Where Can I Donate a Dog’s Crate?

Life with my dogs

Where Can I Donate a Dog’s Crate?

If you are no longer crating your dog, donating it is a charitable way to get rid of it. After all, crates can take up a lot of room, so you preferably don’t want to leave it in your home after your dog has outgrown it. 

There are many different places you can take your dog’s crate. Shelters, rescues, vet clinics, and thrift stores may all appreciate the donation.

Of course, it is essential to ensure that the crate is well-cleaned before you donate it. While shelters and other organizations will likely do some cleaning independently, you don’t want to donate a filthy crate. Some may refuse to take it if it is filthy due to the health risk.

If your dog threw up or had diarrhea in the crate, you should leave it out for at least two weeks before donating it. By this point, most viruses and bacteria will be dead. If you donate it before them, there is the possibility that other animals could become sick from the crate. 

This is on top of cleaning it very well. You should clean it with a pet-safe cleaner and then leave it to sit in an area where it isn’t going to get dirty again. 

In many cases, you’ll want to donate your dog crate to a local shelter. This is often the easiest option, as you can drop the crate off. 

However, always call to ensure that they take crate donations. Not all rescues and shelters do. It mostly depends on their policies, as well as what they need. The same is valid for thrift stores. While some thrift stores do accept pet supplies, others don’t.

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Who Takes Dog Crate Donations?

Most not-for-profits that handle dogs will need dog crates. This includes shelters and rescues. Many vet offices will take them as well. Check not-for-profit clinics near you, as these veterinarians usually need the most help cutting costs. 

Some thrift stores will take pet equipment. If you take your crate here, someone could potentially buy it for their dog at a meager price. 

You can also offer it for free online through Facebook or a similar marketplace. Of course, you can’t always be sure who is getting the crate through this method. However, this can be a straightforward way to get rid of it. 

Before you take your crate anywhere, be sure to call and ask if they are currently taking dog crate donations. These are large items, and you don’t want to take them to a shelter or rescue if they don’t have room for it. 

On top of local places, there are a few national organizations that also take dog crate donations. If you can’t find anywhere local to take the crate, you may want to consider one of these options. However, donating to these organizations is often tricky, as they only receive donations at specific locations. 

Your local animal shelter and other rescues are likely your best option.

A dog in a crate on the orange background

Organizations That Take Dog Crate Donations

Best Friends Animal Society

This rescue organization originally started in Southern Utah. However, they have since expanded their reach to many other areas. Currently, they have adoption centers in New York, Salt Lake City, Atlanta, and other areas. 

They have a very extensive network that spans across the United States. 

Due to their extensive coverage, they need a lot of supplies. They collaborate with other organizations as well and will share supplies with them. 

If you have a dog crate that needs to be donated, this is absolutely a great option. The crate will get put to good use by those who need it the most. However, they currently only accept physical donations at their local animal shelters, so you will need to live close enough to one of their shelters to transport the crate. 

Not all rescues are currently in need of crates, either. You can view each rescues’ wish list here

Freedom Service Dogs

This organization adopts younger dogs and trains them to help veterans and others with disabilities. Their services are accessible to those receiving the dogs, so they are an utterly not-for-profit organization. 

Because they are working with younger dogs, they often need a lot of crates. They prefer those that are airline-approved, but this does vary depending on the airline you’re looking at. 

This company is currently located in Colorado. However, they have trainers all over the country, so one may live near you. 

What Do You Do with Old Dog Crates?

Some project instructions online can transform your old dog crate into something else; we typically recommend donating it instead. The usefulness at your local animal shelter will far exceed anything that you could accomplish with it at home. 

Sometimes, the best thing to do isn’t repurpose your old dog crate – but to give it to someone who needs it. This especially applies to extra-strong crates, which are pricey to buy new (but can be lifesaving for strong chewers!)

Exactly where you can take your crate varies from community to community. If you have a local animal shelter, you can ask them if they are currently in need of any crates. While dogs will spend much of their time in kennels, they may occasionally need to be crated – such as after surgery or during a quarantine. Crates are expensive, and most shelters can’t purchase them. 

In areas without animal shelters, you may want to donate it to your local vet office. Often, veterinarians end up working as an animal shelter in areas where there isn’t one. Most vets love animals and can’t turn away a hurt stray. After the dog is better, they often put them up for adoption. 

These vets may benefit from extra crates to keep animals in. Of course, we recommend calling and asking before you send your crate to them. Sometimes, they may not have enough room for a large crate. 

3 puppies in a crate

What Can I Donate to My Local Animal Shelter?

While you’re taking your crate to your local animal shelter, you may want to consider taking a few other items as well!

What your local shelter needs can vary. What they need probably depends mainly on what others have donated lately. Sometimes, they may have an abundance of one product because of a mass donation. For instance, some people host dog food drives for local shelters. After these drives, the shelters likely have plenty of food. 

Many shelters have a list of their requested items on their website – if they have one. Some have Facebook pages where they may request specific items that they need. Others may have Amazon Wish Lists of items that they need. Often, you can purchase these items directly from Amazon and have them shipped to the shelter. 

You can often look on the wish list for an idea of what they need. If you have these things lying around your home, they would likely appreciate the donation. 

If you can’t find any lists online, you can call the shelter directly and ask. They likely have a list of everyday things they need. 

Here is a general list of things that your local animal shelter might need. Remember, call and ask if they are currently accepting the items that you wish to donate. You don’t want to show up with a bunch of stuff they don’t have room for.

Here is a quick list of things that rescues and shelters often appreciate:

  • Unopened Pet Food
  • Beds and blankets
  • Towels
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Newspaper
  • Toys 
  • Leashes and collars
  • Office supplies

When Can I Stop Crating My Dog?

If your dog hasn’t outgrown their crate, we typically don’t recommend getting rid of it. Crating your dog shouldn’t stop when they are housetrained. 

If you have crate trained your dog correctly, their crate should be their “happy place.” You shouldn’t get rid of it simply because it provides your dog with its own space. This can be very helpful if your dog is feeling stressed. Instead of acting out, they can spend some time in their crate. 

You don’t necessarily have to crate your dog ever, but that doesn’t mean the crate won’t be helpful. 

Generally, you should continue to keep your unsupervised dog in a crate or pen until they are at least two. They tend to be a bit of a handful until then, and most dogs will cause trouble if they aren’t supervised. This is especially true for larger dogs, who tend to remain puppy-like for longer. 

Dogs shouldn’t mind being crated – as long as you have crate trained them properly. Most dogs will happily take a nap or chew on a special toy while they are in their crate. 

Many dogs will consider their crate their “room” after using it for two years. Therefore, we don’t recommend getting rid of it even though they don’t need to be confined to it anymore. 

What Do Animal Shelters Need Most?

The answer to this question varies from area to area. Shelters will likely be in dire need of different things at different times. Sometimes, they may need food desperately. Other times, they’ll be low on towels. 

When many people donate to animal shelters, they usually donate food. This is great since it is probably one of the things shelters need most. They can’t get by without food. 

However, this often means that they are missing other key donations. For instance, animal shelters are often in heavy need of towels. They use these for everything – from cleaning to dog beds. They end to go through them quickly, so more donations are always a suggestion. 

Many shelters are also in dire need of cat litter. This is a commonly overlooked donation, but they use it every day. They can’t get by without it, but it can be quite expensive for them to purchase it themselves. 

Bleach and other cleaning supplies are also highly recommended. They cannot get by without cleaning, but these supplies can go extremely fast. They have many animals to clean up after, so it is extremely important that they have the supplies to keep the shelter sanitary. 

These consumables are likely what most local shelters need. They go through them quickly, so they need to be constantly refilled with donations. However, they may also need a variety of other items, like leashes, dog bowls, and litter pans. 

Be sure to call and check if you’re interested in donating these items. Most shelters will never turn down food, but they may not need another dozen dog bowls. Plus, most of these shelters are not very large, so they can’t store large quantities of items that they don’t need. 

Dog in an animal shelter

Do You Need to Clean Your Crate Before Donating It?

Truthfully, any animal shelter or rescue is going to clean the crate after they receive a donation. They aren’t going to put a dog in it before they bleach it and rub it down very well. 

However, it isn’t very polite to turn in a crate without cleaning it first. Generally, you want to make sure that it is at least somewhat clean. You don’t have to bleach it, but ensure that there isn’t any obvious dirt and debris stuck onto the crate. 

If your dog was sick, we do recommend cleaning the crate very well. You don’t want to turn in a crate that is potentially carrying germs into an animal shelter – that is simply a disaster waiting to happen. 

In these cases, you should absolutely bleach it. We recommend cleaning it and then letting it sit for a bit.  The bleach should kill almost everything. But if you miss a spot, allowing it to sit should prevent any potential germs from contaminating the shelter. 

Can You Donate a Crate Your Dog Died in?

At the end of a dog’s life, it is often necessary to confine them. Perhaps they didn’t recover from surgery or were tempted to roam. Either way, these crates can usually be donated – with some conditions. 

It matters what your dog died from. If they died from cancer, it isn’t like their crate is contaminated with cancer germs. You generally don’t have to worry about anything in these cases. A quick cleaning and the crate should be ready to go. 

However, if your dog had something contagious, you probably need to take more precautions. You don’t want to introduce potentially deadly diseases into an animal shelter, after all. 

We highly recommend cleaning the crate very well. You should use bleach if at all possible. Wipe it down, being sure to get every nook where germs could be hiding. 

We then recommend leaving the crate to sit for about two weeks. Viruses and germs only survive for so long, and most of them do not survive past two weeks. Therefore, if you allow the crate to sit for a while, it should eliminate most of the germs. 

There is no reason to throw away a solid crate – even if your canine died in it. However, you should take a few more precautions just to be sure that the crate is not contaminated. 

How Big of a Crate Can You Donate?

You can usually donate any size crates. After all, shelters and rescues will usually have dogs of all sizes. However, some may not have room for very large crates, so you should always call and ask before you donate something. You don’t want to be turned away after hauling a large crate into your car. 

As always, be sure to call and check before you show up with things to donate. 

Final Thoughts

Usually, local shelters and rescues are the best places to donate your crates. While dogs are in kennels for much of the time in animal shelters, they can occasionally need crates. For instance, dogs can get sick and need quarantined. Some dogs may need to be contained after surgery, which crates are perfect for. 

If you don’t have any local rescues in need, you can consider donating to a thrift store that sells dog products. People can purchase the crate here for a lower price, which may help a family get one that wouldn’t otherwise. 

In small towns, local vet offices sometimes serve as animal shelters. At least, they often care for sick and stray dogs. In these cases, we recommend donating crates to them as well, especially if they have the room. 

While they aren’t a not-for-profit, many of them will absolutely appreciate it. 

You may also want to look at not-for-profit clinics, which usually offer discounted services. The ASPCA runs a few of these, for instance. 

Be sure you clean the crate before you donate it. In some cases, we recommend allowing it to sit for two weeks so that any potential viruses and bacteria perish before they are donated. The shelter will likely clean it as well, but it is always better to be safe. 

Of course, don’t donate your crate until you are sure you don’t need it anymore. Many dogs use their crate well into adulthood, often treating it like their bed. 

Just because they don’t need to be crated doesn’t mean that their crate won’t be helpful anymore. 

Author: Kristin

Author: Kristin

Kristin was born in Tennessee and currently lives there with her husband and children. She is passionate about educating pet parents and helping them make the best possible decisions for their pets. She currently owns one dog, two cats, a lizard, and a variety of fish.