Donate to Animal Shelters

Help a Cruelty-Free Charity This Season

The calendar has but a few days left for crossing off before we usher in the new year. For many, this is a time to reflect on past twelve months and make goals for the coming year. Before you look too far ahead, you may want to spend a little time thinking about your finances– specifically, your taxes.

Many of us make charitable donations throughout the year. We do it because we want to help, because it makes us feel good, and–let’s be honest–because of the tax benefits. In the final days of the current year, it’s not too late to make a few more donations to earn some additional credit on your taxes for the year. Consider showing your love by supporting an animal-friendly charity!


In Defense of Animals
Founded nearly thirty years ago, In Defense of Animals (IDA) strives to protect animals and their habitats. They work both to protect wildlife as well as foster and rehabilitate animals rescued from testing labs and entertainment venues (like circuses). Based in the USA, IDA works to protect animals all around the world. They also advocate a vegan lifestyle, and run a Vegan Campaign to educate people about the reasons to go vegan and the health benefits that stem from a vegan diet.

SALEM International
This non-profit organization teaches people about peace, charity, and respect for life. SALEM offers healthcare, vocational training, shelter, and plant-based meal to clinics in places like Ecuador, Germany, Russia, Togo, and Uganda. They strive to teach nonviolence and respect for animals and humans alike.

The Animal Center in Newtown, CT
One of the victims of the school shooting in Sandy Hook, CT, was six-year-old Catherine Hubbard. She was a passionate animal lover, even at such a young age, and her family has asked for donations to the local animal welfare charity in their daughter’s name. The Animal Center currently runs a Feline Rescue & Adoption Program and a Feral Cat Assistance program in the Newtown area. If you were moved by the tragedy and are looking for a way to help, consider donating to this young cat lover’s local charity.

Our Hen House
This award-winning non-profit was founded by two passionate vegan gals with a mission to help animals through education and media. Our Hen House produces a number of fantastic resources, available to the public for free, including a popular podcast, interviews, book reviews, and regular columns. Donating to OHH enables them to produce these resources, which empower change-makers in all walks of life, and all for the sake of the critters. To sweeten the deal, OHH even offers some thank-you perks for your donation.

Vegan Outreach
This Arizona-based charity is focused on educating people, especially college students, about vegan lifestyle choices. Donations help fund the publication and distribution of booklets entitled “Why Vegan?”, “Compassionate Choices,” and “Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating.” Vegan Outreach estimates that they’ve reached 7.6 million college students through their Adopt-a-College program since 2003, so you can rest assured that your donated funds will be put to good use.

Photo: rikkis_refuge via Flickr

If you’re interested in discovering other options for giving this season, you might be wondering: How will I know whether a charity is aligned with my ethics? Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine certifies cruelty-free charities with their Humane Charity Seal of Approval and publishes the list on their website. This way, you can “shop” for a charity with confidence that no animals will be harmed with your donation. Talk about a happy new year!

No matter what charity you choose to support, remember that even the smallest donation can make a big impact for the animals. For an added feel-good boost, consider making your donation in someone else’s name as a gift or in memoriam. And be sure to keep your donation receipts and share them with your favorite tax professional to see what kind of tax benefit is in store for you!

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