As the year starts drawing to a close, and the holiday and gift-giving season kicks into gear, it’s a wonderful opportunity to reach out and help pets, too. There’s a variety of ways to support worthy causes, including shopping on websites that automatically donate to designated organizations.
It can be difficult to decide where to donate your dollars, so focus on causes closest to your heart. Here are some excellent places to start.
So many people shop Amazon’s endless aisles that this is an easy option to direct a donation to a cause close to your heart. Start your online shopping expedition by accessing a designated link, namely smile.amazon.com. This link prompts to a selection of more than one million eligible charitable organizations. Once you’ve made your purchase, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to the selected charitable organization.
This website offers a variety of cat-centric merchandise and partners with an organization called Rescue Bank, which delivers daily meals to shelter cats in smaller, less visible nonprofits that have limited access to resources. They operate on the national food bank model, accepting food donations from many manufacturers, distributors or retailers. It’s easy to learn how far your donation will stretch because the I Heart Cats online shop outlines each purchase’s donation benefits. For example, purchase a T-shirt, and your linked donation will feed 14 shelter cats. Hoodies sold on the site will result in meals for 30 shelter kitties.
This organization also has a great online store for shopping sprees that support a large variety of animal causes with a simple click of the mouse. It’s also a platform to suggest future projects that the organization will support. When the set goal is reached, The Greater Good launches that new project for public support.
One such recently launched initiative in association with All About Animals Rescue, Inc. is Save Newborn Kittens with Pet Maternity Wards that focuses on setting up maternity wards and foster care in shelters to help save newborn kittens and their moms from being euthanized. The site guides shoppers on how to select this cause and directs them to the store to carry on shopping, knowing their purchase will ultimately help.
Many individual “mom and pop” retailers as well as big box stores like Petco and PetSmart have a “charitable” arm such as petcofoundation.org and petsmartcharities.org that help animals in need and promote adoption events around the country on an ongoing basis. Often, they also have donation boxes in-store making it easy to make an additional purchase and donate it then and there.
#PawsForThisCause: When you’re shopping online or at retail stores, check if any of your purchases go toward an animal rescue or charity. If not, shop at places that do.Keep an eye on your local shelter’s website’s wish list, and collect small items (like toys and blankets) to donate.
There are thousands of small organizations, all well-deserving of donated dollars.
If you would particularly like to help kittens, consider a donation to the San Diego Humane Society’s kitten nursery that, to date, has saved and found forever homes for more than 13,000 kittens.
Another great idea is to sponsor a cat at a cat sanctuary such as Blind Cat Rescue & Sanctuary, Inc., located in North Carolina. And if you need a gift for someone, you can arrange a sponsorship in her name by emailing director Alana Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Places such as the California-based Belleglen Cat Sanctuary provide forever homes for rescued and special-needs kitties.
Many cities and towns across the United States have colonies of community cats, often former domestic cats that have been abandoned to fend for themselves. Organizations like Alley Cat Rescue are committed to helping stray and outdoor community cats in the United States and around the world, by promoting humane, nonlethal care to improve cats’ lives. ACR works to reduce the number of feral cats living in colonies through a proven method called trap-neuter-return (TNR).
Recently, ACR’s work has gone international, as it has launched a program in South Africa to keep the African Wildcat pure and free from hybridization. African wildcats are the ancestors of our domestic kitties. ACR is TNRing feral and stray cats around the Kruger National Park, a popular game park in that country, to keep the wildcats in the park pure.
Read Next: 12 Holiday Safety Tips for Cats