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When Is National Craft for Your Local Shelters Day 2024? Tips on How to Celebrate

Chris Dinesen Rogers

By Chris Dinesen Rogers

Girl volunteer in the nursery for dogs. Shelter for stray dogs

Many pet owners owe a debt of gratitude to animal shelters. About 4.1 million animals find forever homes because of these institutions 1. Consequently, euthanasia has declined with growing awareness about people’s duty to treat our pets humanely and with dignity. We’ve also learned the importance of mental stimulation or enrichment for these animals. Their intelligence demands it.

National Craft for Local Shelters Day recognizes the significance, and it’s why making homemade dog toys for shelters on July 21st of every year can be a way to pay them back. Since many consider their pets family members, it makes sense to give back in this way 2.

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The History of National Craft for Your Local Shelters Day

This holiday was the brainchild of Erika Lindquist in 2012 3. Nothing shows love like something homemade. Homeless pets in shelters are in dire need of extra love. Bringing the two forces together was a no-brainer. Remember that many of these animals have lived traumatic lives. They’ve experienced stress and fear, unlike many of the puppies and kittens that were born into loving homes.

This holiday occurs on July 21st annually. Its purpose is to make homemade toys and give them to shelters. Many organizations operate on shoestring budgets and rely on donations. Toys don’t have to be fancy products. Many animals are perfectly happy with a DIY item. After all, their value is in the interaction with humans and the mental stimulation they provide.

Cat and woman owners holding cats in shelter to adopt
Image Credit by: BearFotos, Shutterstock

The donated items can be toys. However, beds, clothing, and interactive objects are also welcome. You can undoubtedly give shelters manufactured items, but the joy comes from the heart of making something yourself.

The word has spread quickly throughout these institutions and among individuals who want to support this cause. You’ll likely find promotional materials at your local pet store and collection boxes at shelters.

Items you can make and donate include the following:
  • Pet beds
  • Pet blankets
  • Rope toys
  • Tug toys
  • Decorated bandanas
  • Cat scratching posts
  • DIY cat wands

The shelters will appreciate anything you donate since it can help offset their costs and benefit the animals. Roughly 76.8 million dogs and 58.4 million cats enjoy the benefits of pet ownership 4. Many other animals aren’t so lucky. That makes a holiday like National Craft for Your Local Shelters Day so special. Monetary donations pay the bills, but toys and other accessories bring happiness.

animal shelter donations
Image Credit by: Veja, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

National Craft for Your Local Shelters Days brings people together with a worthy cause. Homeless pets didn’t choose their fate. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean we can’t reach out and help them. Homemade dog toys are just one way to ensure these animals have a good quality of life. As caretakers of this planet, it’s our duty to bring joy and comfort to their lives.


Featured Image Credit by: David Tadevosian, Shutterstock

Chris Dinesen Rogers

Authored by

Chris is an experienced pet writer specializing in science topics, with a particular passion for health and the environment. She has been a writer for over 15 years and lives with her husband and three cats in Michigan. Beyond writing about cats and dogs, Chris loves to learn about wine. She has WSET 1 and 2 certifications and is currently pursuing her Certified Wine Specialist Award (CSW).

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