Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Blankets And T-Shirts And Needles Oh My!

I've just mailed two boxes of supplies to a wildlife rehabilitator I know, and will probably send another 2 boxes-worth once I can find actual boxes to put them in!

I called her a couple of weeks ago and went through a bunch of my spare supplies with her on the phone. I already had an idea of what she'd be able to use but I wanted to check before sending anything. When I have a lot to donate, she's a good person for me to start with because she networks with other animal shelters and rehabbers in her area and can distribute excess supplies that she can't use herself.

What types of things are good to send (or consider sending?)
Leftover Medical Supplies:

Some of these are day to day items, and some are items that might be left over after treating a sick pet or human.
  • Medicines (human or animal, prescription or non) that are no longer needed but have not expired. I believe they can use them 6 months past their expiration date, but I'm not certain.
  • Blood glucose monitors and supplies
  • Lactated ringers (I know... you all have boxes of those lying around your house ;) )
  • Unused sterile needles
  • Eye droppers
  • Syringes with no needles attached -All sizes. Especially small. (Used is ok if they're clean and you make it clear that they are not sterile. They'll be used for feeding.)
  • Wee wee pads (the kind you use for pets or the kinds used in hospital beds)
Leftover Pet Items:
  • (See the medical section above)
  • Pet food that hasn't expired. Dog, cat, bird... anything.
  • Plastic pet carriers
  • Pet food bowls
  • Hairball remedies
  • Wee wee pads
  • Specialty items for exotic pets if they shelter them, like ferrets, iguanas, hedgehogs, chinchillas, servals etc. including toys, pet water bottles, bedding, cages, treats. (Cages and toys are usually not needed for wildlife, but you can always ask.)
Leftover Baby Items:
  • Cloth diapers
  • Burp cloths
  • Wee Wee pads (disposable or non)
  • Baby oil
  • Baby shampoo
  • Baby wipes
  • Baby food
  • Esbilac or other milk/nutritional supplements
  • Pedialyte or other electrolyte supplements
  • Tweezers
  • Vasoline
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Q-tips
Other Household Items:
  • Anything that can be used for bedding like blankets, towels, old t-shirts... (I've just put aside several orphaned pillow cases I will probably never use. They'll go to her in the next round.)
  • Electric blankets
  • Food scales (good for weighing small animals)
  • Blenders
  • Dawn dishwashing liquid (Often used for removing grease from birds)
  • Day to day supplies like paper towels, laundry detergent, trash bags, and cleaning products (ask which ones).
  • Gift certificates: Grocery stores, hardware/houseware stores, pet stores, office supply stores...
Those are the obvious things. Obvious to me anyway. Beyond that, individual shelters or rehabbers might have more specific needs. Some might even need office items like a computer, printer, or a digital camera (particularly for shelters adopting out animals)... they all vary.

Spring brings in all kinds of baby wildlife (Birds, foxes, raccoons, deer, possums, squirrels... you name it!) It's one of the busiest times for shelters and wildlife rehabilitators. If you have a bunch of spare towels, t-shirts and blankets, some old medical supplies you can no longer use, or some pet food you thought your dog or cat would like that they HATED but you haven't thrown away "just because," consider calling a local shelter or rehabber and seeing if they could use it. Many of these people are volunteers and they could use all the help they can get.

PS: I checked Google to see if I could find an online list of common supplies used in rehabilitation and sheltering and didn't find a good one. But I did come across this article which interviews several of the rehabbers I know. It's funny this popped up because I wasn't searching for their names or for NY.



Vanessa said...

I love donating things to organizations that do good in the world. You however have a much more thorough list than I have ever come up with or thought about!

BOSSY said...

Very cool. Way to be a good citizen of the world.

Melissa said...

Vanessa: I'm thorough ;) I also have a good memory. I remember what I needed when I was in similar situations.

Bossy: BOSSY!!!!! :) I'm glad you're home.

Alice said...

you just.. have random medical supplies? around your house? i have, like, qtips from that list. although i suppose i could go BUY many of those things to donate :-)

Abbie said...

I do this with the troops in Iraq, and think it's wonderful that people like you are out there carng for our fur babies.

MP said...

I think we tend to throw away too quick...it's something we need to work on.

Nora Bee said...

Cool! I have some cloth diapers I was wondering what to do with..

Melissa said...

alice: Frighteningly, yes I do! Lol!

abbie: Thank you. I think it's awesome that you send stuff to the troops. I want them home.

mp: I'm going to have to come to you when I need blog topics! Lol! There are so many times when something you say inspires me to write an entire post! At some point, I'll try to write on the subject of giving things away vs throwing them away. But yes, in general, it is a good thing to work on!

Nora Bee: Totally cool! See if they need them. As I said, each shelter's/rehabber's needs may vary.