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Research pet groups before donating

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Updated: January 31, 2013 6:38AM



Dear Ollie: On the last day of 2011, my pet family made the traditional year end donations to about three of their favorite animal welfare charities. These charities received our money and sent back a letter of appreciation to my pet parents. All went well and everyone had the warm feeling that only charitable giving can provide.

Well, by March 2012, my pet family began receiving an abundance of letters from various animal welfare organizations asking for donations.

My pet parents (dog and cat people) saved every request and deposited them in a black bag to review at the end of 2012.

So far, they have received 181 solicitations, including 51 pieces of mail from horse advocates.

The organizations have sent us address labels, calendars, nickels and tote bags to coax money from our family.

I’m listing the organizations asking for donations and how many requests were sent to us. Can you help us sort out which are good and which are not? The organizations and number of solicitations are:

Adopt a Pet, 1; African Wildlife Federation, 3; Alley Cat Allies, 5; America’s Vet Dogs, 1; American Anti-Vivisection Society, 2; American Humane Society, 6; Animal’s Angels, 6; Animal Place, 3; Animal Legal Defense Fund, 8; ASPCA, 17; Best Friends Animal Society, 15; Carolina Tiger Rescue, 7; Defenders of Wildlife, 8; DELTA Rescue, 2; Environmental Defense Fund, 4; Goodall Institute, 3; Humane SocietyWildlife Land Trust, 2; Humane Farming Association, 2; International Fund for Animal Welfare, 5; In Defense of Animals, 8; Lakeshore Paws, 1; Last Chance for Animals, 3; National Wildlife Federation, 2; National Anti-Vivisection Society, 2; NorthShore Animal League, 4; Pet Smart Charities, 3; Tiger Haven, 4; and World Wildlife Fund, 3.

Shadow, an Ogden Dunes Sheltie

Dear Shadow, I have no idea what to recommend from your list. All I can tell you is what is done here in my home.

My humans throw out requests from organizations they don’t know. Then they examine the ones with which they have had experience and select the causes they can support.

I know from the list you provided, they would donate to Lakeshore Paws because my woman-human knows the humans involved and it’s local.

I also recommend the ASPCA and the Humane Society of the United States because they do legal work on behalf of animals and will answer phone calls. If a pet owner has a question that needs an answer, and goes to the trouble of phoning an organization, the owner wants to speak with a real person.

I’m also fond of the Best Friends Animal Society because we know people who have volunteered at its pet sanctuary in Utah and attended its conferences.

In summary, do your research and develop relationships. There are many fine animal rescue groups in Northwest Indiana that don’t have the funds to run a mail campaign. Get to know which ones they are and keep them in mind when your family gets that warm, fuzzy, generous feeling.



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