It’s the holiday season, and whatever you celebrate, the spirit of generosity is in the air. Giving Tuesday, which takes place the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.
In this antidote to the year-end shopping frenzy, you’re encouraged to donate to organizations working to make the world a better place. Of course, for dog people, that means supporting causes that improve the lives of our four-legged friends.
From breed-specific dog rescues to national animal welfare organizations, these are some of the worthiest “pet causes” for your Giving Tuesday contributions.
PACT is a non-profit organization that provides temporary foster homes to the pets of hospital patients and military personnel. All PACT Programs are free to the people and pets being served, and while pets are in foster care, foster families are in constant contact with the military/hospitalized owners, providing comfort and reassurance during a difficult time.
The Animal Care League, established in 1974, is a limited-admission shelter located in Oak Park, Illinois. They help homeless dogs, cats, and other small pets by providing food, shelter, medical attention, and care until a loving home is found. This GivingTuesday, a generous donor will match every donation dollar-for-dollar. Your gift of $20 will become $40, helping even more pets in need.
Originally formed in 1999 to serve high-risk dogs in the San Francisco area, these days, BADRAP has evolved into a top-ranked animal welfare organization. They provide education and resources to dog owners, shelters, and animal welfare leaders. They also rescue pit bulls and place them in loving homes. A GivingTuesday donation to BADRAP supports their mission to secure the future of the American Pit Bull Terrier as a cherished family companion.
Pets of the Homeless is a national organization dedicated to providing food and medical care to the pets of people experiencing homelessness. For Giving Tuesday, you can make a financial gift online, or help organize a food and supplies donation site in your own town.
You may also seek out an organization close to home that provides similar services. For example, here in Oregon, the Portland Animal Welfare Team provides free veterinary care to the pets of people who are homeless or living in extreme poverty.
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Speaking of local causes: Pacific Pug Rescue is an Oregon-based, volunteer-run group that rescues, rehabilitates, and places unwanted, neglected and abused pugs in permanent adoptive homes. Your GivingTuesday donation supports their efforts to educate the public about the breed, including its personality, health issues and care, and about the importance of domestic animal population control.
Of course, there are countless breed-specific rescue groups for every breed imaginable, so you can direct your dollars to the one that best matches your interests. (But honestly, who doesn’t love a pug?)
Canine Companions enhances the lives of people with disabilities by breeding, training, and matching assistance dogs, and providing ongoing support to ensure a great, lifelong match. Based in California, Canine Companions is “the largest non-profit provider of assistance dogs” in America.
Canine Companions’ dogs and services are provided free of charge to people with disabilities. Your GivingTuesday donation supports their life-changing work.
Based in, you guessed it, Seattle, the Seattle Humane Society is an open-door animal shelter with no time limits. In other words, a pet that enters the shelter will be cared for as long as it takes to find them a new home!
In addition to making a general donation, you can direct your support to more vulnerable shelter residents through Sammie’s Fund for Senior Dogs.
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One of the longest-running animal welfare organizations in the country, the Louisiana SPCA has been committed to serving the needs of the people and animals in and around New Orleans for over 125 years. New Orleans is a tough place to be a shelter animal, and your support can make a huge difference in the life of a dog in need.
Paws for Life is a partnership between Karma Dog Rescue and the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation. The program brings rescued shelter dogs to live full-time with inmates at California State Prison – Los Angeles County. Over a twelve-week cycle, inmates train rescue dogs for ‘Canine Good Citizen’ certification. The dogs become more adoptable, and the inmates learn a valuable skill, connect to the world beyond the prison walls, and benefit from a therapeutic relationship with an animal. Donate here.
FSD enhances the lives of people with disabilities by rescuing dogs and custom training them for individual client needs. Their clients include kids and adults, and all of their dogs come from shelters and rescue groups.
The Operation Freedom program matches returning veterans with highly specialized service dogs that help them find a new level of independence in their post-combat life. A GivingTuesday donation to FSD will help dogs and humans in need.
11. Your Local Animal Shelter or Rescue
GivingTuesday is mobilized online, but encourages support within your local community. The list above includes a few our personal favorite dog-related charitable organizations, but this is barely the tip of the #GivingTuesday iceberg!
For maximum impact in your own community, find a dog rescue or animal shelter in your home town. You can donate money, supplies or volunteer time to help dogs and the people who love them. After all, ’tis the season of giving!