YOU to do some crafting for good this summer!
Looking for something to make that will also make a difference?
Here are some handmade items that you can make and donate to your favorite animal rescue!
Cash is always the best thing to donate to any non-profit, but if you, like me, just love to make things to donate, or if you, like me, have WAY too many craft supplies that you really ought to start using up (ahem…), there are plenty of handmade gifts that animal rescues can really use.
With each item in my list, below, I’ve included the names of specific non-profits that have expressed interest in that specific handmade donation. The most eco-friendly option is to donate locally, however, so before you get the postal system involved, call around and see if any local animal shelters or wildlife rescues near you would like the thing that you’d like to make.
Handmade Items to Donate to Animal Shelters
- corrugated cardboard box cat scratcher. This is a no-sew, kid-friendly craft that a lot of animal shelters really appreciate. My Girl Scout troop just made a ton of these for our local animal shelter!
- cat carrier blanket. Handmade fleece blankets sized for carriers give comfort and support to animals being transported, and they’re easy to sanitize.
- honeycomb hammock. This sewn hammock provides fun enrichment for a rat or mouse. Ask about your local shelter’s need for these, or work directly with the Wildlife Rescue League in Virginia.
- Adopt Me bandana. Sew a cotton bandana (or buy a white cotton bandana) and decorate with a cheerful, eye-catching message for a shelter pet to wear when taken to a community outreach event.
- bird feeder. The Ark-Valley Humane Society in Colorado has a need for bird feeders to hang outside the windows of their cat enclosures for enrichment purposes. Perhaps your local animal shelter would like a bird feeder, too!
- crocheted or sewn blankets. Comfort for Critters offers free patterns for a variety of crocheted, tied, and sewn blankets, and the names and address of animal shelters that are happy to receive them as donations. Seattle Feline Rescue specifically requests 2’x2′ blankets!
- fleece tug toy. This no-sew craft uses square knots to create a sturdy, washable dog tug toy. Donate to the Nebraska Humane Society or your local animal shelter.
- cat toys. Here are plenty of DIY toy options specifically requested by the Ark-Valley Humane Society in Colorado. Check with your local animal shelter to see if they’d like anything from this list, too!
- squeaky toy. A store-bought squeaker turns a handmade stuffie into a squeaky toy! The Wisconsin Humane Society specifically requests these.
- dog treats. These are best dropped off locally, of course, and not every shelter accepts them or has the same rules about them. For instance, I drive a little further to donate homemade peanut butter pumpkin dog treats to an animal shelter in the next county, because my closest animal shelter doesn’t accept homemade food, and the City of Ames Animal Shelter in Iowa needs an ingredients list with each treat donation. But sometimes you just want to make treats for someone besides yourself, you know?
- cat treats. The same goes for homemade cat treats! The Ark-Valley Humane Society in Colorado accepts homemade cat treats, so check around to see if a shelter close to you does, too!
Handmade Items to Donate to Wildlife Rescues
- wildlife rescue pouch. These simple pouches, sewn from fleece or flannel and with enclosed seams, serve as a substitute nest for orphaned baby critters. Wildcare in Indiana can use these!
- sewn hammock. Hammocks are fun enrichment for rescued rodents, such as squirrels. Check with your local wildlife rescue or work directly with the Wildlife Rescue League in Virginia.
- joey pouch. Want to sew something that seems absolutely exotic to me as I sit here in my boring Midwestern house? Make a hanging pouch to hold an orphaned baby kangaroo! The tutorial notes that the fabric should be cotton, so flannel is the way to go here.
- rice socks. This is an easy, no-sew DIY that would be a great project for kids. You can even use fabric markers to decorate the socks! The Wildlife Rescue League also accepts these!
- bat wrap. Sew a cozy, wing-like enclosure for rescued baby bats. Check with your local wildlife rescue or work directly with the Wildlife Rescue League.
- knitted and crocheted bird nests. Many wildlife rescues don’t accept knitted and crocheted nests because the potential for making them too loose can be too high, so check with your local rescue or work directly with the Dane County Humane Society Wildlife Center.
- knitted basket. Here’s another knitting project specifically requested by the Wildlife Rescue League in Virginia.
- plastic nests. The Wildlife Rescue League can also use these!
Do you know of other animal shelters or wildlife rescues that accept homemade supplies? Let us know in the Comments!