Give comfort to a shelter animal

Posted by Pia

Many people wish to help animals in shelters but are unable to foster or adopt. I recently learned of a wonderful way for concerned animal lovers to directly help shelter animals waiting to be adopted. The program, sponsored by pet-bed maker Kuranda, lets you order a bed at a special discount to be shipped directly to the shelter of your choice.

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The Kuranda program allows donors to buy pet beds at a discount and have it shipped directly to the shelter of their choice.

1 The Kuranda program allows donors to buy pet beds at a discount and have it shipped directly to the shelter of their choice.

This helps shelter residents get needed rest and endure what is naturally a stressful time.

2 This helps shelter residents get needed rest and endure what is naturally a stressful time.

Shelters often prefer cot-style beds like Kuranda's because they keep animals from direct contact with a cold, wet, or unsanitary floor

3 Shelters often prefer cot-style beds like Kuranda's because they keep animals from direct contact with a cold, wet, or unsanitary floor

You can donate anything from a single cat bed...

4 You can donate anything from a single cat bed...

...to a dog bed big enough for these two giants!

5 ...to a dog bed big enough for these two giants!

Donating a bed is also a great way to acknowledge an animal-loving-friend or a pet who has passed.

6 Donating a bed is also a great way to acknowledge an animal-loving-friend or a pet who has passed.

Bunk beds are a great way to maximize space in kennels and keep everyone clean.

7 Bunk beds are a great way to maximize space in kennels and keep everyone clean.

Beth at Kuranda mentioned that the beds are not only helping dogs and cats  but, that bunnies and ferrets like the beds too!

8 Beth at Kuranda mentioned that the beds are not only helping dogs and cats but, that bunnies and ferrets like the beds too!

Anyone can set up a page on the Kuranda website for a favorite shelter.

9 Anyone can set up a page on the Kuranda website for a favorite shelter.

One idea put forth on the Kuranda Facebook page is to host a bed drive to cover the cost of multiple beds.

10 One idea put forth on the Kuranda Facebook page is to host a bed drive to cover the cost of multiple beds.

This is a great way for a school or community to help shelter animals in their area.

11 This is a great way for a school or community to help shelter animals in their area.

Just look at the difference you can make by working together!

12 Just look at the difference you can make by working together!

Check with your local shelter to see if they need beds, and if they are signed up for this program.

13 Check with your local shelter to see if they need beds, and if they are signed up for this program.

While we often focus our energies on getting animals out of shelters, we can forget that the conditions of their stay may be even more important to them. An animal that has been kept warm, clean, dry and comfortable is happier and so more likely to come to the front of a cage, wag his tail and greet an interested adopter.

Furthermore, one of the things we appreciate most about our companion animals is how they live in the present moment -- something many of us spend our lives trying to achieve. That said, making the present as comfortable as possible for shelter animals may be among the greatest gifts we can give them.

Municipal shelters are typically underfunded, their staff are overworked, and the simple things that might provide comfort to the animals in residence often go by the wayside. While shelters receive donations of blankets and towels, these items get wet, soiled and chewed up by bored, stressed animals with no other way to entertain themselves. As a result, they are frequently removed or not distributed at all, leaving shelter animals to pass their days on cold cement floors that get wet, freeze or breed germs. Add to this that many shelters, regardless of climate, house animals outdoors and you get the sad uncomfortable picture.

No matter how much hope an animal maintains, these factors break the spirit and can result in the kinds of behavioral and health factors that might deter an adopter or speed up a shelter's assessment that an animal is no longer adoptable. Many animals come in to the shelters pregnant and then are forced to birth and care for their neonates in such conditions.

Another sad reality is that despite all of our efforts to get these deserving souls into loving homes, 4 to 5 million are killed each year when not adopted. So for these animals, their time at the shelter is their last. And while securing a loving home is ideal, offering them what comfort we can is truly sacred -- an act of compassion I encourage us all to participate in if possible.

I was so excited about this program that I called Kuranda directly. I spoke to Beth who agreed to make a Kuranda bed donation to a shelter of Martha's choice on behalf of all of you Daily Waggers! Yay!

Needless to say, you DW'ers inspire me and others to help our fellow critters each and every day!

In kinship,
Dr. Pia Salk

Click here to learn more about Kuranda's Donate a Bed program.

Visit Kuranda on Facebook

Comments (15)

  • Hi Dr. Pia,
    You are the best!! Not only do you get many of our friends homes, but now beds for the ones until they get homes. And Beth, I would like to give you a great big paw shake on behalf of all us regular Waggers. When Mom and I see sad stories on the News about animals, we can hardly sleep. It is these stories that you bring to us Dr. Pia, that help me sleep better when I have heard those sad stories. Everyone have a great Thursday, and Rocky, take good care of your Mom. I know a miracle is in the works.
    Love & licks,
    Basil

  • What a wonderful program Dr. Pia thank you for passing this information along. It still breaks my heart that these sweet souls are living like this I just wish I could do more.

    Thank you again for your love and compassion in helping these wonderful beings.

  • My heart aches reading this reality of 4 to 5 million pets are killed every year...how do we end this madness? Wish there were better ways, laws, rules and restrictions...I can barely stand the thought.
    These beds are a great way to help to bring comfort to some of the animals...I will look into this.

    Dr.Pia I truly admire you! Thank You for your kind heart...
    Love from delia and Kitty :)

  • Hello ladies, Kirby here.
    And good morning to you Dr. Pia. Beds; I just blew them off for a long time. You know, who needs a special place to lay? Now that I am older, I have my own bed and have found something I have been missing. I have my own blanket too and can arrange it any way I want. I can even rearrange it when ever it isn’t comfortable for me. I find security is something that’s only mine. I’ll bet the “shelter” animals find comfort in their beds too. What a great idea; all shelters should have them.
    Catch you later, Kirby.

  • Hi Dr. Pia, Once again, you are a fantastic person who cares deeply about ALL animals and you go out of your way to help shelter animals how ever you can! God Bless you and everyone who really cares about animals. We do the best we can and our new, sweet little Miss Kitty Poo is doing very well, especially after her visit to our special Vet, Dr. Felts. He checked her out thoroughly, spayed her and she is getting very healthy and happy. My sweet Dudley Do Right will get to meet her very soon and will be happy because he loves cats. Thanks again for sharing. Have a great day everyone. Jan and DDR

  • I love the idea of buying a bed for a dog in a shelter! Such a great idea!! My lovely daughter is having her 10th birthday and asked that instead of gifts to please bring a donation to our local animal shelter (they have a wish list). I am so touched by her generosity at such a young age! Wouldn't it be great if we all did things like this?!!
    I hope people participate in the bed program or at least check out the wish list for their local animal shelter! We will be sure to share the info about the Donate a Bed program at the party.
    much love and puppy dog kisses to you!

  • when we find these loving dogs in uncompromising situations, we just want to take them, love them and get them a new home. When you have to travel via commercial air lines, they treat them so poorly. We can help with getting them to a new home.
    Marsh

  • DR. Thank you for your wonderful article. We need to band together and support people who wish to help when dogs and cats are in need. If we are go to fly these pets, we need to look at going by private jet so they won't be put in bad situations
    Marie

  • What an amazing idea! These beds are so adaptable, they're perfect for any situation or need.

  • Hi Dr. Pia

    Thanks for the story about the Karunda beds and making so many others aware of the blight of the shelter animals. I would like to share something that I have come up with and am doing here in my community for the shelter animals as well.
    I make pet beds for them from materials that a thrift store would normally be throwing out.This includes sheets, blankets, comforters, curtains, etc. Many items that do not sell or they would not put out to sell because they are stained, have some minor damage, etc. Sleeping bags whose zippers are broken are the best!!
    I am not sure how long my comment can be, but if you would contact me I will give you the instructions on how to make them (really simple) and then people all around the country can start doing it for their animal shelters! Thanks :)

  • Hi Dr. Salk
    Me again! I noticed how many people wanted to do more to help reduce the number of animals euthanized every year. YOU CAN!!!!!
    Look into your community to find the low cost spay and neuter programs and then share with everyone you know. Especially those on low incomes. Offer to help with transport or to pay the low fee yourself - usually $10-$20. It generally includes microchipping and vaccinations as well. Check with the spca and local rescue groups to get the info.
    Also, many millions of the animals euthanized are feral cats. Feral cats are domestic cats that were never socialized to humans,and are automatically euthanized in shelters, as they are not adoptable. What you can do about this is to "Stop the Madness" by getting involved with the groups who do TNR-trap, neuter, release. The cats are then released back into their colonies where they came from, and hopefully have a caregiver. A caregiver feeds daily, keeps an eye on them, creates shelters for them, makes sure they have water, etc. Does not take very long on a daily basis, maybe 10-15 minutes to put down food and fresh water, clean up the area if it needs it, etc. Really simple, but their lives depend on it. It is the humane way to deal with it, not just killing them. Some of them actually do become tame and adoptable!!
    You can help by offerring to create the shelters, or donate financially to those who do the work, or become a caregiver for a colony close to you. Caregivers are always in the area of the colony, not across town.
    A great website for this subject is "Alley Cat Allies" - tremendous info on the issues. Feral cats' greatest needs are to be well fed, kept warm and dry in winter, and well watered in summer, and protected from predators. They deserve the chance to have a decent life, and doing these things stops the production of more feral cats and gives the existing ones a good chance at life. It really is the humane thing to do. Thanks for caring and for actually doing something about it!

  • In May of 2010,we adopted a Beautiful Burmese female
    cat,she was at our local Shelter,she is about 7 or 8 yrs.old & turned out to be the sweetest, most loving pet. We went through about 6 months of getting used to each other.She also loves our family, our children are all older & we are in our 70's,she was not agressive & still isn't.She loves being with us all the time. Please,Please think about giving some love & extra life to an older pet,even for a short time.They will be grateful to you. Best wishes Dorothy Vusich

  • Dear Dr Pia
    We took your advice and we donated to our poorest shelter in Newark. We almost cried at the thought of some poor unloved dog spending their last days in such tough sad conditions and we are calling on all the WAGGERS to donate to a shelter or to donate a bed. Surely everyone can bring a few old towels or a blanket to a shelter near them? Please WAGGERS help out and thanks again Dr Pia
    Winnie and Fala and Johnny

  • The dogs are very lucky, they have a great woman like Martha, I have in my country almost 35 dogs in a very poor shelter, we have no food not even a roof for cover them, I really appreciate if someone could help those animals in Ecuador I work more than a year in the foundation, My email is "giselmaria@hotmail.com The foundation name is "AMIGO FIEL”"

  • Hi, In October 2010 I donated 2 Kuranda bed to a shelter in my area. I found the info on line one night when I was looking at dogs that are up for adoption. The reason I sent the beds was that I fell in love with one of the dogs that was available for adoption. I'm a little upset and here is why. I never received notification or a "thank you" from the shelter that I sent the beds to. I contacted Kuranda and they advised me the beds were sent. I contacted the shelter by phone they never returned my call and never responded to my letter. I just hope the dogs are enjoying the beds I sent. I just love the beds and wish I knew if they were received.

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