If you want to be involved in this area, contact a local wildlife rehabilitator and find out what state and federal regulations govern this work. Or maybe he or she got in over his/her head, couldn’t say no to taking in more animals, and consequently became overwhelmed. If you’ve done the best you can to resolve the problem, it may just be that this person is not compatible with your way of working or with the rest of the team. Another option is to have an internship program. The amount you need depends on the scope of the sanctuary you are planning. We will never know until we try. A lot of problems people experience with their pets stem from lack of knowledge about the animals and their behavior. It is important to keep good financial records because without them, your nonprofit status could be revoked by the IRS. You are reading this how to start an animal rescue publication because you care about animals. The image usage licensing royalties that I receive from them have helped to keep my rescue group photo program running. So, be prepared to show that you value your volunteers. For more details about buying insurance, see the Best Friends publication called Animal Rescue Insurance. There is a large network of breed rescue groups around the country. Form 990 details the money taken in and the money spent on behalf of the charity. I have photographed well over 300 homeless animals in the past few years; almost all of which have been adopted into their fur-ever homes. Full Bio. Mike Arms has spent his life saving the lives of animals — and using his business sense. We obtained permission to go in ahead of the bulldozers, and retrieve whatever we could use. Be prompt in your pickup of the items. You might want to start with something simple and low-cost. Cleaning, feeding, grooming, exercising, and ensuring a supply of fresh water is available for your animals takes time. The welfare of the animals in your care may be at stake; you don’t want to be required to move your whole operation because of a zoning issue. But we welcome this opportunity to share the knowledge we have gained over a number of years of taking care of animals. Consult the Yellow Pages for a list of dog trainers in your area, but check them out first to make sure that their training regimens are compatible with your own philosophy. Tax exempt, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) status is acquired by filing the necessary forms with the IRS. One of our members in a nearby city was holding a yard sale for Best Friends and one of her customers expressed interest in our work. You’ll want to respect their wishes about table placement and on how you approach the store’s customers. My perceived lack of purpose lead me to a premature mid-life crisis about nine years ago. Keep these calls brief, and never pressure people into being part of the work. We have found it helpful, however, to keep the animals in a separate area until they get used to the new routine, new diet, and new personnel. After three years, when the IRS is satisfied that you are running a legitimate nonprofit, you will be granted a permanent 501(c)(3) status. Most stores are only too happy to help a community project, but you will need to ask the store manager for permission to set up outside the store. Make sure to subscribe for more! But, staff are people, and so are the folks who will be coming to you in distress about their failure to keep a pet. If you can, use professional expertise (a graphic or e-newsletter designer). Like most other successful animal organizations, Best Friends relies on member donations to meet the operating costs of the sanctuary. There is no getting away from it – people are going to be central in your efforts to save animals. You don’t want to be in the situation of having to relocate a large number of animals if a lease is not renewed. The only problem with donated food is that you might get a mixture of brands and types of food. And most importantly, your financial supporters are people, too. Animal breedersselect and breed animals that have certain desirable characteristics, such as sheep with better … If not, can it be brought in easily? Please share your own experiences with us here at Best Friends as you embark upon meeting your goals. Good and consistent volunteers are like gold and can make a big difference in the success of your program. She is also very famous as the images I have taken of her are in use on pet products and publications around the word. Foster homes provide healthy environments for animals recovering from abuse or neglect. Shy-Low has since been adopted by a loving volunteer from the rescue group that helped him through his physical and mental healing. This may happen a long time from now, but it could also happen tomorrow. Depending on your operation, there are also other types of insurance that you might need. Having nonprofit status lends credibility to your organization. There are many ways to go about doing adoptions. We strongly recommend that every sanctuary be linked to an active spay/neuter program. Your membership program is the backbone of your fundraising efforts. Many sanctuaries are able to employ a veterinary technician who can, under the direction of a veterinarian, take care of some of the basic day-to-day medical treatments. Places that are not in a position to donate outright will often give a nonprofit organization a special deal. Best Friends, for example, operates a spay/neuter program for the local area. Kennel attendants clean cages and feed, walk and groom animals. A caged lion suddenly turns on one of its trainers and would be lunch in a matter of seconds. Finding a good home for an animal in your charge is a wonderful thing to do. We here at Best Friends do not claim to have all the answers. Getting information out to the community about how to protect their animals is part of educating the public. Most of them have a waiting list of people looking to adopt. Cats also love to be with their own kind, and their permanent housing should take this into account. I began contributing my animal images to Shutterstock. More and more people have access to computers at work and at home, so it makes sense to use this method of communication to inform your members about your work and to solicit support. When you pick up your dog, remember to ask what and when he was fed.      Legal issues Animal shelters need kennel attendants to care for abandoned pets. Animal groups will often share their adoption paperwork, such as adoption applications or contracts, as long as you change the name on the documents to your group’s name. You never know whom you will meet at a yard sale! You know that animal rescues and shelters aren't sad places full of cages. You will need to be prepared financially, emotionally and physically to … My passion was found. You might want to talk to an attorney about which release forms or waivers would be appropriate for your sanctuary. As you can imagine, this was a great boon to our new clinic. Table of Contents These will include your standards for a new home, any medical guarantees, your return policy, your prohibitions (such as declawing of cats) and much more. If you’re a typical animal lover, getting paid to be around animals might sound like a dream come true. I personally would much prefer to have a job saving these animals instead. Someone else, such as a nearby humane society, has to step in and try and rescue the animals. Or you could put together a list of animal lovers in your community and send out a mailing. By. You should also be prepared for people calling simply to ask if you will take their unwanted pet! If you already have the complete health and temperament history of an animal coming into your care, you can waive the two-week isolation period. But unless you know for sure that the foundation will deliver each and every year, you should be wary in case you suddenly find yourself with a lot of empty mouths to feed and a well that’s gone dry. There is still a long way to go, of course. Soon, I was getting so many requests for photos that I decided to create a formal rescue group program to provide complimentary images of adoptable animals. Animals do a lot for us. 4.) If there are existing buildings on the land, a building inspector may be able to advise you about zoning.      Shelter You can avoid burnout by getting some help early on. Rescues … I cannot emphasize this enough. So I packed my things, grabbed my two Dobermans and moved across the country to "find myself" in Sedona, AZ. These choices will be up to you and your budget. Since charging the rescue groups for my work is out of the question, I had to find other ways to keep the studio lights on. ©2019 Best Friends Animal Society. Once we began receiving large donations of pet food, we had a storage problem. To find veterinarians who participate in low-cost programs, call 1-800-248-SPAY or visit SPAY/USA. This resource supplies the basics of how to start an animal rescue, including considerations like providing shelter, vet care, and food; legal issues; fundraising; adoptions; and more. Or can alternatives be provided in the form of solar units and water storage tanks? Together we can help to put an end to our nation's animal over-population crisis. If you do not have an architect to assist you at this stage, there are many kennel and cattery plans that can be adapted for your unique situation. There’s no shortage of dogs that like to eat treats and pet parents with the money to buy them. A way to keep in touch with your members and let them know what’s going on at your sanctuary. Pet photography seemed to be a better fit, so I started A Dog's Life Photography. These tasks are as much a part of our work for the animals as feeding and poop-scooping because without our members, we could not do any of it. It’s a good idea to gather names, addresses and phone numbers anytime you set up a table to disseminate information about your organization to the public. And we in turn will share them with others. It is only too easy to “burn out” when we see the animals that we dearly love being treated with cruelty and neglect. All rights reserved. Screening transport volunteers 8.) After all, that is what ultimately helps the animals. There are many ways to raise funds. Animal rescue establishes a system where rescuers can save animals from violent homes or from the dangers on the streets. The creative side that I never knew existed began to come alive. It is helpful, but not essential, to have a professional (an attorney or accountant) do the paperwork. 3.) For example, one municipality I know insists that all the neighbors in the immediate area have to agree to your housing animals before a license will be granted. The Humane Society of the United State is a good resource for finding models to follow and understanding the standards you must meet. Another way to educate both children and adults is to have them visit your facility. News stories about cruelty to animals draw a huge outcry from the public. When possible, the sanctuary itself should offer these services, not only to sanctuary animals, but also to the general public. You can find them. Destiny and Shy-Low Bleu have both been featured in my book, "Tails of Rescue, A Guide to Finding the Not-So-Perfect Dog That is Perfect for You," which raises funds for the Phoenix Animal Care and Coalition's emergency medical fund. This is a very good plan. Arms is responsible for programs that have placed 9.3 million pets in homes in the United States since . Even constant barking in the background can create stress-related health issues for cats.      Food Just because someone is giving their time does not mean that you have to accept their involvement. Every animal you rescue will need some medical attention. Every event requires staff or volunteers, and larger events require a lot of coordination. You may wish to have any volunteers who are working with the animals sign a waiver, indicating that they know that working with animals can be unpredictable. Other operational needs Donors of goods, services, or money can claim their gift as an offset against their taxes, which may well increase how much they give. You will be asked to take biters, chewers, diggers, barkers, and all-around badly behaved dogs. Here at Best Friends, we have an office staff to answer mail and send out information to our members. We have found that some people respond more to a phone call than to a letter. If there are any pet food distributors in your area, you can ask to be put on their list of groups to receive donations of dog or cat food. Here are some of the many occupations that involve caring for, training, or assisting with animals. There are many advantages to having nonprofit status: Once you have completed the necessary paperwork, the nonprofit status may take around three months to obtain. Your tax-deductible donation makes a life-changing difference for the animals. Your animals have been rescued, and now they're living a good life. So don’t try and take on the whole burden by yourself. Also, visits to other sanctuaries will help you see what works and what doesn’t. By  Faith Maloney, Best Friends co-founder, Community Cats Program Handbook: Administration, Community Cats Program Handbook: Operations, Recruiting Volunteers for Nonprofits: Getting Ready for Them, Finding Them, Keeping Them, How to Start an Animal Rescue or Other Nonprofit Animal Organization, COVID-19 Resources for Rescues and Shelters, Cómo Encontrar un Nuevo Hogar para una Mascota, Animal Shelters and Rescues Partner to Save Pets, Fact vs. Fiction: What Shelter and Field Services Staff Should Know About Free-Roaming Cats. This can be a make-or-break area! The number and species of animals you will care for, The housing facilities that will need to be built and/or renovated, The cost to provide medical care for the animals, Any other miscellaneous costs (advertising, vehicles, attorney fees, etc.). In fact, many of them are run entirely by people who volunteer as much time as they can. Outline your plan and enlist their support. It is helpful at this point to decide what kind of animals you will be rescuing. These funds have helped to save the lives of many more animals that I have never even had the pleasure to meet. Is the land prone to flooding? It wasn't until I started spending time behind a camera that I felt a little spark. For example, in your adoption contract you can cover the limits of your responsibility for the health and behavior of an adopted animal. Select the rescue location and the types of animals you will house. Some simple things you can do to help wildlife are: Always keep dogs on a leash. With the letter, send samples of your literature or brochures. Although we are doing this work because we love the animals, we also have to work closely with people. So it is important for the sanctuary itself to own its own land. … It is not realistic to think that larger sanctuaries like Best Friends can step in and take in hundreds of new animals when the crisis occurs. The alternative—turning them away—is cruel and leaves the animals in … Thank them for their help, explain that there’s a problem (without accusing them of anything), and tell them that you think it’s best if they stop working with you. If you need something for your work with the animals, do some research, then call the company or store with the product you need and ask them to donate it. The Resources section of the Best Friends website offers a number of publications about adoption. It is best to adopt a position of kindness and compassion to all – including the people! You’ll need to have someone that you can rely on to go and empty them regularly. To build my portfolio, I volunteered my time taking photos for rescue groups for use in animal adoption ads and on fundraising items. Here at Best Friends, we have housing not only for dogs and cats, but also for rabbits, indoor and outdoor birds, horses, chickens, goats, sheep, and potbellied pigs. You’ll be doing fundraising for two basic areas: Operating expenses. It is all too easy to allow yourself to become angry and overwhelmed by the public’s disregard for what is so dear to us. Since humans are animals, we'll include this video of one of man's natural predators saving a human from certain death. But, it often requires a lot of legwork and coordination, a good reputation, and a willingness to take whatever they want to give you. Having one or several veterinarians working closely with you will make all the difference in the quality of medical care you can provide for the animals in your charge. They are not voting members.) Unlike a traditional shelter, where the animals are there for a short time, you will need to think in terms of lifetime care. I try not to fall in love with the male models that come through my studio but I just couldn't resist this shy, scruffy, cuddly misfit. One of our members who loves to sew takes them and creates bed pads for use at the kennels and in the clinic. Usually, though, you have to start from scratch. Giving people the necessary information can often keep pets in their homes. All states require you to have your staff covered by worker’s compensation insurance. If they agree to donate, follow up with a personal letter of thanks to the person in charge. Sick, abused and often pregnant ones do. Treat them well. Be brief and friendly. Today is National Voter Registration Day! Too often, I hear stories of abuse and neglect so extreme that it brings me to tears. Caring for animals requires patience, love, time, money and a lifetime commitment. Dan McKernan was making $100,000 at a tech job in Austin, Texas — until he gave it all up to move over 1,000 miles away and set up a sanctuary for farm animals in Michigan. Repay the favor with a donation to a vetted project devoted to animals. I've always had a love and respect for animals. Mary Hope Kramer is a former writer for the The Balance Careers covering animal-related jobs. Contacting rescue groups 5.) Together, we will all make the difference. It will be a world where we are all living in harmony with each other and with nature. However, it is best to keep cats and dogs as far away from each other as possible. As you grow, your literature can expand to a printed newsletter or e-newsletter. Hatred and negativity can eat you up, and soon you will not be able to do the work. Resources. We came away with cupboards, doors, surgical lights, incubators, x-ray viewers, and a variety of other useful equipment. At Best Friends we sometimes work with other agencies to place animals. We recommend that you carry liability insurance. What species of animals are you planning to shelter – dogs, cats, horses, birds, or other? As Forrest Gump might say, fieldwork performed by staff of PETA’s Community Animal Project (CAP) is kind of like a box of chocolates—because on this job, you never know what you’re going to get. But this approach is shortsighted and self-defeating. Even if you have some full-time staff, having volunteers on the team enables you to do more and it’s a wonderful way of including people in your work. Professional-looking literature conveys to the public that you know what you are doing. Listening, sharing, and being kind seemed to work better. The following pages contain some suggestions based on what we have tried here at Best Friends. You could start with setting up a table or booth at a popular store. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. You can download it from the resources section of our website. The rewards are worth every minute of care, and with this publication we are hoping to help you understand exactly what “every minute of care” really means. Make sure that your publications are appealing and well-prepared. Pinterest has tons of ideas for delicious homemade dog treats, so pick a couple and start baking. I encourage other photographers to start a similar rescue photo program of their own. This experience often helps people to focus on their goals, and clarify their vision. Indeed, most foundations do not offer funding for operating expenses. You also need to consider the terrain. The good news is, you don’t have to open a gourmet shop to make some money on the side. Zoning laws regulate how land is used, how many animals are allowed, and what species you can have on it. Keep your members informed and included in your work. Doing benefit dinners, dog walks, fashion shows, and other larger-scale events can raise considerable amounts of money, but they also take a lot of time, good planning, advertising and organization. These are the continuing daily expenses of feeding the animals, paying the staff, providing medical care, etc. Stories of your rescues and adoptions are a lot more interesting to your members than details of your board meetings. Selling products (T-shirts, hats, jewelry and other items) can help raise funds. And print a lot of copies! Dealing with ignorance is very distressing, especially when it affects the innocent. I’m always researching how to make money on the side. Problems can arise when an individual owns the land. When we were building the sanctuary clinic, one of my staff happened to run into a friend who worked at a hospital in a nearby city. SPAY/USA has names of low-cost programs all over the country. Don’t try to do it all yourself – you’ll need help. 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