If the thought of going anywhere near a shopping mall this time of the year brings a shiver down your spine, consider giving a gift of charity to the dog lovers in your life (that’s everyone, right?). When you donate to a charity that supports dogs or the people who love them, everybody wins. And if you need further confirmation to avoid the malls, just take a look at these videos of Black Friday mayhem. In addition to your local animal shelter and animal rescue groups, here are 10 nonprofit organizations that do good works for animals.
1. Morris Animal Foundation
This organization invests money in science that advances veterinary care for companion animals. I first learned about this organization when my sweet dog Buster, an Australian Shepherd/Lab mix, was diagnosed with cancer. Unfortunately, I ended up making a memorial donation in Buster’s name, but I hope that one day there can be cure for this devastating disease. And when you give anytime between now and Dec. 31, an anonymous donor matches your donation.
2. National Disaster Search Dog Foundation
Donating here is a win/win because this organization turns rescued dogs into rescuers. Dogs are adopted from shelters and then trained to become search and rescue dogs, working alongside firefighters. The ideal dog is one who is able to stay focused on a task (like having a strong prey drive) but can also ignore loud noises and distractions. The most common breeds used are Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds and Border Collies.
3. Companion Animal Protection Society
Deborah Howard started CAPS in 1992 to protect dogs and cats from cruelty in pet shops and puppy mills. CAPS aims to raise pubic awareness and influence local governments about puppy mill practices. The organization has enlisted the help of fashion models to inform the public about its mission.
4. Canine Companions for Independence
Founded in 1975, Canine Companions for Independence is the largest provider of assistance dogs for people with disabilities. In addition top financial donations, they’re also looking for volunteers to raise puppies to be assistance dogs.
5. The Animal Rescue Site
When you purchase a gift for a dog lover on the Animal Rescue Site, between three and 50 percent of the item’s retail price goes to its charity partners, which include: The Fund for Animals, the Humane Society of the United States, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, Petfinder Foundation and Rescue Bank.
6. Dogs for the Deaf
Dogs for Deaf rescues dogs from shelters and trains them to assist people who are deaf or hearing impaired and also people with autism. You can make financial donations or purchase a gift from the online store.
7. Soldier’s Best Friend
This nonprofit group’s mission is to provide trained service dogs to military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome or traumatic brain injury. Most of the dogs are rescued from shelters.
8. Red Rover
This organization was founded in 1987 to help animals in crisis by providing emergency shelter, disaster relief services, financial assistance and education. Red Rover steps in to assist when pet parents need help with veterinary bills or are affected by a natural disaster. It has also assisted with housing and care when authorities uncover hoarding or animal cruelty situations.
9. Pets of the Homeless
This organization tugs at my heart because I can’t imagine anything worse than not having a place to live and losing your dog. Approximately 10 percent of the homeless population has a dog or a cat, and Pets of the Homeless provides food and veterinary care to these pet parents.
10. The Humane Society of the United States
The largest animal nonprofit group organization in the U.S., the HSUS has taken a vocal stand against puppy mills and allows concerned dog lovers to make a donation specifically toward eliminating puppy mills. If you donate $25 or more, you receive a subscription to the organization’s All Animals magazine.
Read more Dogster Gift Guides:
- 10 Holiday Gifts for Dogs and Dog Lovers We Found on Etsy
- Chanukkah Gifts for Jewish (er, Chewish) Dogs and Their People
- 10 Outrageously Expensive Gifts for the Pampered Pooch
- 10 Holiday Gifts for the New Dog Parent
- Our 15 Favorite Dog Calendars for 2014
- 10 Gifts for Dog Lovers Who Also Love the Outdoors
- Check Out Holiday Dog Toys and Apparel at PetSmart