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Looking To Donate? Read This First
Donating to charity is wise for financial planning but choosing the right charities may be a challenge for pet owners bombarded by TV ads for SPCA and HSUS.
Most animal-related charities are divided into two groups: Those that actually support animals in need and/or are engaged in defending owners against anti-pet legislation. islation. islation. islation. islation. islation.
On the other side of the ledger are so-called "animal rights" groups that use animals and animal welfare issues to raise money:We can't list them all but here are some examples to consider for donations. You may want to verify which will be tax-deductible and which may not be deductible for you.
We give high marks to the AKC Canine Health Foundation, a charity supported by dog owners. The AKC/CHF has had problems this year, the result being a major split between its board and the American Kennel Club board. It is however, all about funding research and helping dogs.
The American Kennel Club is nonprofit with annual income over $60 million. Although it is frequently aligned with HSUS, it has numerous charitable projects from which to choose. AKC has just formed a Political Action Committee (PAC) which may cause concern because several AKC board members donated to Senator Santorum in support of PAWS, a national legislative action which could have virtually abolished hobby breeders.
The Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) and The International Cat Association (TICA) registries don't have multi-million dollar budgets and don't solicit donations, but both are active and successful in fighting anti-pet legislation and protecting the interests of cat owners.
National Animal Interest Alliance, founded by highly respected AKC board member Patti Strand, is a legislative alert organization aimed at education. NAIA Trust supports legal action when necessary. NAIA donations may be tax deductible but NAIA Trust contributions are non-deductible.
Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance emerged as a national force under Washington Lobbyist Bob Kane. SAOVA is now guided by Susan Wolf who has proven her dedication through NC Responsible Animal Owners Alliance, part of a national network. SAOVA keeps animal owners informed on candidate's positions and judicious election endorsements. Most, if not all of SAOVA staff, are volunteers.
Concerned Dog Owners Of California (CDOC) and other state/regional organizations such as RAOA have been very successful but are not as national in scope as are some of the above groups.
PetPac is also California-based but has expanded into helping other groups with their extensive lobbying background and know-how. Example: Proponents of the infamous AB 1634 brought in TV personality Bob Barker to promote passage of the forced sterilization bill. PetPac presented movie star Lassie and trainer Rud Weatherwax in opposition. The media (and the crowds) went wild!
BEWARE charitable groups which fail to publish an annual report, audited financial statement, and/or IRS form 990.
Prefacing a short list of organizations we can not recommend is this statement from the SAOVA website which explains "animal rights" extremists thusly, "their legislative initiatives against hunting, breeding, entertainment, meat eating, or any other use of animals is through their political action committees (PACs) of which the largest and most visible at the federal level is Humane USA. Members include The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), The Fund for Animals (FFA), Farm Sanctuary, ASPCA, Doris Day Animal League (DDAL), Animal Welfare Institute, The Ark Trust, Animal Rights Foundation of Florida, and others. DDAL and FFA recently merged with HSUS, making the latter not only the wealthiest and best organized of the animal rights advocacy groups, but Humane USA's chief client."
According to CharityWatch.org, it would be prudent to request a tax return from the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, well known to Animal Planet viewers as the ASPCA. Local SPCA groups may not be affiliated with the ASPCA.
The American Humane Association is well ranked but not generally supported by the well-informed, who let the AKC and Westminster Dog Show know their feelings when AHA received promotion during the telecast and subsequently offered cash inducements for dog clubs' support. Offer rejected!
People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals gets limited media publicity nowadays but continues to reach the public through billboards, public school materials, and coverage such as the recent HBO interview with Newkirk PETA values its "extreme radical" stance against all animal ownership and consumption of animal products including milk, cheese, leather shoes, silk blouses, etc.
PETA may lose its $30 million a year tax exempt status due to affiliation with and support of the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and Earth Liberation Front (ELF), which is on the FBI's top domestic terrorist list.
According to ActivistCash.com the Humane Society Of The U.S. is "the wealthiest animal rights organization on earth." It reveals HSUS as "a 'humane society' in name only with $113 million in assets." Following Hurricane Katrina, the Louisiana Attorney General launched an investigation of HSUS which has yet to account for millions of dollars donated specifically to help Katrina animals, a plea for money it still uses.
Although not as radical as PETA, HSUS employs former PETA managers and has vowed to end companion-animal breeding.
Money-moving between charities is not uncommon. Some secretly shuffle cash while others openly distribute to worthy organizations on behalf of the giver. You may want to insure your donation does not support an organization with which you are philosophically opposed.
Giving to a verifiable local animal charity is another option and it allows you to personally its track benefits to your community.
*We trust you found this helpful. National Pet Press is "take-with" news and entertainment for owners who care about Wellbred Companion Animals.
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