The Best Animal Charities to Donate to Promoting Pet and Animal Welfare
The Best Animal Charities to Donate to Promoting Pet and Animal Welfare
The Best Animal Charities and Animal Nonprofits have one thing in common, a mission statement to somehow make the suffering of animals a thing of the past. And while there are literally thousands of animal charities across the globe, the ones on our list have seemed to have the biggest impact on their specific missions. This doesn't necessarily mean that other charities aren't worth supporting or donating to, it just means these charities are more well known and have a longer track record of helping.
Our List of the Best Animal Charities In No Particular Order
If you're looking to support animal charities or pet nonprofits in their fundraising or rescue efforts, it's good to know a little about them and get an idea of their rating as far as how well they've done on places like charity navigator. We believe every organization on our list is worthy of your support of their fundraising efforts and rather than an individual rating for each organization, we instead opted to give you a in-depth overview of their organization and cause.
Best Friends Animal Society: Pioneering the No-Kill Movement With Their own Animal Sanctuary
Since 1984 when a few friends got together and decided they wanted to play a larger role and create a bigger impact in the humane treatment of all animals, Best Friends Animal Society has been making great strides in their effort to make all animal shelter “no-kill” shelters by 2025.
Their complete commitment to saving every animal from a pet cat and dog to pot-bellied pigs and rabbits is evident when visiting their shelter and animal sanctuary in Kanab, Utah that houses over 1600 abandoned and abused animals at any given time. This animal charity is hands on and works hard to keep to their no-kill mission statement.
Through their many programs consisting of their front runner “no-kill” program to other local programs that foster support and training for animal shelters and rescue groups, Best Friends Animal Society has helped millions of animals find great homes rather than be euthanized.
Best Friends' impact can be felt all over America with regional programs spanning in cities like Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, New York City, Atlanta, Houston, and Northwest Arkansas. Through these strategic community initiatives, the organization has elevated its efforts by increasing fostering, facilitating pet transport, and amplifying advocacy for the no-kill movement. These efforts are instrumental in driving societal change and creating a safer, more compassionate world for all animals.
ASPCA: Charities Safeguarding More Than Just Your Pet
Although not the first humane society to be established in North America, the ASPCA is still one of the oldest and most funded animal charities in North America today. Started in 1866 by visionary founder Henry Bergh, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®) over the last 100 years has helped save and rescue over a half a million animals and pets in need and boasts more than two million supporters across the country that work to support their nonprofit.
ASPCA's mission and impact spans a diverse range of areas, each aimed at addressing the multifaceted challenges faced by animals. From direct medical care and on-the-ground interventions during disasters and instances of cruelty, to rescue and behavioral rehabilitation and animal placement, ASPCA's multifaceted approach ensures that animals receive the care and attention they need to thrive.
In recent years, ASPCA's impact has been nothing short of transformative. Their Animal Relocation program alone has facilitated the rehoming of over 27,000 animals, offering them a chance at a better life. With over 104,000 cases assisting vulnerable animals and a staggering 370,590 lives saved through their Animal Poison Control Centers and shelters across the nation, this animal charity has made many contributions that extend far beyond mere fundraising statistics.
The Humane Society: Compassion and Advocacy for Animals
As the largest animal protection organization in the nation, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) shoulders a profound responsibility. HSUS's mission revolves around ending animal cruelty and suffering, a commitment realized through multifaceted efforts. Their work encompasses advocating for progressive legislation, conducting investigations to unveil instances of cruelty, and conducting daring rescue missions. HSUS's sanctuaries and adoption centers, coupled with their educational initiatives, further demonstrate their commitment to animals.
Beyond its domestic focus, the organization's influence stretches across the world. They've launched initiatives that combat wildlife hunting, confront the perils of animal testing, and challenge the horrors of factory farming. They’ve also had a massive impact on the closure of puppy mills to the strengthening of animal welfare laws, while their veterinary and rehabilitation centers and wildlife support units strive to help all animals no matter where they are or what needs they have.
The Humane Society's impact further extends beyond their immediate endeavors. Through partnerships, training, support, and collaboration, they empower individuals and organizations to also be advocates for animal welfare. Their roster of experts, caregivers, and passionate advocates amplify their reach, working tirelessly to bring about policy changes that will reshape the lives of animals for the better.
American Humane - The First National Animal Nonprofits
Not to be confused with the Humane Society above, American Humane strives to not just save animals from abuse, but their charter also includes helping children as well. This unique society was actually the first 'national' animal rights societies created in the United States back in 1877 when delegates from 27 humane organizations from 10 states joined together to create the national nonprofit. Originally targeting the horrifying treatment of farm animals, this organization's impact has grown massively and now includes a multitude of projects and goals.
History tells tales of the American Humane's heroic efforts during World War I, where they saved over 68,000 wounded war horses. Today, their military program continues to be a lifeline for wounded veterans grappling with PTSD, providing them with service dogs that offer companionship, support, and a path toward healing.And under the banner of Humane Hollywood, the American Humane has set stringent standards for animal welfare in the entertainment industry. Their exclusive right to award the "no animals were harmed" certification ensures that movies adhere to guidelines that prioritize the well-being of animal actors.
Like other nonprofits, the American Humane Society not only ensures that animals are treated humanely, but the nonprofit also fosters a culture of respect and empathy that extends beyond words and into actions. From rescues to farms, military partnerships, Hollywood collaborations, and conservation initiatives, their impact resonates across a wide spectrum, leaving a profound imprint on animal welfare.
Snow Leopard Trust - A Single Species Organization
The Snow Leopard Trust is unique to the other charities on our list in that is serves to protect one single species of animal rather than all animals. This is because in the grand scheme of conservation, the snow leopard serves as an "umbrella" or keystone species. Protecting it has far-reaching implications, safeguarding the hundreds of other plants and animals that share its ecosystem. The international organization remains the oldest and largest organization singularly dedicated to this crucial cause and has been working diligently to save this nearly extinct species since it was founded in 1981 by Helen Freeman.
Another way this nonprofit is unique is the way it deals with the problems of poaching and retaliatory killings which are major reasons for the cats steady decline. Rather than hire people to guard and rescue the cats, the organization works with the people living alongside these majestic animals with sustainable economic opportunities so they no longer need to poach in order to feed their families. Then to combat the retaliatory killings from farmers for lost live stock, the trust offers the farmers a livestock insurance program that provides local communities with compensation for animal losses, minimizing conflicts and hostility towards the endangered species.
World Wildlife Fund: Champions of Conservation Since 1961
With over 5 million supporters all around the globe, the WWF is one of the largest and best known nonprofit organizations on our list. Since their start in 1961 by Victor Stolan, this nonprofit has grown to include work in over 100 countries tirelessly pushing for the preservation of wildlife and the reduction of human impact on the environment. And since 1995, the organization has invested over $1 billion in conservation initiatives.
The WWF's commitment isn't just talk; it's backed by tangible results. In 2020, through their fundraising efforts, the organization raised a staggering $6,446,944, which was channeled into supporting community programs in Kenya and Tanzania to coexist harmoniously with native wildlife. This remarkable rescue work bore fruit, as Kenya's Black Rhino population surged to 853 individuals, a remarkable increase from the 350 recorded in the 1980s. And in 2021, their tireless advocacy efforts led to a significant boost in funding by the US government for international wildlife conservation.
According to their website, the charity is focused on six major goals in order to save not just the animals living on our planet, but people as well. They include:
- Create a climate-resilient and zero-carbon world
- Rebuild food systems to nourish people and nature
- Conserve the world's most important forests
- Protect freshwater resources and landscapes
- Achieve healthy oceans and nature-positive seascapes
- Conserve wildlife and wild places
With their massive fundraising donor base and real world initiatives, it's no wonder the WWF is so impactful both in the US and abroad.
Alley Cat Allies - A Charity for Cats Only
Another single species charity mission, Alley Cat Allies, works to specifically rescue and improve the lives of cats all around the world. The organization was started in the UK in 1990 by founders Becky Robinson and Louise Holton after the two friends realized there were a total of 56 cats living in one cats alley close to their home. And none of them were a pet! But what makes these founders so special is that they were the first to share the Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) method with America and abroad. The TNR method is when after doing the work of trapping and neutering a cat, the feline is placed back to where they were found rather than trying to find the feral cat a new home as a pet.
This in turn reduces the cat population over time while allowing the felines to live out their lives where they are already living. The Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) method is now considered the most humane approach and the best way to deal with both cat and dog populations and is now used as a first response to the problem all over the world.
Animal Welfare Institute - Creating Laws for Long Term Change
Since 1951, the Animal Welfare Institute or AWI for short has embarked on a mission to alleviate the suffering inflicted on animals by humans. The organization originally focused on the cruelty of animals in experimental laboratories and scientific research, their scope and mission has expanded to many other areas where humans inflict pain onto animals or marine mammal. One of these sad situations that is listed on their website at this moment is the commonly used depopulation method “ventilation shutdown plus heat” (VSD+), which causes death by inducing heatstroke to thousands of chickens, turkeys and other bred birds on industrial farms at a time.
The major mission of AWI is to not only resuce these animals, but to work to change laws that will ensure the safety of animal rights and keep those who violate those rights accountable. This animal organization goes as far as engaging in precedent-setting litigation on behalf of animals in state and federal courts across the country. From their Washington, DC headquarters, AWI works to strengthen and enforce both state and federal animal protection laws which can make a long term difference.
What's truly amazing is that when AWI was started in 1951, there were only two federal laws to protect animals! But since then, AWI has been able to pass a slew of new legislation and laws that include, "the Animal Welfare Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act, the Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act, and more."
Friends of Animals (FoA) -
Friends of Animals (FoA) is a non-profit organization that was created in New York in 1957. Since their beginnings, the group has grown to international status and continues with both its original mission of working to spay cats and dogs and other common household pets, as well as their expanded mission of stopping any and all types of animal cruelty whether free-living or domestic while at the same time working to promote and support veganism as a way to lessen animal cruelty.
Their most impressive accomplishment is that they have been able to spay more than 2.8 million dogs and cats in America to date so far. An impressive number and their work continues. And with the pandemic and all the restrictions at the time, they were able to complete over 14000 spays at a time when most shelters were forced to suspend their spay and neuter programs.
On the international front, FoA primarily works in Africa through their Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Project in Gambia and another project in Senegal where FoA has a recovery program for the Scimitar-horned Oryx and Dama Gazelle. They are also working hard to save the critically endangered North African red-necked Ostrich (Struthio camelus camelus), the largest bird on earth.
Farm Sanctuary - The Voice of New Problems
Did you know an estimated 77,047,000,959 land animals were slaughtered worldwide for food in 2018, that's billions with a 'B'. Farm Sanctuary is a newer nonprofit and demonstrates the plight of the animals that are forced to live in the factory farms of today. In case you don't understand just how horrible these farms are for their residences, think of stuffing 100 people in the space of your bathroom all day, everyday. You urinate where you stand so your feet never dry out and slowly rot, you can't move about at all and what little food you do get is concentrated pellets loaded with growth hormones and other chemicals. There are still thousands of YouTube videos demonstrating this. Hence while their main mission is saving farm animals, they also work hard to promote veganism and sustainability.
Farm Sanctuary has two sanctuaries they run to rescue farm animals, one in Watkins Glen, NY which includes over 500 rescued farm animals on 275 acres of land, and the other in Los Angeles, CA and home to over 100 rescued farm animals that live on 37 acres. Their mission is to create change for farm animals through education as well as legislation and enactment of laws safeguarding all farmed critters and to continue to rescue animals that need their help. The organization is also working to change the way animals are farmed and the entire food supply system from the ground up.
International Fund for Animal Welfare -
Founded by Brian Davies in Canada in 1969 with a specific mission to halt the commercial hunting for whitecoat seals on the east coast of Canada, the aptly named International Fund for Animal Welfare has succeeded in doing just that, becoming a true global animal rights group. The organization has grown tremendously over the years and has programs and has had a great impact from everything from stopping wildlife crimes like poaching and trafficking of rare species, to marine life initiatives to save everything from seals to the marine mammal North Atlantic right whales.
Another area IFAW excels at is helping animals that are endangered from numerous turmoils. For example, in 2000 an oil freighter sunk off the South African coast releasing most of it's cargo. IFAW worked to save more than 38,000 penguins that were covered in crude oil due to the sinking. After working on their largest rehabilitation effort ever, more than 90% of the birds were successfully released back to the wild.
But distance lands aren't the only place this organization has an impact. In 2003 IFAW rescues 24 tigers from a backyard zoo in New Jersey which later resulted in the basis for the Captive Wildlife Safety Act which was later successfully passed. Then in Haiti after a devastating earthquake hit in 2010, the charity was there to help an estimated 68,000 animals.
On their website they state, "275,598 animals rescued, treated and sheltered from 2000-2018." An impressive number for any organization!
The Human League organization is another nonprofit looking to change the way animals are treated in our society when it comes to food. Similar in mission to Farm Sanctuary, Human League works to address the entire scope of how animals are farmed and the total negative impacts out entire food system has on the animals, us and the world as a whole.
This organization works hard to educate the public on the implorable conditions inside factory farms as can be seen in their many undercover factory farming videos on their website. They estimate that over 94% of our food now comes from these farm factories and that an estimated 130 billion land animals suffer every day on factory farms. This is why they work on getting big companies to either work on improving their conditions, or work to investigate and uncover what is really going on behind closed doors.
As with many charities, they are also committed to giving out all the free information they can on veganism and all the benefits of becoming vegan for all involved. They have a ton of vegan information on their website as well as booklets and pamphlets that have been distributed millions of times.
Sadly the circumstances of animals around the world seems just as dire today as it did a hundred years ago. Animal shelters and charities are overwhelmed both here and abroad, and their marketing and fundraising efforts just can't seem to keep up with all the work that needs to be done. Nonprofits and shelters really need your giving support, or even as volunteers if they are to continue helping. Any of the charities we've listed above are excellent examples to support, and your support will help them make a difference.
If you happen to be a pet charity or organization yourself and need some assistance with mission or fundraising and support options, you can check out a demo of our software here and see how it can work to manage all the tasks associated with a trust or charity as well as greatly enhance your fundraising capabilities and donor management. .