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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Thank you, very helpful!


Johnnie, bless your heart. I can't understand why people are so cruel. Please don't give up on the poor pitbull and keep giving it food and water every day and spend some time with it if you can until you can get it to a rescue/shelter. Thank you for being such a kind soul.

Cheri Woods

I am the CEO of Cheri Woods Vacation Rentals. I tried to donate an SUV full of pillows from our rental units when we replaced them with new memory foam ones to a few of our local animal shelters. I got the runaround and excuse that they don't take pillows as the dogs would just "tear them up."
I was shocked that they would turn down comfy pillows rather than dogs having to lie on a hard, cold cement floor. How makes these rules?


We had a German Shepard who would chew up/demolish and pillow we gave him. Maybe a cat shelter could use them.


Cheri, I work for a Vet clinic and I understand why the shelter would not like pillows for digs. If they chew them up, some of the stuffing can be swallowed and cause a blockage in their intestines which would require surgery. A dog living in a home can be monitored better than a large kennel, but even some pets will ingest items without the owners knowing and had to come in for emergencies after chewing up their bedding or toys.


Linda Blair has a rescue / foster dedicated to pit bulls, she is in Ca. I think it's called Linda Blair world heart foundation. Perhaps she can help this precious baby.
Goo luck and God bless you and Angel Pup!


Johnnie, I am near Dallas and can help if you are in this area.


I got my Corgi from a lady who used the kiddie pool for the puppies too. I thought it was an excellent idea. When my JR many years before had a litter of puppies, I kept them in the laundry room and I had mopped the floor every day.