November 20, 2023

On Giving Tuesday, Donate Directly to Local Pet Shelters

The Center for the Environment and Welfare (CEW) on Thursday launched a new campaign aimed at educating the public on how best to help pets in their communities on Giving Tuesday.

The campaign stems from a new CEW survey of pet shelters and rescues across the United States. The survey found that local shelters are facing serious financial challenges, largely due to widespread donor confusion when it comes to the role of national groups like the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the Humane Society of the United States. Contrary to what most animal lovers believe, local shelters often receive little to no money from these national groups at a time when an average of 1.5 million shelter pets are euthanized in the U.S. each year.

Of nearly 2,000 pet shelters and rescues that participated in the survey:

  • 98 percent reported receiving zero financial assistance from either the ASPCA or the Humane Society of the United States
  • 74 percent report their current funding levels as inadequate
  • 76 percent believe that donors are confused by the branding of the Humane Society of the United States and the ASPCA
  • 64 percent believe that name confusion with national groups has led to fewer donations

Full survey results available here.

Informed by these results, CEW’s Giving Tuesday campaign explains that the best way for animal lovers to help pets in their communities is to support their local shelters. Key elements of the campaign include:

  • An online video explaining the crisis faced by local shelters
  • Educational resources and a toolkit on how to get involved, available here.
  • Digital ads promoted on social media, previews available here
  • A report on the shelter survey’s findings and methodology

CEW Executive Director Jack Hubbard had this to say:

“Across the nation, well-meaning animal lovers donate to big national charities like the ASPCA and the Humane Society of the United States, mistakenly believing that they operate pet shelters in their communities. In reality, the Humane Society of the United States operates zero pet shelters and neither organization is affiliated with local humane societies and SPCAs. On Giving Tuesday and every day, the best way to help cats and dogs is to give directly to your local pet shelter.”

Learn more at Environment and Welfare.

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