Christmas Shopping

Please share your experiences giving gifts that help shelter pets.  This could include making a donation to a shelter in a gift recipient’s name (please tell us how the recipient was notified of your gift), shopping online via a group’s Amazon button (such as the No Kill Advocacy Center has), buying from a company which donates proceeds to shelters/rescues (like Rescue Chocolate) or any number of other gift ideas.

Help us late shoppers out by sharing your suggestions, experiences, and links.

29 thoughts on “Christmas Shopping

  1. Linens for Animals is in McKinney, TX doing incredible work; they deserve your support.


  2. I installed the iGive button. When you shop through that, the charity of your choice gets $5 for setting the button up, then it gets another $5 after your first purchase. There are over 900 participating stores and each store gives a percentage of the total bill to your charity. My rescue of choice is American Lab Rescue! Note: you can only install the iGive button on a regular computer. I wasn’t able to do it on my iPad.

    1. Are you able to pick ANY place you want your donation to go to – or do they have a list to choose from?

      1. If I remember right, they have something like 50,000 different charities to choose from and I think you can easily add one if it’s not found in their list. The website is easy:

        It’s a really great way to get money to your charity all while shopping at anytime and it’s no cost to you.

      2. Thanks for the info Brenda – I will be checking it out shortly. I do most of my shopping form home anyways – so this could be one heck of a win-win!

  3. I give to the Santa Paws Drive –

    They pick 6 shelters around the world and send them toys, treats and money. This year they are concentrating on shelters that help special needs animals so two of their shelters are Blind Cat Rescue and Black Dog rescue. They partner with some pet shops out there so offer toy and treat bundles. For example for $10 you would donate some mice, some catnip cubes and a bag of temptation treats. Yesterday was the last day for donating the toys and treats (since they have to then get them from the stores and pack them up) but they are still accepting money. They have a raffle too of some great donated prizes. Then later on they will post any pictures/stories they get of the animals enjoying their new gifts – it is very sweet. They also try to showcase some of the pets from their chosen shelters to try to help them get adopted.


    1. If you do go there you might see they have a lot more cat toy/treat donations then dog donations – that is because this year they picked a few cat only shelters (like blind cat sanctuary) so it pushed the amount of cats up. They have gotten enough toy donations that every single animal in each shelter can get one.


  4. I’m not a last-minute shopper so this was actually a few months back, but we donated a bunch of stuff to the Pick of the Litter Thrift which supports the Forgotten Felines of Sonoma County:

    They gave me a discount coupon, 10 percent off, which I used to pick up a few things – some of which I’m giving as gifts.

    (I’m sorry. I’m smug. For years and years I loathed last-minute shopping, so this year I planned way ahead.)

    Right now, not that it’s a gift exactly, they’re selling Christmas pies in an agreement with Christine’s Handmade Pies, to be delivered on the 22nd – frozen and unbaked, so it’s a snap for dinner. Check it out:

    For anyone in the area, if you’ve not been there, Pick of the Litter is small but clean and very pleasant – I think it’s the nicest thrift in the area – and they get in a good mix. I’ve found a number of 50s and 60s vintage odds and ends there, and they don’t mark them way up like some places do.

  5. 1. we’re participating in our local shelter’s “Home for the Holidays” foster program. You take on a foster dog/cat from Dec. 22-27 and have the option to adopt.

    2. We sponsored a cat for 3 months through Indraloka Animal Sanctuary. They sent a beautiful framed photo of the cat and a thank you letter for my grandparents (I sponsored in their name). If you sponsor for a larger animal instead, or a smaller animal for a year, you get a t shirt!

    1. I LOVE the “Home for the Holidays” idea! The animals get out of the shelter for a while and you might end up with a new friend! I might have to pass that idea along to some of my local groups!

  6. Making a donation through PayPal to a local rescue or any rescue, in honor of someone’s companion who has crossed the Bridge is a good one. What we usually do is send a certificate that a donation has been made in honor/memory of so-&-so.

    Also, REAL food (ie: homemade) brought to shelter and given to each dog or cat, or even only a few is a nice idea I’ve done.

    We at the Sanctuary don’t like food gifts, because we have so many special needs. BUT< there is always the Kuranda bed donations and they are a treat for any animal!

  7. I took a trip to my local dollar store and grabbed about $100 worth of cleaning supplies, dog food, cat food, cat litter, dog treats/toys, and a few packages of cookies – made up a couple trays of cookies and went to a local pit rescue, a local cat rescue, and my local ACC and dropped off gifts to the animals – along with each place getting a cookies tray. I made up cards to go with the cookie tray – and the one for the ACC got info on Nathan’s blog as well as links to NKN. The ACC isn’t No Kill and I figured what a great way to encourage them with a subtle hint! Next week the kids & I are going back to the ACC with homemade cookies that will be wrapped separately – each with a sticker we designed to support the No Kill movement! We put “No KIll” and then included the link to NKN’s website so that as we wrap each cookie we can seal it up with the sticker! (That was my 16 yr old’s idea!)

    This was my Christmas gift to myself! MOney is tights and there really isn’t anything I want or need…I figure my heart lies with the animals so what better gift to give myself than helping the critters that need it I figured giving to the two legged animals would help support the No Kill movement and hopefully help get my foot in the door to a discussion about it later on!

    1. This is a good idea. A lot of shelters post want-lists on their webpages, too, so it can be pretty simple to find out who needs what, and what their preferences are.

      I’ll have to think about this. I think we’re making a Costco run soon, it would be easy to pick up extra bleach & so on.

    2. My family normally does the donations every year – but this year I figured why not do the cookies as try to help the No Kill Movement in the process. Kinda got the idea from Humane Watches “Shelter Saturdays”…but it took my son to say ‘Why don’t we take it a step further and make sure each person who gets a cookie gets the same info. By using the sticker idea to seal up individual cookies they’ll each (probably) read the sticker first. I figure it has to catch at least one person’s attention! And that’s all it takes.

      The director at the shelter has always rolled his eyes when I come in because he knows that at some point I bring it up! This time I chose not to say a word. And I will do the same when I drop off the next batch….but once it ends up in the break room and the rest of the staff (and volunteers) gets their hands on it then it’ll be a free for all. I’m sure there are folks there (in fact I KNOW there are) that don’t even know about No Kill. There are still people that I hear talking about pet overpopulation and they *hate* having to see the animals die. I’ve talked until I am blue in the face about other options. Maybe this way someone form “inside” will grab the ball and run with it!

  8. Just thought of this –

    As my extended family has grown so much over the years we started having a Christmas gift exchange – which then led to each family making a donation in the family’s name to a charity of choice. I always donate to certain groups like a pit bull rescue (you can pick one you like) and then make a donation online. Then I just print out the ‘thank you’ for donating page and stick it in a card and either mail it to the family – or hand deliver it on Christmas day. This is especially nice as you don’t have to leave your house, you help animals, and you ‘give’ a gift in the process!

  9. Much like Erica’s, my family stopped giving “stuff” to each other years ago. We talk to each other ahead of time, get input, and then donate to a local 501c(3) in the recipients are or of the recipient’s choice. This year, I asked my sister to donate to Smiling Dog Farms for me. I will donate to Friends of Los Banos Animal Shelter in honor of my best friend in SoCal. Some of the groups have an option so the receipient gets a card about the donation. If they don’t, I just send a card that says, “a donation was made in your honor to _______.”

    I did donate to two hospices this year in the wake of losing both of my parents to cancer but still donated to animal welfare groups for some of the people I love.

    One size fits all, right?

    1. Sorry to hear of your losses….I know it isn’t easy! But it is nice to do something to help others to remember them by.

      Every time I lose a pet I do the same thing in their memory.

  10. I’m from Hungary and the shelters are horribly cold. So I talked to my friends and I am taking clothes, blankets and rugs to a lady who will then take those stuff to places, where they need them. They are making pillows from sucks and smaller items so at least the animals are not cold.
    I will try to donate some money, too or food, we will se what else they need!

  11. I gave money this year to two local rescues – and some money to two individuals who do rescues – also sent a check towards the No Kill Movement.

      1. Hey! How did I miss this whole post? Thanks Mary and Shirley… 16272 is the post office box number.
        BTW, Marten, my 15 year old lead dog, made it through his dental surgery. They didn’t take the tooth, just the nasty tumor that was living on his gums. I had enough in my holiday budget to have them snip the wart off his eyelid too. I made several batches of home-made dog cookies (our cuisinart doesn’t shred the carrots well enough to use the cookie cutters so the treats looked sorta hairy) I gave a plate of cookies to my vet and to the vet clinic where Marten had his surgery. I’ve offered to groom dogs for several folks as a holiday gift, and I’ve taken a tray of home made treats with me on my mobile grooming calls to share with my clients.
        Oh, and I’m boarding a cat and a dog for free, although that’s not as a Christmas gift, it’s for the whole winter.

  12. Thanks for Daisy Acres Critter Services address, Shirley! And thank you LynnO for all that you do – and most certainly all that you do Shirley. Merry Christmas!

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