Giving the Gift of Time or Money
For many pet owners and lovers, helping animals is a cause that is near and dear to their hearts. However, countless people don’t know exactly how to get started or what to look for in a charitable organization that reflects their own beliefs.
Finding a good animal charity to donate to takes time and research, so it’s important that you thoroughly examine any potential organization you donate your time or money to, and examine how they use their funds to support their cause.
National Pet Charities
There are countless organizations in need of charitable donations; here is a sampling of a few:
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), is the nation's largest animal protection organization, and is America's mainstream force against cruelty, exploitation and neglect. The organization seeks social change for animals by advocating public policies, educating the public about animal issues and joining with corporations on behalf of animal-friendly policies, among other topics.
Charitable causes such as the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, Vested Interest in K9s, Canine Companions, the Helen Woodward Animal Center and Catalyst for Cats are national organizations Veterinary Pet Insurance has partnered with to assist pets in need.
Consider becoming involved in smaller pet charities in your community, such as Boston Buddies of Southern California and the German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County, two organizations to which VPI has contributed.
VPICares.com showcases pet charities to which VPI has partnered with across the nation. You can get involved by contacting those organizations directly, or join VPI's community of social media platforms to follow these success stories.
Pet Charity Resources
Not sure which charity is right for you? There are online resources, such as Charity Navigator, that can help you evaluate potential charities and help you make an informed decision.
Consider donating your time to help bathe dogs or clean their kennels, change cat litter boxes, wash blankets or simply play with the animals.
Of course, national organizations aren’t the only charities that could benefit from donations. There are many local organizations—possibly even in your own neighborhood—that would be grateful for any donation, no matter how small, or a few hours of your time a week.
Don’t know where to find local pet charities? Ask friends and colleagues for recommendations. Online resources such as Google can quickly offer you the names of pet charity Web sites based in your area. Also, think about consulting your local chamber of commerce. They should be able to provide you with a list of local pet shelters in the area, or possibly even make you aware of local pet fundraising opportunities or events in which you can become involved.
Donate Supplies to Pet Charities
Before donating pet supplies to your area pet shelter or organization, call ahead to get an idea of what items they need most. Basic items such as dog and cat food, cat litter, blankets or pet beds and toys are usually in high demand. You might also consider non-obvious items such as laundry detergent, brooms, garbage bags or other cleaning agents kennel staff members can use on a daily basis.
Donate Your Time to Pet Charities
Sometimes, what many local pet shelters and organizations need most are volunteers. Consider donating your time to help bathe dogs or clean their kennels, change cat litter boxes, wash blankets or simply play with the animals.
While it may not be the most appealing or glamorous job, volunteering at pet charities benefits the organization as well as you. By brightening an animal’s day and lending a hand to overworked kennel operators, you can give yourself a pat on the back for doing a good deed and helping out a neighborhood organization.