We all have our wish list of gifts we would like for the holidays. Our four-legged friends have lists as well: a blanket; a package of treats; or something as basic as paper towels. Dogs, cats and horses waiting to be adopted all have one thing at the top of their wish lists: a forever home and someone to love and care for them.

I called some of my favorite local animal organizations to find out what their needs are and how people can contact them.

Adopt-A-Dog in Armonk, N.Y., has made it easy for supporters to donate items by visiting their website at www.adopt-a-dog.org and clicking on donations from Amazon. You can order treats, food, leashes and toys directly from Amazon and have them delivered to Adopt-A-Dog. While you are on their website check out all the dogs and cats looking for a home. Perhaps this holiday season you can give yourself a gift of a furry friend.

Project Precious Rescue is another local group run by volunteers.

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They are desperate for donations of food, bowls, leashes, kitty litter and litter boxes. They would be happy to pick up any donations by contacting them at projectpreciousrescue@gmail.com.

Over the state border in Montgomery, N.Y., Squirrelwood Equine Sanctuary, www.squirrelwoodequinesanctuaryinc.org, is doing a great job rescuing horses that would otherwise be sent to slaughter in Mexico and Canada. With the cold weather here, they are desperate for blankets for the horses.

But their greatest need is for feed, hay and shavings that can be purchased from their supplier Heritage Feed. Give them a call at 845-361-4081.

Squirrelwood is always looking for a good home for their wonderful animals. If you have a budding equestrian in your family, visit Squirrelwood and I am sure you will find the perfect horse.

PAWS, www.pawsct.org, in Norwalk can use dog and cat toys and pet beds.

But if you can believe it, their greatest need is for paper towels, laundry detergent and Clorox.

So the next time you are at the supermarket, pick up some of these items and give PAWS a call at 203-750-9572 or e-mail them at shelterdirector@paws.ct.

The Ridgefield Operation Animal Rescue (ROAR), www.roar-ridgefield.org, is more than just a shelter. It also trains owners and their dogs to give back to the community through its therapy dog program.

The dogs visit area nursing homes and area schools to help children with special needs.

The shelter's wish list includes chew toys for teething puppies, beds for dogs and cats and gift cards from Costco, Petco and Staples. The pet food pantry at the shelter enables people who are having financial difficulties get food for free so they can keep their dog or cat. ROAR can be reached at roarshelter@sbcglobal.net.

If you are having a holiday party this year at either your home or office, consider asking everyone to bring pet food or toys that can be distributed to one of these organizations.

I am in awe of all the good work our local animal rescue organizations do with very little money.

Most of them rely heavily on volunteers to clean cages, feed the animals and take dogs for a walk.

Many pet owners have had to give up their animals because they can no longer afford food and vet bills. This means our shelters are full and caring for these animals costs money.

So I urge you to put an animal welfare organization on your gift list this year.

New Canaan resident Cathy Kangas is a member of the board of directors of the Humane Society of the United States. She can be reached at cathy@praibeauty.com.