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10 Dog Causes to Donate to This Holiday Season

Holidays make many people open their wallets to help causes they care about, and dog lovers are no exception.

Heather Marcoux  |  Dec 24th 2014


With the holiday gift-giving season in full swing, many of us are feeling extra generous this time of year — and that’s good news for charities and nonprofits that depend on donations to help save animals. Whether you’re making a donation on behalf of yourself, or in lieu of a gift to a loved one, there are plenty of dog-loving organizations that will be grateful for your holiday cheer.

1. SpayUSA

If you want to give the gift of low-cost spay and neuter surgeries to your fellow Americans this holiday season, then North Shore Animal League America’s SpayUSA program is a great place to send a donation. This organization has been helping to lessen pet overpopulation since 1993, and it believes that spay and neuter services should never be out of reach for anyone who owns a dog (or cat).

2. America’s Vet Dogs

Support members of the military by donating to America’s Vet Dogs this holiday season. The nonprofit organization began as an offshoot of the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind and has grown rapidly. It continues to provide guide dogs to blind veterans, but it also gives service dogs to vets with other disabilities and places physical and occupational therapy dogs and stress-control dogs. When making a donation to America’s Vet Dogs, you have the option to donate in memory of a person or animal in your life. You can even have a card mailed to someone to inform them of the donation you’ve made in tribute.

3. National Mill Dog Rescue

Several National Mill Dog Rescue alumni were profiled as Dogster Monday Miracles in 2014. NMDR saves breeding dogs the mills are discarding, and it works to educate the puppy-buying public about what life is really like for these dogs, who spend their lives caged, producing litter after litter. The organization has placed more than 9,000 former breeding dogs in happy homes across the U.S since 2007 and accepts donations by mail or online.

4. Canadian Federation of Humane Societies

This one is for our Canuck readers. The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies helps SPCAs and Humane Societies across the Great White North help animals. The CFHS is committed to educating Canadians about the realities of backyard breeding and puppy mills, and promoting the responsible adoption of homeless pets through local human societies and SPCAs. During the holiday season, if you donate in a loved-one’s name, they will receive a special card from a symbolic animal mascot.

5. Pets of the Homeless

One of our 2014 Dogster Heroes, Pets of the Homeless is dedicated to helping homeless people in the United States and Canada care for their companion animals. The nonprofit provides dog and cat food to homeless shelters and soup kitchens to distribute to homeless people with pets. The organization also provides emergency veterinary care and helps get crates into homeless shelters so pets can stay with their owners overnight. You can make a donation online.

6. Hope For Paws

The videos produced by Los Angeles-based rescue Hope For Paws are tear-inducing, and the results of the organization’s rescues make for stunningly different before and after shots. Over the past couple of years, Dogster has extensively covered Hope For Paws’ founder Eldad Hagar’s knack for saving the most fearful stray dogs on the streets of L.A. The organization has attracted hundreds of thousands of Facebook followers and plenty of international media attention, but the nonprofit is, of course, still looking for donations to fund the care of these dogs who so desperately need human help.

7. 4 Paws for Ability

This nonprofit out of Ohio is educating society about the use of service dogs in public places, while also helping children and veterans find service dogs of their own. 4 Paws for Ability trains services dogs to help with a variety of physical differences, with dogs specializing in hearing assistance, autism assistance, mobility assistance, diabetes alerts, seizure alerts, and more. A gift to 4 Paws for Ability this holiday season could be a gift to a family awaiting a service dog.

8. The American Pit Bull Foundation

Pit Bulls are up against a lot of bias and misinformation in today’s world, but the American Pit Bull Foundation is working to change that. The organization focuses on education and responsible breed ownership, and it also organizes adoptions and provides assistance to help responsible owners whose pets are facing medical problems. If you love Pits, you’ll love the advocacy work this nonprofit is doing. Plus, a gift to APBF goes straight to the dogs in its care.

9. Wings of Rescue

Another Dogster Hero of 2014, Wings of Rescue is a volunteer organization that connects pilots and rescues to fly animals from high-kill California shelters to other states, where they can find forever homes. Donations allow this organization to continue transporting dogs to a better future.

10. Your local shelters and rescues

Community animal shelters and rescue organizations are always looking for extra cash to keep the lights on and the kibble flowing. Most accept cash or credit card donations, and some even post wish lists on their websites. Maybe check those lists this holiday season and pick up an extra bag of dog food when you buy your own, or you can purchase a pet store gift card for your favorite local rescue. Even if it doesn’t seem like much, the rescue groups in your community will appreciate any donation that can help them save another life.

Do you have any suggestions that didn’t make the list? Let us know in the comments.

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About the Author: Heather Marcoux is a freelance writer in Alberta, Canada. Her beloved Ghost Cat was once her only animal, but the addition of a second cat, Specter, and the dog duo of GhostBuster and Marshmallow make her fur family complete. Sixteen paws is definitely enough. Heather is also a wife, a bad cook, and a former TV journalist. Some of her friends have hidden her feed because of an excess of cat pictures. If you don’t mind cat pictures, you can follow her on Twitter; she also posts pet GIFs on Google+.