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Green Paw Print Tip #6: Your Trash is a Rescue Group’s Treasure.

PetSmart Catherine Mabe/PetSmart

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Let’s face it—we live in an age of excess and some of our pets are downright spoiled! They’ve got a crate for every life stage, a toy for every holiday and a collar and lead set to match any fashion trend. Not to mention that unappreciated purchase we’ve all made—the item we felt so sure our pet would love that was met by a turned-up snout.

But before you dump your “old” pet goods in the trash or dumpster, check with your local shelter and rescues to find out which items they’re most in need of. These groups are always looking for items to make the lives of needy pets in their care more comfortable. They may even be able to raffle off any of your new and unwanted items at fundraisers. Some shelters or rescues groups will even arrange to pick up items you no longer want or use.

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