From trash to treasure shelter edition home aspcapro

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From Trash to Treasure, Shelter Edition

How you can use everyday items to solve everyday problems

A little creativity can go a long way in stretching each precious dollar while giving you the tools you need to get the work done.

We hope these ingenious DIY tips from your colleagues will make life a little easier in your shelter and spark more ideas for creative ways to save!


1. Paper or Plastic?

The most genius E-Collar alternative ever!

2. You've Come a Long Way, Baby Pool!

Baby pools become whelping areas

3. Sock It To `Em!

Simple and cheap post-op comfort

4. Made From Scratch

Cut-up carpet=kitty heaven

5. Towel Cowl

Who needs a muzzle when you have a towel?

6. If the Bootie Fits

Itty bitty socks keep paws nice and warm

7. Eat, Treat, Recycle, Repeat

Old yogurt cups put to great use

8. Warming Trends

New life for common baby products

9. (Dry Erase) Boarding School

Use one tool over and over to keep staff organized

10. File Under: Sweet Dreams

Converting in-boxes to cozy kitty spots

11. Thinking Inside the Box

A smart use for insulated boxes

12. Reusable Kennel Cards

Swap out animal info on laminated signs

13. Carry On

Old pet carriers become snuggle havens

14. Gimme Shelter

Reusing plastic storage bins

15. Color Coding Within Reach

A system to prevent cross-infection

16. Everybody's Got Dirty Laundry

Keeping the clean from getting dirty


1. Paper or Plastic?

Got room on your plate for a side of good thinking?

As an alternative to plastic E-collars for kittens who've just been spayed or neutered, Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) makes their own out of paper plates. Says BARCS' JoAnn Goldberger, "Using a pair of scissors, cut a straight line and circle in the center of a small paper plate. Wrap the plate around the kitten's head, staple it up the seams and voila, there you have it!"

Not only are these paper versions more flexible than E-collars, which can be so hard for little ones to move around in, they can save time and money. They're great for use in foster homes, when volunteers might not always have access to E-collars (especially late at night!) and can be used in shelter clinics when a quick E-collar is called for (and P.S., they can be removed quickly and easily). Just take care to be mindful of the little staples and use under supervision, as you would most E-collars.

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2. You've Come a Long Way, Baby Pool!

Need a whelping hand when an expectant mama dog comes to your shelter?

Many agencies, including Charleston Animal Society (CAS) and Animal House Rescue and Grooming in Fort Collins, CO, use plastic pools for whelping boxes.

Easy to clean, disinfect and reuse, baby pools are perfect for use in a shelter setting as a safe and sanitary area to contain puppies. Adds CAS' Kay Hyman, "They also provide mom easy retreat for some R&R and keep the pups safe and dry. They have smooth edges, and as the pups grow, they learn to jump out to go pee and jump back in to be with their siblings!"

Think a plastic baby pool would work swimmingly as a whelping box at your agency? Be sure to ask your supporters to donate one!

And here she is with them at the official premiere!

Animal House Rescue and Grooming's Penny patiently awaits the debut of her pups...

Photos: Animal House Rescue and Grooming


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3. Sock It To `Em!

Take a look at what we've got cooking

Here's a supplemental heat source for animals recovering from spay/neuter surgery AND a great project for volunteers and kids.

Simply fill a sock with uncooked rice and tie it closed. When warmed up in a microwave, the rice sock is a source of heat for an animal who is wrapped in a blanket. Be sure to wrap the sock in a pillowcase, as shown in the photo here. This way, the rice sock is never in direct contact with the patient, as it could spread disease or have the potential to burn an animal.

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4. Made From Scratch

When it comes to recycling donated items, just say "carpet" diem

At the Charleston Animal Society, donated carpet turns into scratching posts for the kitties. "This is a great project for Boy Scouts or school groups," says CAS. "Simply cut into 3- by 8-inch pieces, use a hole punch to make a hole at the top, and attach to the cage with a plastic shower hook. When a cat or kitten is adopted, we send it home with them."

Don't sweep this idea under the carpet!


Photo: Charleston Animal Society Back to Table of Contents

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