Download Yours Today: DIY Guide for Shelter & Rescue Volunteers

Monday, August 4, 2014 - 2:30pm
Cat with paper plate collar

If you volunteer or work at your local shelter or spay/neuter clinic, or are involved in rescue work to help animals in your community, we’ve got a couple of questions for you...

Q. When is a paper plate not just a paper plate?

A. When it’s a make-shift E-collar for kittens who’ve just been spayed or neutered! Time- and money-savers, paper plates are great for use in foster homes, where you may 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.

Q. What can you put in a baby pool other than water?

A. Puppies! Easy to clean, disinfect and reuse, baby pools are perfect for use in a shelter setting as a safe and sanitary area to contain pups, as well as for providing mom easy retreat for some R&R.

Mother dog taking care of pups in blue kiddie pool

Q. Does saving animals’ lives knock your socks off?

A. Baby socks can be used to keep paws warm while animals are under anesthesia and recovering from surgery, as shown here.

Corgi puppy wearing socks

Seeing a common theme? These everyday items can make life a little easier for the homeless animals you help care for, and can go a long way to stretch precious dollars for your local agencies, many of which rely on volunteers and animal advocates in the community.

With a little help from shelters all around the country, the team at ASPCApro,’s sister website for animal welfare professionals, has put together a downloadable guide that’s free for shelter and rescue staff and volunteers, and anyone else involved in helping their community’s animals.

From Trash to Treasure, Shelter Edition features 16 DIY projects, including those shown above, using various repurposed and recycled materials—everything from carpet scraps to yogurt cups!

Click here to get your free Trash to Treasure, Shelter Edition guide today, and please forward this blog to any animal advocates, shelters and rescue groups that may be interested—a little creativity can go a long way to save lives (and money!).

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We think someone has left their pit bull when the moved. What can be done? The dog has no water, no food. We live a mile from the land he was left on so I bring him water and food. I am scared of dogs but I am willing to feed it. I think it is only 6 months old, not sure.


Call a local rescue group or Animal Control. If you have a facebook, you can also share any pictures and information there. If you continue visiting and taking care of the dog, it may get used to you and possibly make a great companion if you are able to take it in. At least get his/her situation posted to the local authorities and rescue groups to see if someone can help the poor thing.


Thank you Maegan. I have called animal control. we live out of city limits, so they wont come out. Sheriff's dept states to call animal control or take dog to animal shelter. We live in Texas in the woods, so cant get much help.


Sometimes, people can be so cruel! I recommend you should keep feeding it and giving it water, and maybe buying some tennis balls or making/buying a cheap makeshift doghouse so the dog Is happier. You should also visit it often, and talk to the dog and give it treats, unless you can go into the cage/backyard and give it attention. Just make sure the dog FULLY trusts you before you go into it's backyard.


Hi Johnnie, there are some wonderful dog rescue groups in Texas, including some that are dedicated to Pit Bulls. You might try searching online (there is a web page that lists breed-specific rescue groups), and contacting some of them. If you can't find anyone listed near you, one of them may know someone who is. An experienced rescuer could guide you with best thing to do. You are a wonderful person to feed this poor dog, and that should be a temporary situation until you can get some help finding a longterm solution.


Hi Johnnie,

Do you mind me asking where exactly in Texas you live? I Live in Texas too and would be willing to help out if I can. Also you could try contacting Larry Powell at I know his wife is involved in a rescue group. They might be able to put you in contact with someone.


Johnnie, 6 months is still a puppy. He's probably starved for attention and affection. I am NOT afraid of dogs. Since you are enlist the help of someone like me to assess the puppy with you. A local Petsmart store's trainer or similar is a good place to ask for help. Do not let just anyone take that puppy people train them to fight and kill them the puppy needs a home not an abuser. It's people who are dangerous, NOT dogs. Where ever you are in TX Google for local NO KILL rescue groups and see what comes up I'm sure there are several you can ask for help from. They will have volunteers like me who will help you with the dog and maybe even get you over your fear so YOU adopt the puppy! You have a wonderful heart the main thing is to be responsible enough so the puppy is kept out of danger. Animal Control is almost always a death sentence. A rescue group, someone to foster the puppy 'til adopted ... do you have friends who love dogs and aren't afraid of them? Enroll a friend in helping here. If you want to talk email me at [email protected] and we'll exchange numbers to do that. I don't have rescue contacts in TX but some of the contacts I have may. Google now and see what you come up with and please consider getting over your fear and adopting the puppy! Pitties in England are called 'nanny dogs' because they're so good with kids! The breed is a GREAT breed and the media has maligned them so unfavorably it's unfair and NOT deserved.


Johnnie, I wish I had seen this earlier! I love pit bulls.... they're sweet dogs like any other dog. I'm in CA but am willing to go to Texas to get this baby to a shelter or SOMETHING. I just need to arrange some vacation time. I'm serious. Please e-mail me at [email protected] ASAP. Poor dog! Wonderful that you found it!!!


How about contacting the County Sheriffs' office or even contact your State Senator or Representative either for your area or for the state of Texas and explain your dilemna. I am a true believer that the squeaky wheel gets the oil and oiling has been very successful for me in the past even though it may take time and patience. Who knows, maybe you will get something started for your area that will prevent this from happening again. The previous owner should get arrested for animal abuse, not sure of Texas laws though.


This is so up my alley. One of the best creative things I've seen Thank you.