Rhode Island SPCA

We speak for those who cannot speak for themselves

Service Learning Projects

Anyone who would like to make a difference in our community can help animals at the RISPCA. Whether a scout troop, a school group, or whoever would like to do something, you can choose a project and work on it from home or school. A variety of projects are detailed here. Groups may schedule a tour of our shelter or a classroom visit from our Humane Educator when you are finished with your project.

Unfortunately, the RISPCA is unable to provide any supplies because we need our money to take care of the animals here in our shelter.



Make toys to entertain the cats:

  • Fill clean plastic eggs with a small amount of dry cat food (no bells or beans, please; if the eggs open, these can pose a safety hazard to cats). Then glue the eggs shut and decorate the outside with permanent markers to make a fun rolling toy for our cats.
  • Make pipe cleaner toys for the cats. Bend them into all sorts of shapes!
  • Make catnip toys for the cats. Use square cuts of fabric. Put a little bit of catnip in the center and then draw up the edges of the fabric and tie together with a ribbon. Be sure to knot the ribbon so it doesn’t come apart.
  • Take clean, small socks and stuff with crinkly cellophane, and then tie the end of the sick with itself or using a knotted ribbon. Cats love crinkly sounds.

Make cat blankets:


  • Make no-sew fleece blankets. Cut two pieces of fabric, making them the same size and in the shape of a rectangle. Each piece should be about 2/3 of a yard. Lay one piece on top of the other and cut strips into the fabric on all 4 sides. Tie the fringes together two by two to make the blanket.
  • Small quilts can be made from cotton fabric scraps. This project will require sewing the pieces together and then backing the quilt with a same size piece of fabric or fleece.
  • Completed blankets should measure approximately 18 inches wide and 20-24 inches long, and be made from a washable fabric. They do not have to have filling, but if you choose to fill the blankets, use batting or pillow fluff that won’t clump in the wash.

Assemble Kitty Take-Home Bags for low-income seniors and families who need help caring for their pets. Purchase plastic litter pans and fill them with at food, kitty litter, cat toys – anything you can think of that cat owners need. Pass them out at food banks or shelters, or bring them to the RISPCA for animal control officers to give out to needy families.



Make Dog Blankets:

  • Make no-sew fleece blankets just as described above for the cats, but a lot bigger! Finished blankets should be about 3 feet by 4 feet.

Make Dog Toys:

7790a22b6e413aa0d245c7215ed17fe9Braid long strips of fleece (cut into 4 inch wide strips and about 3 feet long) into dog tug toys. Be sure to knot both ends really securely, and you can also put a knot or two in the center to make the toy more durable.

Make Dog Bandanas. With triangular shaped washable fabric, sew the edges neatly so the fabric doesn’t fray. You could also use pinking shears to make the bandanas a no-sew project. Then, using fabric markers or fabric paint, decorate the bandanas with “Adopt Me” or “Looking for Love”.

Make Fleece Dog Coats in a variety of sizes, if you’re handy with a sewing machine. These are particularly appreciated 8e294d97084f29ffd9ec169f2da49795by small dogs who come in and feel nervous and shiver, especially when they go on their walks. Here is one example of instructions, though a single layer, much simpler coat would be appreciated as well. http://compulsivecraftiness.com/2012/cozy-fleece-dog-coat-tutorial/




Make PVC Tough Toys

Photo and idea courtesy of ASPCA

Photo and idea courtesy of ASPCA

Assemble Doggie Take -Home Bags for low income seniors and families who need help caring for their pets. Use inexpensive canvas or recycled grocery tote bags and fill them with dog food, a leash, toys, rawhide or treats – anything you can think of that dogs need. Pass them out at food banks or shelters or bring them to the RISPCA for animal control officers to give out to needy families.



Courtesy of Artistic Garden, a great blog about birds.

Here’s the link for Artistic Garden, the home of the yellow bowl birds.

Make a Birdhouse. If you have any scrap wood and are handy with a tools, make a birdhouse out of wood. Instructions can be found at http://www.wikihow.com/Build-a-Birdhouse

Make a bird feeder from a clean milk jug (instructions on this project are available on the internet at http://www.wikihow.com/Build-a-Milk-Jug-Bird-Feeder Hang these up in your neighborhood.


WRITE AN ARTICLE about the RISPCA for your local or school paper, and highlight some of the animals currently up for adoption. Come visit us and meet the animals!

FUND RAISE to make money for the RISPCA shelter or purchase items for the shelter from the Wish List.

  • Make items such as magnets, scarves, or other special animal artwork that you can sell, and donate the proceeds to the RISPCA, or purchase items from the RISPCA’s Wish List for use at the shelter.
  • Make bookmarks with pictures of adoptable animals, laminate them and sell them at school or work.
  • Organize a yard sale to benefit animals. Send home a notice to parents and neighbors to donate gently used goods.
  • Hold an Animal Fair at school or at church. Design activities and games.
  • Build and Decorate Bookcases for our shelter library. You could also donate or collect from others books about different pet species and picture books with positive messages about pet care, compassion and humane treatment of animals.
  • Design & Build a Book and Game Cart with an animal theme for the lobby for small children.
  • Hold a Coin Collection. Hold a coin drive with a clever name such as Pennies for Pets, Dimes for Dogs, Cash for Cats, or Change for Critters. Set up donation canisters in your classroom (get approval first!) or at work to collect money for the animals. School classes can challenge other classrooms to see who can collect the most money. When you are done, count the change and have a bank turn it into a cashier’s check or money order for the RISPCA! This project requires very little time. Have fun and make a difference.
  • Organize a Fundraising Event. Hold a car wash or carnival and collect donations for the RISPCA. Ask local businesses to spread the word about caring for animals. Distribute information about the shelter at your event to help educate the public. Contact the RISPCA prior to your event and we can provide you with materials to hand out. You would need to provide all other supplies. Alternatively, teachers and parents: check out this wonderful PreKPages’ Service Learning Kit to create a service learning project for pre-K through K.

Thank You So Much from the Animals!!