The holiday giving season is here and opportunities abound for pet lovers to give gifts in tribute to help the many worthy organizations that promote the health and well being of animals. In lieu of a traditional present, giving to a favorite cause is a unique and thoughtful way to recognize the animal lover on your list. And don’t forget, it’s tax-deductible!
There are hundreds of organizations that could benefit from your generosity this year, from your local animal shelter to a nearby veterinary school, just to name a few. Many even take donations online, to make your “holiday shopping” task easier. Here are some causes to consider:
American Veterinary Medical Foundation Disaster Relief Fund – You can make a donation to the foundation itself, or towards the AVMF’s Disaster Relief Fund, which equips and prepares VMAT teams like those that served after the September 11 attacks in New York City. They also provide aid to animals injured in natural disasters. Give online at www.avmf.org or mail a donation to AVMF, Attn: Dref-NY, 1931 N. Meacham Rd., Ste. 100, Schaumburg, Ill. 60173-4360.
Morris Animal Foundation – A hundred percent of all unrestricted contributions go directly to animal health studies, not the cost of administration or fundraising. For every tax-deductible contribution, each honoree is sent a personalized watercolor portrait holiday card announcing the sender’s thoughtfulness. With each gift of $50 or more, you may choose to receive a gold-plated commemorative ornament, or have it included in the your gift card. To make a Holiday Gift Card donation, call toll-free (800) 243-2345 or donate online at, www.MorrisAnimalFoundation.org.
Pet Shelter Network — The Pet Shelter Network helps shelters nationwide post photos and descriptions of thousands of animals that are in need of a home. They offer this service free of charge with the goal of promoting the adoption of homeless animals and reducing the rate of euthanasia in shelters across the U.S. Make a donation online at www.petshelter.org, or visit their web site for more donation options.
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) – Give the gift of ASPCA membership, and your donation will help an animal in need. In return, you’ll receive a 2002 ASPCA color calendar, and a description of how your contribution will help. You can register online at by visiting www.aspca.org.
Paws With A Cause – Paws With A Cause trains assistance dogs nationally for people with disabilities to help them live independently. Make a donation online at www.pawswithacause.org.
Animal Funds Of America – Animal Funds of America is a nonprofit federation that pre-screens high quality national charities working to protect animals. Their web site lists a number of organizations for potential givers to consider, presenting information about their missions and programs, and links you to their web sites or email. For more information, visit www.animalfunds.org.