Whether it’s for the holidays, a birthday, or some other occasion, it can get tough finding the right gift. Aunt Mabel doesn’t want any more knickknacks she’ll have to dust, and Dad, well, what do you get someone who has everything?
Here’s a solution: buy a unique gift that will also help homeless animals. Many animal rescues in Kentucky offer merchandise with the proceeds helping to feed and shelter their animals: you can find cups, car magnets, embroidery, clothing, gift cards, pet products, and more.
Or how about this: Aunt Mabel may not want a dog or cat herself, but you could sponsor an animal in her name. Contact a rescue in your area to ask about sponsoring an animal by clicking here.
Here’s some of the merchandise offered by Kentucky rescues:
Car magnets are popular these days, and you can get some great ones from the Anderson County Humane Society. Round instead of ribbon shaped, they display the message Save a Life: Adopt a Homeless Pet. Wristbands are also popular, and you can get them here: one is a marbled blue and white and has paw prints embossed all the way through the bracelet; another carries the message Spay & Neuter. For cat lovers, get the Crazy for Cats Nine Dollar Bill; dog lovers can get the K-9 Dog Dollar Bill. They look (almost) like the real thing. T-shirts are also available with messages such as Adopt a Lifelong Friend, Face Up to Pet Overpopulation, House the Homeless: Adopt, and Mutts Are My Favorite Breed. To order, go to www.dcr.net/~humane/ or call (502) 839-6410.
Gift cards are fun to give, and you can get Kroger gift cards from the Animal Care Society. How it works: buy a Kroger gift card and use as a debit card, adding more money to the account as needed. For every $100 value you put on the card, Kroger will donate $5 to ACS. ACS also has numerous shopping events throughout the year, including yard sales, holiday boutiques, and Bark in the Park, all with the proceeds benefiting the animals. Go to www.animalcaresociety.org or call (502) 426-6303.
Blair’s Equine Rescue has a nice line of embroidered products, including caps, jackets, denim shirts, and T-shirts, all with the Blair’s horse logo. They are also affiliated with Country Supply, which will donate a portion of your purchase to Blair’s. Country Supply carries a full line of horse products, such as books, farrier supplies, tack, supplements, and barn equipment. Go to www.blairsrescue.org or call (502) 543-2956.
If you have a friend or family member who loves Shih Tzus, the Bluegrass Shih Tzu Rescue has got you covered. Small-dog owners enjoy taking their dogs with them wherever they go, but male dogs can get territorial and thus a little, um, messy. The answer is a belly band, which wraps all the way around a dog’s belly, acting as a diaper. Some styles even have a matching bandana for the truly fashionable. This rescue also has dog bows, handmade notecards, and can even create notecards specific to your dog’s breed. Go to www.bluegrassshihtzurescue.com.
For the golfer in the family, you can get the American Dog golf shirt through the Bowling Green/Warren County Humane Society. This shirt features the “all-American” dog against a flag backdrop. Also check out their mouse pads: one shows a curious cat in a sink, and another declares Where the Animals Are the Stars. Go to www.pets.inbowlinggreen.com or call (270) 842-8572.
Bullitt County Animal Rescue has partnered with Shure Pets, who will donate 25% of every order to the rescue. Shure Pets has a line of pet supplies and gifts, including mugs and treat jars. You can also order T-shirts—one for you and a matching one for your dog. They have mouse pads that say Think Before You Breed; a wall clock that asks you to Provide a Home, Not a Litter; tote bags, and messenger bags, all with the BCAR logo. Don’t forget to order your pet an engraved tag with his pertinent info. Go to www.bcar.org or call (502) 543-7392.
Through DreamCatcher Stables, buy supplies for your horse friends, and the rescued horses will be the ones to benefit. Jeffers Equine will donate up to 8% of your order to DreamCatcher, and they offer free shipping on orders more than $60. Country Supply will also donate a portion of your order to DreamCatcher. Go to www.dreamcatcherstables.net or call (606) 376-2533.
Dreamland Animal Rescue has a T-shirt for everybody you know: organic tee, women’s tank top, sleeveless tee, fitted tee, raglan, hoodie, baseball jersey, long-sleeve, baby doll, spaghetti tank. And yes, there’s one for your dog, too. Boxer shorts and bibs are also available. Don’t need clothes? Then how about a mug, stein, tile coaster, mouse pad, wall clock, teddy bear, barbecue apron. Or maybe a cap, trucker hat, tote bag, messenger bag. Don’t forget the stickers, buttons, and magnets. Or the calendars, journals, and postcards. Find all this at www.dreamlandrescue.org or call (606) 633-0050.
The message is simple: Help GRRAND, Buy Dog Stuff. GRRAND would be Golden Retriever Rescue & Adoption of Needy Dogs. And the dog stuff comes from dogstuff.com, which will give a commission to GRRAND when you buy their stuff: balls, talking toys, tug toys, supplements, and grooming supplies. Don’t need any stuff? Check out the GRRAND T-shirt, baseball cap, tote bag, or clock. You can even order checks and personalize them with your own pet’s picture. You’ll help the rescue just by writing checks! Go to www.grrand.org or call 866-981-2251.
Holly’s Place Animal Rescue has hit the mark with T-shirts and long-sleeve shirts with some great messages. The cartoon shirts show Rufus the cat taking his owner back to the shelter “because she keeps having babies.” Rufus takes another owner to the shelter because his new girlfriend is allergic to people. Then Rufus moves, and can’t take his owner with him. These shirts are a great way to get the message across to the public. Another design states, “Don’t breed or buy while millions die: spay, neuter, adopt and save lives.” Holly’s Place also has a link to a line of jewelry called Fancy Pets that includes dog and cat necklaces. Go to www.hollys.org or call (502) 859-5342.
If you haven’t pampered your cat enough, Maine Coon Rescue can take care of that. This rescue specializes in rescuing Maine Coon cats, not a well-known breed but becoming more popular. They carry a line of COONforters, comforters for your cat, made of cotton and fleece, as well as catnip pillows. They also have yarn toys, Meowsville memorial buttons, notecards, and pet tags. Lest your dog feel left out, click on their link to Designer Doggy, where they “dress your best friend in the best.” Go to www.mainecoonrescue.com.
Lots of folks don’t think about what happens to a thoroughbred once his racing career is over. Luckily, there are a few “retirement homes” for these horses, such as Old Friends. But horses need a lot of upkeep, and that’s where you can help. For the horse lover on your list, use Old Friends’ link to Amazon to buy books such as Seabiscuit, The Perfect Ride, and Tall Ears and Short Tales. You can even own a share in one of their retirees with an Old Friends stallion certificate. Horse art is also available, along with a cap commemorating Ferdinand. Go to www.oldfriendsequine.org or call (859) 846-4435.
Want more horse stuff? ReRun, which rehabilitates and adopts ex-racehorses, has horse paintings that are beautiful and quite the conversation piece. Known as Moneighs, these paintings are done by horses themselves. No joke, the horses paint with their lips, noses, tails, and hooves to create these masterpieces. Most are done by well-known horses, such as Funny Cide, and are auctioned off to help with the care of the horses they rehabilitate. Go to www.rerun.org or call (859) 289-7786.
The Statue of Liberty, known for welcoming the poor and the tired, has been re-created through the Woodford Humane Society to include the animals. Called the Liberty Poster, it includes a dog and cat in this oil painting of Lady Liberty. Inspired by the work of humane societies and animal shelters, artist Debbie Graviss has Lady Liberty cradling the cat in her arms with a loyal dog at her feet. When Graviss created the painting, she rewrote the original inscription on the statue and kept these words in mind: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled litters yearning to breathe free, the lost and lonely animals galore, send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the shelter door!” To order the poster, go to www.woodfordhumanesociety.org or call (859) 873-5491.