Best Animal Charity to Donate to and How to Choose

By Mali Anderson in Helping Hands

If you are wondering which is the best animal charity to donate to, you are not alone. With so many animal-related charities—from shelters that home and rehabilitate stray animals to organizations that save endangered species—it can be difficult to know how to get started.

But when you consider how you want to contribute and what type of organization you want to support, the right match becomes clear. Because the truth is, whether you are looking to have fun helping animals with your family or want to support the health of ocean life, there are many ways you can stand up and protect animals who are unable to speak for themselves.

Ways to Donate (beyond Your Wallet)

A good place to start is to think about the kind of donation you want to make—because not all donations are money-based. You can also donate time or even resources, which are equally as important as monetary donations. You just have to decide which is the best fit for your family. Knowing how you want to contribute is helpful when deciding the best animal charity to donate to because different organizations benefit from different types of support.

If you do a quick web search for local animal shelters near your home, there may be an opportunity for you to donate time and resources. You could volunteer to walk dogs, comfort cats, or pitch in cleaning at your local shelter. Maybe you and your family can gather some essential animal shelter items such as blankets and cleaning supplies to donate. Or maybe you can even volunteer your own pet for blood donation for other animals in need.

Two dolphins jumping in their ocean home.

Choose a Cause—Near or Far

Once you know what type of donation you want to give, you can think about the causes you want to support. Some find it helpful to think about the scope of their donation, whether they want to give to a community or global initiative, for instance.

  • Local: You could have a family outing to support local animals, possibly setting aside an afternoon to read to animals at a nearby shelter.
  • National: You may consider giving to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), a national organization working to provide support for vulnerable animals throughout the United States.
  • Global: To protect marine life, you could look at Oceana, an organization that works to restore the world's oceans and prevent the collapse of fish and marine mammal populations.

Of course, there are many, many charities to consider. Using sites to research nonprofits, such as Charity Navigator, is a great way to search for a specific type of animal and to see the financial picture of an organization, including what percentage of a charity's budget goes directly to providing the services you want to support.

Woman giving a playful high five to a cat.

Other Ways to Make a Difference

Talking to people you know and asking for recommendations can also be helpful. Pet owners can ask individuals at a local dog park or make a call to their veterinarian to ask about pet charities. Veterinarians can be a wonderful resource as they often know about both small and large organizations in need of support. They may know about a local shelter in need of blankets or a national organization working to save endangered species that would benefit from a monetary gift. Plus, they may also share other easy ways to make a difference, from committing to purchasing cruelty-free products to cleaning forest preserves to conserve natural habitats.

Are you seeking ways to support animal welfare? Learn more about how your individual actions can make a difference on the @tomsofmaine Natural Inspiration Pinterest board.

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Why It's Good

When you decide to donate your time, money, or resources to animal-related charities, you are playing a vital role in promoting animal welfare. Whether you choose to volunteer to walk dogs at a local shelter or make a financial donation to a global initiative to promote marine life, you are standing up for animals who are unable to speak for themselves.