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How to choose which animal charities to support

If you take a look at all the animal charities that exist, you’ll likely feel a little overwhelmed. There are programs available to help all animals, and if you look at dogs alone there are hundreds of groups you could donate to.

Unfortunately, some organizations do not do the work they say they do. Some do very little work at all, and some are even used for profit. Because of this, it’s important to spend the time researching an organization before making a donation.

Honey is up for adoption through the RSPCA

Is the group registered?

The internet is filled with information about animal charities. When we’re trying to decide where to donate, most of us start searching online for possible groups. While most of these groups are real and reputable, the internet also makes it easy for anyone to put up a web site and pretend to be an “animal welfare organization.” There is also never a clear-cut guarantee that all the money goes exactly where it should. One way to help determine whether the group is reputable is to verify it is indeed registered as a nonprofit or charitable group.

Social media

Make sure you also check out the organization’s social media presence. This will give you an idea about what the organization is up to and what others are saying about the organization. Look for updates about recent events with photos such as holiday fundraisers or recent adoption events with happy volunteers.


Do you know someone who donated money in the past to the charity you’re interested in? Do you know someone who fosters dogs for the group or someone who volunteers there? If so, talk to that person and see what he believes about that particular charity. You can also search blogs and forums to see what animal lovers are saying about the organization.

If you’re thinking of adopting a dog or cat from that particular group, don’t hesitate to ask for references from past adopters. The group should be more than happy to provide these. Ask the recent adopters if they would adopt a pet again through that particular organization and if they plan to continue supporting the group through donations or volunteering.

The RSPCA Choices Program

The RSPCA is an example of an animal welfare group that has set up a program to help people choose where to donate their money. When you want to donate money to a large organization like the RSPCA, you never know exactly what causes the money will go to.

RSPCA Choices offers people the opportunity to choose specifically what they want to support. They can choose from all the different programs currently offered through the RSPCA. This allows people to donate and have the certainty that their money will be properly spent according to their personal wishes. Some examples of current projects through the RSPCA include the animal cruelty line, the Putney Animal Hospital and the Wild Things project, which educates children about respecting wild animals. Each project has a specific target amount it needs, and you can also look at past projects already completed.

The bottom line is you can always find a group worth receiving your money, but you need to put in the research to find the right group for you.

What charitable organizations do you support?

Note: This is a guest post from the RSPCA.


Monday 23rd of December 2013

I support my favorite local shelter ( which brings dogs to New England from high kill shelter down South. I also support the World Society for the Protection of Animals and the International Fund for Animal Welfare because of the work they do in developing countries where animals are understandably not the most pressing issue.

Lindsay Stordahl

Monday 23rd of December 2013

Thank you Karen. Good to know.