Times are tight and it's important to know where your dollars are going! Not that I'm discouraging cash, credit card, or check donations to reputable sites, sometimes you just want to help the shelter down the street, not the nationwide organization.

If you're unsure of your local facility's current (or future) needs, consider a gift card or certificate to local pet supply or grocery stores or even office supply or home improvement chains. While many post specific, evergreen requests, most any will be able to use this gift to buy exactly what's topping their list at any given time, taking out the guesswork, and leaving your good deed in their hands.

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