how to make a living rescuing animals

Healthy, happy animals don't need rescuing. Everyday moments in foster homes (like mealtime!) Direct mail programs can help build membership, but they’re a slow and expensive operation. And sometimes a donation is just serendipitous. 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. If you don’t ensure that the legal side of operating a sanctuary is done correctly, you could jeopardize your whole operation. For more information, see the Best Friends publication called Recruiting Volunteers for Nonprofits: Getting Ready for Them, Finding Them, Keeping Them, which is available in the Resources section of our website. The amount you need depends on the scope of the sanctuary you are planning. I cannot emphasize this enough. People give money to something they believe in and to people they know. These can often be adapted for your uses. Whether you are saving five or five thousand, you are making a difference to each and every one of them. Hatred and negativity can eat you up, and soon you will not be able to do the work. A fact of life in a no-kill sanctuary is that unless animals find homes, they live out their natural lives in your care. Introduction 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. But, staff are people, and so are the folks who will be coming to you in distress about their failure to keep a pet. Adopting from a shelter or sanctuary is becoming a cool thing to do. Using e-mail. Taking a guided tour will help them understand some of the problems of unwanted pets firsthand. Finally, each species has specific housing requirements. Many are published by Fancy Publications –, Our website has a number of publications about spay/neuter. To make your members aware of what items you need, put together a “wish list” and publish the list in your newsletter. A few of the cute little animals I helped this year. In addition, sanctuaries are an experimental staging ground for transformative human-animal relations. Replicate that schedule for at least the first few days to avoid gastric distress. The alternative—turning them away—is cruel and leaves the animals in … 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. Follow Linkedin. It’s vital that you work with a trainer to prepare the animals to be successfully re-homed. But if each of us does what we can to promote a world of compassion and kindness, one day we will see a very different world. Depending on where you’re trying to build, you’ll need to contact either the city or county offices. By. On the other hand, there are plenty of ways to get the word out in your local region. Approximately 3.4 million discarded dogs and cats will be euthanized in the United States in 2013. Repay the favor with a donation to a vetted project devoted to animals. Although this program has been very rewarding, it can also be difficult. My perceived lack of purpose lead me to a premature mid-life crisis about nine years ago. There are several areas where some kind of release form is appropriate. Mike Arms has spent his life saving the lives of animals — and using his business sense. Unlike a traditional shelter, where the animals are there for a short time, you will need to think in terms of lifetime care. And, on occasion, we have been able to take in unadoptable animals from other groups to live out their lives at the sanctuary. Capital expenses. In fact, many of them are run entirely by people who volunteer as much time as they can. Stores will often donate a percentage of their sales to benefit the animals. These are for fixed assets, such as buildings, vehicles, an information database, etc. Pet photography seemed to be a better fit, so I started A Dog's Life Photography. Foster a dog from a local shelter or rescue. ©2021 Verizon Media. … Tails of Rescue, A Guide to Finding the Not-So-Perfect Dog That is Perfect for You. Although we are doing this work because we love the animals, we also have to work closely with people. Be prompt in your pickup of the items. Every animal you rescue will need some medical attention. 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. 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. A good resource for information on spay/neuter clinic procedures is Humane Alliance in North Carolina. It may be an awkward situation, but the sooner it’s done, the better! The American Kennel Club has an up-to-date list of these groups. So I packed my things, grabbed my two Dobermans and moved across the country to "find myself" in Sedona, AZ. There are many ways to raise funds. Dealing with painful situations can be very stressful. His female counterpart, however, quickly leaps to the rescue, saving the man's hide. Paint and vinyl flooring can be relatively easy to acquire if you are not too fussy about colors or patterns. Finding new homes for as many animals as possible is a goal we should all pursue. What's even more significant is that animal rescuing can be… From astute service dogs guiding those with visual impairments to loyal friends providing emotional support to search and rescue canines saving lives, this animal has broad positive effects on our world and well-being. We hear sad news too regularly of a sanctuary or small rescue group that has failed. Hotels and motels change their bedding often, and we have found them to be very generous with the old blankets, sheets, and bedspreads. Part of your education program could be visiting local schools and sharing your insights about animals and how to take care of them. They are not voting members.) Today is National Voter Registration Day! 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. Students will learn how to handle, calm, restrain and transport animals after removing them from immediate danger, as well as care for them in the aftermath. 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. Here are some of the many occupations that involve caring for, training, or assisting with animals. And we in turn will share them with others. Using the telephone. How close are they? Best wishes from all of us at Best Friends. Indeed, most foundations do not offer funding for operating expenses. Many places have end runs or less attractive merchandise that they are happy to donate for a tax write-off. Sometimes a volunteer just doesn’t work out. If you’re going to invest a certain amount of money in putting on the event, you want to ensure that you don’t just break even, or lose money. The large pet-supply stores and grocery stores often have broken bags to donate. (We use the term “member” to describe our supporters. All states require you to have your staff covered by worker’s compensation insurance. We made it easy for you to exercise your right to vote! If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can end up losing the money you invested in all the printing and mailing and follow-up that’s involved. When the authorities or animal rescues step in to intervene in a hoarding situation, they usually find animals living in filth and without proper veterinary care or socialization. Or can alternatives be provided in the form of solar units and water storage tanks? Outline your plan and enlist their support. Another way to educate both children and adults is to have them visit your facility. Sick, abused and often pregnant ones do. These are the continuing daily expenses of feeding the animals, paying the staff, providing medical care, etc. 3.) They can destroy nests or harass ground dwelling birds and small animals to the point that the parents abandon their young. So it is important for the sanctuary itself to own its own land. So, take this into consideration when planning the layout of your facilities. 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. We here at Best Friends do not claim to have all the answers. E-mail is a very good and inexpensive way of keeping in touch with people. I found out on October 8th that I won a $5000 Creative Grant Award. Having nonprofit status lends credibility to your organization. Giving people the necessary information can often keep pets in their homes. You are going to be looking for a permanent home for each animal, with people who have the time and money to care for this new member of their family. Tax exempt, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) status is acquired by filing the necessary forms with the IRS. 1.) All rights reserved. Someone may know someone who’s willing to donate their services or perhaps one of your supporters works in graphic design or publishing and can help you put it all together. Here are some examples: Doing bake sales and car washes are good ways to get young people involved. Petey’s second chance. Arms is responsible for programs that have placed 9.3 million pets in homes in the United States since . These days, sophisticated but easy-to-use database programs for the computer make this job a lot easier. Be brief and friendly. The basic components of a membership program are: You can make your membership program as simple or as complex as you like. Form 990 details the money taken in and the money spent on behalf of the charity. You will be issued a three-year provisional tax-exempt status subject to fulfilling IRS requirements and submitting a Form 990 annually with the government. You might want to start with something simple and low-cost. Donors of goods, services, or money can claim their gift as an offset against their taxes, which may well increase how much they give. If your facility takes in an animal of a particular breed – for example, an Irish wolfhound – a rescue group for that breed may be located nearby. I watched countless webinars and bought every how-to book that I could find. Cats can be stressed by being housed too close to dogs. Another option is to have an internship program. Destiny is now healthy and happy in her new home with a family that loves her very much. You’re informed. Rescue animals pose many problems that are not always apparent to those people adopting or rescuing them. There are many ways to go about doing adoptions. Is the property accessible to the public? In Best Friends’ internship program, young people who are interested in careers in the animal field spend time working alongside us at the sanctuary, which gives them good hands-on experience of what is involved. I seem to just connect with them and they feel at ease with me. Most of them have a waiting list of people looking to adopt. But before you begin to think about all that, we strongly encourage you to do the following three things: Providing shelter for the animals means you need land and buildings. 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. The creative side that I never knew existed began to come alive. A release form lays out potential problems, or specific requirements, making a person aware of issues or requirements involved in adopting an animal, working with animals, or having an animal undergo a surgical procedure (like a spay or neuter). But even that type of zoning doesn’t cover exotics. 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. Are the access roads passable all year round? For all the vultures living off of the misfortune of throwaway pets in the name of rescue, there are far more legitimate rescues trying to save the lives of animals. People will support you because they like what you are doing for the animals, so keep that focus in your publications. But this approach is shortsighted and self-defeating. Getting a percentage of one day’s profits from a store donated is another option. But we welcome this opportunity to share the knowledge we have gained over a number of years of taking care of animals. When you pick up your dog, remember to ask what and when he was fed. And print a lot of copies! In fact, no animal likes to be on his/her own. You will also need to create intake isolation facilities. You will be asked to take biters, chewers, diggers, barkers, and all-around badly behaved dogs. Resources such as Shutterstock can help to fund your efforts. A lot of problems people experience with their pets stem from lack of knowledge about the animals and their behavior. This is understandable, given the way some people behave! When you call a store, ask to speak to the person in charge of donating products. Send thank-you notes for the donations you receive (no matter how small), provide prompt responses to questions asked, and assist members with animal problems. Insurance can give you peace of mind around visitors and volunteers should someone fall or get bitten by an animal. This can be a make-or-break area! There is a large network of breed rescue groups around the country. You can find them. Participants had to submit a video that told the story behind their images and work. Also, visits to other sanctuaries will help you see what works and what doesn’t. If that is not possible, ask for a discount or special payment schedule. If you can, use professional expertise (a graphic or e-newsletter designer). You are reading this how to start an animal rescue publication because you care about animals. Professional-looking literature conveys to the public that you know what you are doing. There is still a long way to go, of course. Spaying and neutering are becoming the norm for the majority of people who have pets. Go here for more on introducing dogs and children. If they are interested in becoming members, outline the different levels of involvement, so they can choose for themselves. It is only too easy to “burn out” when we see the animals that we dearly love being treated with cruelty and neglect. The company will require you to sign a paper stating that you will not sell the product, but there is nothing to stop you from sharing it, as long as they abide by the same requirement. This fund helps over 125 Arizona rescue groups to offset veterinary bills for critically ill and injured animals. We came away with cupboards, doors, surgical lights, incubators, x-ray viewers, and a variety of other useful equipment. (Refer to the guidelines in the sidebar on this page.) Well, start living the dream! I was stunned. You will need to be prepared financially, emotionally and physically to … A lot of behaviors are very responsive to training, and we usually suggest that the adopter find a trainer to continue the training program once the animal is re-homed. Early on, you need to have a long-term plan in place for the animals in your care. So, giving people the necessary information can often keep pets in their homes. Depending on your operation, there are also other types of insurance that you might need. Some municipalities require a kennel license, so find out ahead of time if this requirement affects you. When possible, the sanctuary itself should offer these services, not only to sanctuary animals, but also to the general public. Think about what kind of facilities the animals need to have a good quality of life. It is important to feed good quality food to the animals in your care. Remember, they will be representing your sanctuary. If there are existing buildings on the land, a building inspector may be able to advise you about zoning. You know that rescue animals are just as--if not more so--lovely and loving than the products of puppy mills. How much help you’ll need depends on how many animals you will be caring for. Then there was Shy-Low Bleu who came to me from Arizona Sheltie Rescue after he was rescued from a horrific hoarding situation along with over 180 other animals that were all covered with urine and feces, lacking medical care and basic nutrition, packed into crates stacked one atop of another in a dark garage. If you'd like to make helping animals a part of your day-to-day life, a range of careers can let you work with animals or support them from afar. 3. You also need to consider the terrain. It wasn't until I started spending time behind a camera that I felt a little spark. We were one of the first no-kill sanctuaries in the U.S. and we continue to work each day so that every animal has a second chance at life. Housing dogs can be noisy, and if you don’t have a buffer zone, like land or trees to dissipate the sound, your neighbors can legally file a complaint and perhaps force you to close down your operation. Finding a good home for an animal in your charge is a wonderful thing to do. This fund helps over 125 Arizona rescue groups to offset veterinary bills for critically ill and injured animals. You’ll be doing fundraising for two basic areas: Operating expenses. You can avoid burnout by getting some help early on. This can be a make-or-break area! It makes merging them into the general population easier. She works in the equine industry and has a passion for careers in the animal … Proceeds will probably not be large, but the events are always fun.      Medical care Legalities may appear to have nothing to do with your desire to rescue animals. We have found that people prefer to be uplifted rather than made to feel guilty by what they read about our work. We covered this area in an earlier section relating to the acquisition of property. Doing some research early on will help you to plan effectively. Usually, though, you have to start from scratch. Table of Contents 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. If you’re a typical animal lover, getting paid to be around animals might sound like a dream come true. 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. HeartSpeak is a wonderful organization that can help to get you started. Rescues … In closing Like people or snowflakes, no two shelter animals are alike. 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. Part of HuffPost News. In June, I heard about a grant program that Shutterstock was conducting called Shutterstock Stories. Keep your members informed and included in your work. You will need to be prepared financially, emotionally and physically to deal with sickness, injury and disease. It will be a world where we are all living in harmony with each other and with nature. You should also be prepared for people calling simply to ask if you will take their unwanted pet! We have found that some people respond more to a phone call than to a letter. If you want to do the paperwork without the expense of an attorney. 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. Starting a membership program. Learn about topics such as How to Raise a Baby Squirrel, How to Bottle Feed an Orphaned Fawn, How to Start a Non Profit Animal Rescue, and more with our helpful step-by-step instructions with photos and videos. Starting an animal rescue or shelter requires proper planning, facility preparation, and dedicated fundraising efforts. Pattrice Jones, co-founder of VINE Sanctuary defines an animal sanctuary as "a safe-enough place or relationship within the continuing hazards that menace everybody". 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. 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. Maybe, maybe not. Best Friends employs staff in a variety of areas: animal care, medical care, clerical work, accounting, fundraising, building and grounds maintenance, counseling, outreach programs, adoptions, and education, to name some of them. Publishing literature that enlightens people about animals and the problems they face can also be part of your education program. So get together with everyone involved in starting up your sanctuary and devise a written plan that covers a variety of eventualities. It is helpful at this point to decide what kind of animals you will be rescuing. It can be amended as you go along and as your organization changes, but it will give you some security should a crisis occur. So, share your feelings with those of like mind. I found that this approach was not very effective, since people would tune me out after a while. Agricultural workers These workers raise animals on farms, on ranches, and in other facilities for food production. There are many regulations covering the housing and rehabilitation of wildlife and wild birds. Every event requires staff or volunteers, and larger events require a lot of coordination. Your membership program is the backbone of your fundraising efforts. No matter what you think it will cost to save one or many animals, it will always cost a lot more! With the letter, send samples of your literature or brochures. Dealing with your members in a professional way will give them confidence in your whole operation and ensure that they will continue to support you as best they can. Sounds too good to be true? So, unless you can give them a very compelling reason to support something that’s not in their local area and that they’ve never heard of before, they’re unlikely to respond. This might be a private endowment that guarantees a certain amount every year, or perhaps an annual grant from a foundation. Together we can help to put an end to our nation's animal over-population crisis. Animal breedersselect and breed animals that have certain desirable characteristics, such as sheep with better …      Adoptions If you do not already have a veterinarian that you work with, visit your local vets. Zoning is only one of the issues to consider in the purchase of land. Mary Hope Kramer is a former writer for the The Balance Careers covering animal-related jobs. In our spay/neuter program, we include a release clause for surgery in our admittance form. And every animal who is adopted out from the sanctuary is already “fixed.”. Leasing land does not offer any stability for the animals. One donation may lead to another. To find veterinarians who participate in low-cost programs, call 1-800-248-SPAY or visit SPAY/USA. You can adopt out from your own facility, post photos and descriptions of your animals online, and/or use one of the major pet superstore chains that offer space to nonprofit animal groups. If you become overwhelmed, who else is going to help the animals? Although helping the rescue community has fulfilled my heart, it unfortunately does not pay the bills. I networked with photographers and took many workshops. If you plan to board animals at your facility, then a release form would be advisable for that, too. Details of your literature or brochures using my photos by nature acquisition of property the whole by! It’S not satisfactory, for example, lumber companies may donate surplus materials... Started spending time behind a camera that I felt a little spark prone to lecture everything moved... Cats do better if their diet more easily organizations’ adoption policies, and their behavior an situation! 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