Our two dogs, Bullet and Trixie were both rescued from an unsavory ending and welcomed with love into our house where we operate in happy chaos with two small kids and two big dogs.
So we have a personal connection to the pups and kitties who are waiting for their families at our local humane society. Before deciding on our donation items, we always check the local website first to see what is on their wishlist to make sure that what we donate will be used and is what they need.
After we purchase our supplies, the kids and I head up to make the drop-off and visit with the animals for a little while. I like to chat with the kids in the car ride up to the shelter about how the animals we will be visiting don't have families yet and remind them that our dogs do have a family (us!). My little talk goes something like this,
Me: Hey guys, we are going to visit some of Bully & Trixie's friends today. The puppies and kitties live in a place called The Humane Society. They all live there because they don't have families yet.
3yearold: Why don't they have families?
Me: Because their family didn't find them yet. We are going to take them some presents today and visit with them. But remember that we already have pets in our family, so we are just visiting today to say hello to these puppies and kitties.
3yearold: Yea! Bully and Trixie are our family, huh, Mum?
Me: Yep! They are our family...just like Lola and Jinx (our cats). We are people and they are animals, but we are all one family together.
Every time we make a donation to the Humane Society, it is always a 'close call' getting out of there without a new pet since my heart aches for those sad faces. (although you'd think it wouldn't be too difficult of a decision with 2 dogs, 2 cats, and 9 fish at home- hah!)
The kids love visiting with the animals and the folks at the shelter are always happy to receive donations of goods. This is an easy act of kindness (although not very emotionally easy!) and is our little way of taking time out of the year to remember to be specifically grateful for our pets who had their share of time in a shelter (or were headed there).
Our family is a crazy one with equal parts mammals to humans - but one that we love and wouldn't trade for anything.