Are you taking advantage of the shelter-in-place order to do some deep cleaning around the house? Going through closets and drawers and getting rid of things you no longer need or use? Are you studying Marie Kondo’s purging principles and looking to give away things that no longer bring your dog or cat ‘joy?’ We truly appreciate the calls and emails with offers of donations! It’s so nice that people are thinking of the animals during this time. Here’s an outline of what we can and can’t accept.
What we need, and can really use, is pet food and cat litter. Mostly this is to share with those that are hurting financially right now and need the help in order to keep their pets with them. We certainly don’t want the cost of a bag of kibble to be the reason for an animal to end up in the shelter separated from the family they love. Opened bags that are well sealed are acceptable and you can just drop off these types of donations at our door. This donated food is also networked through the Living Room (a local woman’s shelter) and with other local animal rescue groups. The need is great right now with so many people out of work so every can of food and bag of kibble is a big help. Another way to support our Pet Food Pantry and the other programs set up to help people with their animals is through a monetary donation to the Animal Shelter League (ASL). Donations can be easily given through their website – www.animalshelterleaguerp.org or checks can be mailed to their attention at the shelter’s address – 301 J. Rogers Ln., Rohnert Park 94928.
Since our animal population is low right now inside the shelter, we really don’t have a need for more towels and blankets. Those are items that we often collect and use or share as we can. But there’s a health risk with transferring household items during this virus outbreak and we really don’t have the staff to rewash all those donations, which would be required, so we’d rather not take them in right now. The same goes for other pet supplies that you might be looking to rehome – litter boxes, scratching posts, leashes, food dishes, toys, etc. We are asking that you hold onto these items until the shelter reopens for business, and our volunteers are back to help us.
Also, just a note about looking carefully at the items you are giving away. If something is damaged or broken or otherwise unsafe to use, please just throw it away. If the scratching post is worn to the point that the carpeting is gone, it’s probably time to just say good-by to it. We really have to be picky and only accept in items that are in useable condition. Thanks for understanding!!
Leaving items at our door, while seeming generous, is actually a burden for us as everything needs to be sanitized on top of all the other work we have, so please resist the urge to bring over these items from your newly cleaned home. Please just find a corner of your garage where you can stash it until we’re ready to receive them.
It must feel good to have all your drawers and closets so organized and clean! And it will feel good to be able to donate some items to the shelter animals and those in need. Thanks for your patience and for holding onto your items for now. Soon, hopefully, they will once again be enjoyed by an appreciative dog or cat!
Mickey Zeldes is the supervisor at the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter. She can be contacted at email@example.com.