Our furry, four-legged shelter friends truly depend on us for survival and literally have Wish Lists, from food to medical supplies, toys and shelter cleaning supplies.

Our donations make a difference.

Within 100 miles in and around New Hampshire, there are roughly 1,500 dogs up for adoption, and that's just on petfinder.com.  That doesn't include our myriad of shelters around the state. It's almost too overwhelming to think about.

So in this giving season, while you're collecting canned goods and coats, consider picking up some items for pets still hoping to find that forever home.

The New Hampshire SPCA and The New Hampshire Humane Society have lists of what they're looking for, and you can bet that these lists mirror even the smaller, lesser known rescues around the Seacoast as well as the state.

Here is a general list of 7 ideas hitting the various wish lists for these shelters.

1) Cash is king

To absolutely no one's surprise, monetary donations are always welcome. Why? Surprisingly, our state's Humane Society doesn't receive any government assistant.

It survives on donations from you and me. As their website points out, "it comes down to our community friends to aid our animals in need. Thank you for your support!"

And you can simply donate online in just a couple of easy steps.

2) Food

Shelters ALWAYS need food.  If you have a pet, you know how quickly food disappears, so imagine trying to feed lots of dogs at least twice a day.  This of course goes for our feline friends, too.

3) Toys

From plush toys to chew toys, to squeaky ones, and rough-and-tough ones, the next time you're running errands, stop into a pet store or the pet aisle when you're grabbing groceries and pick up a couple of toys.

Mental wellness is so important and just like we smile when we're having fun, these homeless pets do, too.

4) Medical Care Items

Rubber gloves, scrubs, and litter boxes are just a few items that are necessary. Often the little babies don't have their moms to nurse so nipple bottles are helpful.

5) Cleaning Supplies

Mops to paper towels and bleach, imagine what you need when cleaning your house and multiply that for a shelter filled with homeless pups and kittens.

6) Grooming Supplies and Blankets

Pet wipes, brushes, towels, and blankets are always needed to keep these cuties comfortable and camera-ready for possible new family members dropping.

7) Gift Cards

If you're not sure what these shelters are especially desperate for, and trust me, using the word desperate isn't an exaggeration, then gift cards to pet stores, Target, or Walmart are beyond helpful.

From sponsoring a cage to corporate events, there are so many ways to help all year round, as well.

On a side note, dogs and cats aren't the only animals up for adoption.  Often, some animals like horses, just need a place to live and the shelter is it.

So the out of the ordinary is always helpful, too, and each shelter can let you know what's on that wish list.

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