Take your time deciding where donations should go

I received this email regarding the article I recently wrote discussing the dogs of Sochi and felt it a relevant subject to cover:

Hello,

I’ve read your column this morning and did respond to the HSI link to the IOC over the repulsive dog exterminations. I would like to know which charity you think is the best to donate to, since I get so many pleas for help, and always hope the money I send goes to really help. Horse slaughter bothers me terribly, and I give to Humane Society Legislative Fund, hoping it is a good charity. I would value your opinion so much and thank you!

Thank you for your response and contribution in submitting the letter to the International Olympic Committee. I personally cannot understand how it allows this to continue, but I am hopeful that enough people will protest.

There are so many organizations that need assistance, it is difficult to know to which to contribute. My thoughts, when I initially read about the athletes trying to adopt the dogs of Sochi, reflected on the many homeless animals we have here in the United States.

As I researched the Humane Society Legislative Fund’s purpose, its website (hlsf.org) offered the following in the About Us link: “The Humane Society Legislative Fund was formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. HSLF works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal levels, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office. HSLF is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions or gifts to HSLF are not tax deductible. Your donation may be used for lobbying to pass laws to protect animals, as well as for political purposes, such as supporting or opposing candidates.”

While this fund undoubtedly provides beneficial support on state and national levels, I prefer to support the animals in our local community shelters.

If looking for an organization to donate funds to, I encourage you to look over petfinder.com. On the page found by clicking “Shelters and Rescues” in the menu bar, you will find a location search for registered organizations in the United States, Canada and Mexico. There are more than 14,000 animal shelters and adoption organizations in the Petfinder database. This list does not include local county animal control shelters.

Scrolling through the pages listing shelters and rescues, I was amazed at the multitude of kind-hearted people who spend time, money and resources caring for homeless pets.

There are five registered shelters listed for Grand Junction. The list continues sequentially into neighboring counties ultimately expanding in a geographical diameter to encompass Petfinder’s entire parameters. Small or large organization contributions ultimately will save many lives, the decision of which group to assist depends on where your heart leads you.   

When donating to any association, I recommend doing some research to determine its validity. A registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization allows for tax deductible contributions. Donations go toward food and care, finding permanent homes for homeless pets and educating people on responsible pet ownership.

Being a locally-minded person, I think we need to take care of our own before we try to save the world. However, the Humane Society and ASPCA are incredible organizations that benefit communities worldwide and your financial assistance to either would undoubtedly help many animals.

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah always tops my list. They help so many animals that may never find a home. 

Your determination on the importance of your contribution, whether it be local or international, is absolutely justifiable. Homeless animals everywhere need our help.

Charlé Thibodeau has been passionate pet caregiver for more than 30 years and is the owner of Ah, Natural! Ltd. If you have a pets question you would like Thibodeau to answer in her column, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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