Furry friends at Helping Paws Animal Shelter have made their Christmas lists.

Supplies are needed, cash donations are welcomed, sponsorship opportunities are available and membership is essential in keeping the Woodstock no-kill shelter at 2500 Harding Lane on its feet. 

While keeping animals safe and secure is important, adoption is the shelter’s No. 1 goal. Instead of buying a pet from a pet store, which exacerbates the puppy mill dilemma, Sherry Gelasi, vice president of Helping Paws, encourages adoption.  

However, Gelasi doesn’t advise giving pets as Christmas gifts. Instead, she recommends purchasing a gift card to the shelter for a loved one who may wish to adopt an animal. This allows the recipient to go through the proper adoption and interview process, then select the animal of their choosing for their “forever family.”

If donations are more in line with your personal needs, a “Guardian Angel” sponsorship is a unique opportunity to honor the memory of a pet who has passed while giving a shelter animal the gift of life. A small plaque is created with the sponsor’s special message. Plaques are attached to a kennel at the shelter. 

Time is another huge gift an individual can offer. 

Gelasi lights up when speaking of the many ways to volunteer time at Helping Paws. 

“Everyone has a special talent,” she said. “Not everyone likes to work directly with the animals. Sometimes people don’t want to come to the shelter and work with the animals because it makes them sad. We have volunteer opportunities that have very little contact with the animals. We have projects that can be done remotely. We appreciate all kinds of help.”

For more information on volunteering, making a donation or adopting a pet, visit helpingpaws.net.

​Helping Paws Christmas Wish List

  • Bleach
  • Paper towels
  • Purina Kitten Chow (dry)
  • HE High Efficiency liquid laundry detergent
  • Heavy duty rubber gloves
  • Hard rubber dog toys (Kong, Dogzilla)
  • Tall kitchen garbage bags
  • Brooms with dustpans
  • Kitten formula (KMR or Hartz)
  • Large liquid hand soap refills
  • Dog clasp collars (not buckle), all sizes
  • Dog leashes, all sizes



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