It may not be Girl Scout Cookie Season, but this story is just as sweet. 🍪

Meet Girl Scout Troop 2286. When it came time to pick a project for their “Bronze Award”, the girls decided to support animals in their community by making “Pet Starter Packs” for dogs and cats in their communities.

The scouts spent time learning what supplies would be needed, shopping for the best prices and tie-dying the pillowcases. Each pillowcase was transformed into a bag and filled with the supplies a family would need to care for a pet during the first few days in its new home.

The bags had items such as dog/cat food, bowls, toys, litter boxes and scoops, and dog/cat treats. Labels were also attached so we could easily identify which bags were for dogs vs. cats.


Girl Scout Troop 2286 with JHS team member Allie Plummer.
Not only will this project benefit families and pets in our town, but the girls learned many valuable lessons. They researched supplies needed to care for pets, comparison shopped, designed a bag that serves dual purposes as a pillowcase, and even learned how to tie-dye! Perhaps the biggest lesson of all was the joy that comes from helping others.

The project also has another layer – sustainability. According to Troop Leader Débora McCarty, “We are providing a simple flyer to be posted on the Jax Humane Society’s counter, so all who come can see how easy it is to put a bag together. We are also spreading the word on social media.”

Each bag had a label for “dog” or “cat” and supplies inside.
As a local, independent 501c3 non-profit, the Jacksonville Humane Society relies on donations to support our mission. Donations come in all shapes and sizes – some even come in tie-dyed pillowcases. We are delighted that these young ladies chose to support keeping pets and people together. As we say … generosity breeds joy!

If you would like to conduct a similar project, here are the steps to take:

  1. Answer the following questions – how do you care for a dog or cat? what supplies are needed?
  2. Decide how you will purchase the necessary items. Shop around!
  3. Purchase pillowcases and tie-dye.
  4. Make a list of items to go in each bag. Label as dog or cat.
  5. Select an animal shelter in your area and deliver!

More Info:

Find other fun ideas on the JHS Pinterest:

In case of an emergency, being prepared is always the safest bet! Here’s a checklist of items that you can include in your disaster kit for your pets:

  1. Food & water for at least 5 days, per pet
  2. Medications & medical info in a waterproof container – if you are planning to board your pets or go to a pet-friendly shelter, bring up-to-date vaccination records
  3. Sturdy leashes, collars with identification, carriers to transport your pets
  4. Cat litter, litter box, scoop and garbage bags – don’t forget poop bags for dogs!
  5. Current photos of your pets with descriptions
  6. Written information for your pets that includes medication and behavior info, in case you have to leave your pets in boarding or foster care

Other useful items include:

Click here for a printable version of this checklist.

If you are a Duval County resident and need to evacuate, please click here to find your government-operated pet-friendly shelter or use the JaxReady app. Pet-friendly shelters include Mandarin MiddleLandmark MiddleLegends Community Center and Chimney Lakes Elementary School.*

In Duval County, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (buses, skyway, trolley) will allow certain animals on their vehicles during state of emergency situations. Click here for more information.*

Below is a list of websites to help you find pet-friendly motels:

Do you care for feral or community cats? Click here for a guide on how to best prepare.

Click here to read more about preparing for disaster with your pet from the ASPCA. Thank you for keeping your pets safe during storms!

*This information is subject to change. Always verify with the City of Jacksonville website.