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Pet charities you may not know exist

Donating to a pet-related charity is something that puts a smile on your face and a warm feeling in your heart. At the end of the day, you know the donation you make will make a difference in the lives of the pets that organization serves.

You can certainly donate to your local charity or rescue organization, and if you’re looking for unique pet-related charities to bestow a donation upon, here are a few to consider.

Pet Charities With Unique Missions

World Vets has tasked itself with developing, implementing and managing international veterinary and disaster relief programs to help animals, educate people and have a positive impact on communities. The organization works to improve animal welfare and alleviate suffering. It also works to prevent the spread of diseases from animals to humans and provides disaster relief efforts for animals and people who may remain in dangerous situations if the needs of their animals are not addressed. 

Best Friends Animal Society has set itself a lofty goal: “Bring about a time when there are no more homeless pets.” The organization plans to do this by helping put an end to the killing of animals in America’s animal shelters by building community programs and partnerships across the nation. The society operates a sprawling animal sanctuary outside Salt Lake City, which is home to hundreds of cats, dogs, horses, and even birds, many with special needs.

Photographer, Lori Fusaro said in an interview with Figo, “Best Friends has made such a difference in so many animals’ lives. We have an extensive group of fantastic volunteers that work with the animals on a daily basis. Our staff organizes hikes for the dogs, agility courses, kennel snuggle time and playgroups. Cat playgroups happen weekly and volunteers spend one-on-one time with the kitties.”

Red Paw Emergency Relief Team is an emergency services, nonprofit organization run by firefighters. It works in conjunction with the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management, the Philadelphia Fire Department, the American Red Cross and other public and private disaster relief organizations. The firefighters provide emergency assistance including search & rescue, emergency transport, shelter and veterinary care to animals involved in fires and other residential disasters. Read more about the Red Paw team in this interview with the organization’s Chief Operating Officer, Lori Albright.


Animal Welfare Institute. This organization uses close to 92% of all monies it receives to focus its efforts on preventing the cruelty of animal factories. The initiatives the Animal Welfare Institute is involved in include everything from efforts to keep whaling illegal to abolishing factory farms. They also work to preserve species threatened with extinction, among other animal-focused initiatives.

D.E.L.T.A. (Dedication & Everlasting Love To Animals) This unique No Kill, Care-For-Life sanctuary has more than 1,500 animals, including 800 dogs who were personally rescued by the president and founder, Leo Grillo. The rescue does not adopt out the rescued animals to the public. Grillo is quoted as saying, “I’d rather not be a hero, adopting out our animals and stealing homes away from animals in the pound—wonderful animals who will be killed only because they can’t find new homes.”

PetSmart Charities wants to end animal homelessness and its efforts have facilitated 1 out of every 10 pet adoptions in America. This group of animal lovers is committed to ending pet homelessness. It has invested in more than 3,000 rescue groups across North America and have help more than 7 million pets find their forever homes.

Reviewing Pet Charities

Deciding which charity to donate to is a personal decision and one you should research to assure their mission and vision intersect with the change you’d like to see made in the world of animal welfare. There are also several neutral sites and databases that provide information on the organization’s direct impact and program expenses, operating and administrative spend, and transparency. These sites include Charity Navigator, Guidestar and (operated by the Better Business Bureau). Keep in mind, some non-profit ratings sites collect association fees from charities to provide this information free to the public.

Ways to Give to Pet Charities

You can gift one of the “big” animal rescue organizations with your donation, or you can look to one of these groups as a beneficiary of your estate. If you don’t have the additional cash in your family budget to make a financial donation, we know that the one item that shelters are continually clamoring: the donation of time! Spend time at a shelter or rescue organization walking the dogs, cuddling the kitties, cleaning cages and litterboxes to help the shelter workers who dedicate themselves to the welfare of animals awaiting forever homes.

Robbi Hess, award-winning author, is multi-petual: She shares her home with two Devon Rex kittens, three adult rescue cats, a mini poodle, a Goldendoodle, three lizards and two ferrets. When not caring for her pets, she is an editor, speaker, time management and productivity guru, content creator, social media manager and blogger. She writes at All Words MatterMy Divas Dish, and is the story editor and chief cat herder at Positively Woof.

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