A readership study at Animalfair.com found that 84 percent of pet parents will give their furry pals gifts this holiday season. But do they really need more toys? Here are a few unusual gifts that will make a difference.

1 Every year, animal lovers adopt dogs and cats, but have you ever thought about adopting a gorilla? Through the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, you can give a donation, and an endangered gorilla will be cared for in your name. For more information on how you can have your very own Donkey Kong, visit www.goril

2 This holiday season, give the gift of protection to endangered animals that can’t defend themselves. Honorary board member Leonardo DiCaprio already has the International Fund for Animal Welfare on his Christmas list, and you can check it out at www.ifaw.org.

3 Bring Pets Home (www.bringpetshome.org) is working with a whopping 140 retail stores — including Wal-Mart, Zales and Macy’s — to help the millions of shelter pets find loving homes for the holidays. All you have to do is purchase those perfect red shoes or that new blender, and a portion of your purchase is automatically donated to shelters.

– Wendy Diamond is a pet lifestyle expert, author, animal rescue advocate and editorial director of Animal Fair magazine, www.animalfair.com


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