Trash to Treasure: Enriching the Lives of Shelter Pets
 Your Trash Can Help Us Save Lives!

We all know shelter life can be stressful. The best way to reduce stress is to provide our animals with outlets for their natural behaviors and give them something fun to do. An animal that is playing in his cage is not spending his time stressing about his surroundings; and an animal that is playing is much more likely to be looked at by potential adopters and therefore more likely to find a forever home. There are a million, simple, everyday items that can be transformed into enrichment toys.                   

It is important that we have a constant supply of these items so that not a day goes by where a kitten or cat, dog or puppy, or rabbit or small animal sits bored in their cages. It is also important that these items arrive disinfected and ready to use. After all, any time spent cutting paper towel rolls into fun rings
 for cats to bat around could be spent cleaning a dirty pan, washing a dirty dish, vaccinating a kitten, or training a high-energy dog.


The easiest way to have the greatest impact would be to collect just one or two items (bottle caps and tissue boxes for instance) and bring in a dozen or so of each at a time.

You can turn just about anything into an enrichment item!  EVEN YOUR:

  • Plastic Easter Eggs

  • Toilet paper rolls

  • Paper towel rolls

  • Shower curtain rings

  • Sponges

  • Milk lid rings

  • Paper bags

  • Any size boxes

  • Mirrors and wind chimes

  • Socks

  • Yarn

  • Treats

  • Sisal string

  • Strainers

  • Bells

  • Golf and ping pong balls

  • Plastic bottles

  • Clean, empty pill bottles

  • New paint rollers 

  • Newspaper

  • Pipe cleaners

  • Pom-pom craft balls

  • Empty pens

  • Unused straws

  • Large diameter PVC pipes (cut to one foot)

  • Rugs

  • Herbs like Catnip and Lavender

  • Milk jugs and cartons

  • Tires

  • Plastic kiddie pools

  • Spray bottles

  • Large containers with shaker tops

  • That old peanut butter jar with left overs

  • Basketballs

  • Footballs

  • Soccer balls

  • Broth

  • Animal scents

  • Extracts like vanilla

Please feel free to contact to receive some tips on how to turn your trash to treasure or find out what kind of neat stuff our animals really love. Drop by with your items and check out the animals you have helped enrich face to face!


Animal Welfare Association

509 Centennial Blvd., Voorhees, NJ 08043
Phone: 856.424.2288 | Fax: 856.424.8318     

Copyright 2010 Animal Welfare Association