At the end of the year, a lot of people start thinking about charitable donations. It could be the generous spirit comes from the holiday season, or it could be a mad dash to get in some tax deductions – I don’t judge. Either way, one thing that is on a lot of minds is what kinds of charities they should be supporting. Unfortunately, when you look deeper into many well-known charities, you find that your money isn’t really as helpful as you thought. So in the spirit of giving, I’ve done some research for you into nine charities that support dogs. Animal lovers, prepare your wallets.
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Here’s a charity that offers a perfect example of what I meant when I said you could donate without money. This is an app that you put on your phone, that tracks your steps or running miles for a day. For every mile, it will donate a few cents (up to a quarter) to a local shelter or a dog charity of your choice, from their list of charities. You can also choose to sponsor a specific animal through their shelter network if you like the idea of having a cute doggie face attached to your dollars. No, you won’t be setting any donation records – but if you walk your dog every day, or you like to go on long runs, it doesn’t cost you anything to put this app on your phone, so why not? Just grab the dog leash and hit the pavement to make some dog’s life much easier.
Do you have a senior dog that you love? Or do you want to honor the memory of a senior family dog? The Grey Muzzle Organization funds programs that help senior dogs get adopted, get medical treatment, and so on. They fund rescue groups and senior dog sanctuaries, which are pretty rare. They also have grants for other nonprofit canine organizations – they’ve given away one million dollars in nine years to other organizations that help older dogs. This is a fantastic organization to send your dollars to if you don’t really know what you want to do other than support better lives for dogs. They’ll put your money to good use.
If you want to fund a nonprofit that has a big brand attached to it – sometimes the visibility makes people feel more comfortable about donating – this one is a reputable charity to choose. They fund veterinary medicine programs that would otherwise not have enough money to research and develop treatments and cures for many canine diseases. They also offer grants for veterinary students, but their main focus is on delivering real results in the field of disease cures. If you’ve ever needed to give your dog a joint supplement, it’s very likely that the research that taught us what types of supplements to use came from charity dollars donated to this organization.
Here’s another big one that focuses on veterinary science research for dogs, although the AKC organization specifically focuses on research and development for pure bred dogs. That doesn’t mean the research doesn’t also benefit mutts – but it is something to know if you’re weighing where you want to donate. This organization is the name behind the One Health movement, which also fosters environmental health action, linking that to animal health. This is a very large corporation – they’ve got about 35 different grants that they give out yearly, totaling around two million dollars that all go towards researching cures for things like epilepsy and lymphoma in dogs.
Although you may never have heard of the Morris Animal Foundation, they are actually quite a large nonprofit that specifically supports Golden Retrievers, although their research into cancers and other health problems does impact other breeds. They do a lot of study into canine behavior, genetics, and nutrition, as well. They are the organization behind the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, so if this breed has your heart, this is a great organization to fund. A lot of what we know about the way dogs respond to clicker training and positive reinforcement comes from this group.
Here’s one that is a bit smaller and less well-known, but it’s something that many pet owners will find hits close to the heart. If you’ve ever been in a situation where you couldn’t afford a vet bill, you’ll know how terrible it can be to have to watch your pet suffer, or to have to sell off something or take on extra hours, just to get necessary medical care for your furry family member. The Pet Fund is a non-profit organization that offers assistance to pet owners who can’t afford an unexpected vet bill. The organization gets hundreds of calls every day asking for assistance, and in order to ensure that only animals who are in real need get the help, they focus on cases where the dog has something like curable cancer, heart disease, kidney disease, or a chronic condition. The Pet Fund also helps owners get in touch with clinical studies and veterinary schools, where their dog could get medical treatment for free or a lower cost. This one has only been around for a few years, but it’s a worthy place to invest your money.
The National Canine Cancer Foundation spends hundreds of thousands of dollars every year in funding research for canine cancer. That is their only focus, and their money goes to a variety of research organizations that look into just about any type of canine cancer. Giving to this organization would be a lovely way to remember a dog that passed due to cancer. The research funded by this organization has helped us get better diagnostic methods, better treatments, and even potential cures in some cases.
This is an organization dedicated solely to the rescue and care of German Shepherds, and specifically funds shelters where Shepherds are trained to be service dogs. It’s an older organization that doesn’t get a lot of attention, but they are still faithfully supporting the rescue, care, and training of German Shepherds around the country. If this breed has your heart, this would be a lovely organization to donate to.
Finally, a good place to donate if you want to help dogs in your local area, and actually see where your money is going, is to your local nonprofit dog group. For most places, this will be your local chapter of the Humane Society. However, there is some controversy surrounding the Humane Society’s use of funds that may put some donors off. So, I would suggest looking for nonprofit shelters in your area (meaning, shelters not run by the city or town governing body) and donate to them. Or you can often find nonprofit rescue groups in your area, such as Second Chance, and donate to them to support foster dogs in your area. A quick Google search, or asking around the local dog shelter, will usually turn up a few local organizations that you can approach with donations.
Now that you’ve got nine excellent options for where to donate to support dogs, I want to talk about other ways that you can support them without money. Not everyone has it, or your charity dollars may go elsewhere – and that’s okay. Just because I think Janice and Leroy are better than most people, doesn’t mean everyone should stop sending their charity donations to humanitarian efforts. If you want some other ideas on how to help dogs, here are a few:
These are all great ways to pitch in when you don’t have the cash to spare, or want to be more hands-on with your dog advocacy. You’ll have to talk to your accountant about the details, but there are also ways to write off your volunteer activities when it comes to your taxes, so be aware of that.
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As you can see, there are a lot of ways that you can get involved with helping out dogs. Whether you send money to an organization, track your walking miles for a few cents here and there, or get your community involved, you’re doing something wonderful for animals in need. You can choose to honor the memory of your late pet, or help out your favorite breed through breed-specific charities. Or you can find charities that focus on specific illnesses and donate to the cure research. Whatever you think needs attention in the canine world – whether that be better love for senior dogs, or fewer strays on the streets – you can find a way to donate or help out.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go cuddle my dogs and send out a few of my own dollars to some excellent charities.