There are many ways that we can give back to animal rescue and animal shelters, but one super simple way is with a click of your mouse when you are online shopping.
Amazon.com has a program called AmazonSmile where you can choose what rescue or nonprofit you want your purchases to help benefit. It’s as easy as you think: You shop, and AmazonSmile donates to the nonprofit organization of your choice. The company donates 0.5 percent of the price of your eligible purchases, which adds up the more people shop using AmazonSmile. To find a charitable organization that you want your purchase to go toward, just go to smile.amazon.com.
If you are a nonprofit animal rescue, register your charitable organization at org.amazon.com. Once you are registered, let everyone in your network know.
Another online shopping platform that gives back to pets is iHeartDogs.com. (There is an iHeartCats.com, too.) The website offers a large assortment of apparel, jewelry, gifts, home goods, pet treats and toys, and is a veteran-owned company started in 2014 by friends Justin Palmer and Marshall Morris. Justin, inspired by his rescued Siberian Husky, Splash, started a Facebook page called I Love Dogs. Marshall, a digital marketing strategist, realized the page’s huge potential and teamed up with Justin to form iHeartDogs.com. What started out as a blog with some items for sale is now a full-fledged e-commerce site with a blog.
The donation process is a bit different. When you choose an item to purchase, it tells the consumer in the description of what is being donated because of the purchase. For example, if you are buying a T-shirt, it may say, “This product feeds 7 shelter dogs!” right in the description of the item. Or, it says where the portion of the proceeds of purchasing that item will go.
For example, the Adjustable Camo Paracord collar says “20 percent of proceeds are donated to help pair veterans with shelter or service dogs.’” You know with each purchase what is either being donated or where a monetary donation is being made. At the top of the website, you can see what has been donated. The platform has partnered with GreaterGood.org to facilitate the donations, and animal rescues can sign up to be beneficiaries of purchases by going to GreaterGood.org to learn more.
In 2018, iHeartDogs teamed up with Gene Simmons of KISS, and went to Wags and Walks animal shelter in Los Angeles and donated 400 shelter-safe toy balls and 200 bags of single- ingredient treats. (See the video: facebook.com/iHeartDogscom/videos/255409061824093/.) To date, iHeartDogs.com has donated 12,000,000 meals to animal shelters across the country.
I asked Marshall why was it so important that iHeartDogs gives back as part of its business model. “We give back because we believe every dog matters,” he says. “In addition, we found that giving back allows us to attract generous, passionate customers — true heroes who want to step up with us and make the world a better place. There is nothing better than working with people like this to change the world.” For more information go to iHeartDogs.com.
Other ways to online shop and support animals in needs
- Next time you shop online or at a retail store, look to see if any of your purchase goes toward an animal rescue or charity. If not, consider shopping at one that does.
- Let your animal rescue friends know about both AmazonSmile, iHeartDogs or any other organization that gives a part of the purchase to help animals, so that they too can benefit.
Thumbnail: ©Jevtic | Getty Images
About the author
Nancy Hassel is the pet parent of Pit Bull Cody and the president of American Pet Professionals, an award-winning business networking and educational organization for the pet industry since 2009. Nancy travels the country as a speaker, media and public relations specialist, working with pet companies in many aspects including event planning and training for pet professionals. Find her on Instagram and Twitter @AmericanPetPros.
Editor’s note: This article appeared in Dogster magazine. Have you seen the new Dogster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? Subscribe now to get Dogster magazine delivered straight to you!