Shopping Dollar Stores for Shelter Donations

The sadness is palpable here in Central Texas, so close to the Hurricane Harvey disaster area that stretches from here east and south all the way to the coast. This morning when I was buying a newspaper, the lady at the register shook her head and, with tears in her eyes, said, “We are just so lucky.”

And we are. So many of neighbors across Texas were not so fortunate. As I type, rescues are still underway for both human and animal storm victims and the tragedy continues to unfold. Recovery, when that begins, will take years.

So many rescue groups across the country are working to help both stranded homeless animals who were residing in shelters and pets who have been separated from their families. Austin Pets Alive is working to assist shelter animals, expecting 2,000 animals by the end of this week.

In the morning, John and I will be going to the Town Lake shelter, the headquarters of Austin Pets Alive and the shelter from which we adopted Lucky and Ochi, to donate supplies. They have an urgent need for carriers and crates to transport animals back to Austin, as well as other items on this frequently updated needs list. We’ve gathered kennels and crates to donate, along with boxes of Nutrish dog and cat food, and baby food, which we had been feeding Ochi in the last days of her illness and which we noticed was on APA’s Amazon wish list.

The list of needed supplies also included many cleaning products, and so today I went with my Mom to the local dollar store to see what we could find. We both shopped for essential items that tomorrow will be taken to the shelter. Whether you’re in the Austin area or you later find yourself wanting to donate to your local shelter, here’s a look at some of the products you can purchase so inexpensively at the dollar store:

  • Styrofoam Bowls (used for feeding kitties)
  • trash bags
  • bleach
  • paper towels
  • dog poop bags
  • Clorox wipes
  • sponges
  • hand brooms/dust pans
  • litter scoopers
  • mops
  • mop buckets

The dollar store was packed with shoppers with similar purchases to ours. When the clerk asked the man in front of us if he’d found everything he needed, he said, “I don’t know but I’m having fun shopping for this.”

And my Mom and I talked about how good it does feel to help. It’s a bright spot in a bad week.


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About Paris Permenter & John Bigley

Paris Permenter and John Bigley are the award-winning authors of over 30 pet and travel books as well as the founders and publishers of CatTipper and DogTipper.

  • sandy weinstein

    how do you find out what rescues or places in your area are sending things. all i seen is sending money, which i can not afford b/c of my recent very, very large vet bills due to paying for my Evie’s chemo for almost a yr, which recently took her from me.

    • That’s a great question, Sandy, because some shelters can’t accept items due to damage or just the sheer number of donations they’re getting. I am so, so sorry about Evie; I know that it’s often easier to find items to donate. I am going to try to assemble a list of places where readers can ship or drop off items–thank you for the idea!!

      • sandy weinstein

        i did find a vet in my area that is coordinating with a local rescue to take dropoffs and they will send them to tx. thank you for Evie. i know you just lost Ochi at such a young age. no matter the age it is so hard. Evie was my heart dog.