Five nonprofits in honor of Adopt A Shelter Pet Day

We are inspired by the work these five nonprofits are doing for our four-legged friends.
April 30, 2024
Clair Lofthouse
Technical Writer

Today is Adopt A Shelter Pet Day. Dogs and cats may be humans’ most popular pets, but thousands of these best friends still face barriers to finding homes, especially the simple fact that there are too many animals and not enough resources to house and care for them while finding homes. 

Approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year, according to Shelter Animals Count, The National Database and the World Animal Foundation. Of these, just over 4 million are adopted, a near-even split between dogs and cats, while, sadly, about 920,000 are euthanized – 390,000 dogs and 530,000 cats. 

High-intake municipal animal shelters are responsible for taking in the majority of these 6.3 million companion animals. Typically underfunded and understaffed, the shelters are demonized as “high-kill,” stigmatizing them and complicating their efforts to raise funds from well-meaning donors who only want their dollars to support “no-kill” shelters. It’s understandable – no one wants to underwrite organizations that euthanize the animals they exist to serve. 

The reality is more complicated. The organizations “have been asked by their governments to bear a disproportionate portion of the burden to solve the problem without being given the resources necessary for success” writes Best Friends, a pioneering no-kill organization. “The term ‘kill shelter’… is inflammatory and could erroneously suggest that shelters are to blame for killing pets when, in fact, the responsibility to save all the savable pets rests with all of us. Such labels can prevent people from supporting their local shelter, when support is often exactly what that shelter needs.” 

Seeing the problem, the animal welfare community adapted. Nonprofits sprang up as a safety net to move highly adoptable animals out of overcrowded, open-admission shelters and meet the 90% live-release benchmark that defines “no-kill” by specializing in longer-term care, training and foster programs.

Through collaboration and collective responsibility, these nonprofits help overwhelmed shelters combat the devastating effects of the bad PR the “high-kill” title causes. Together they create communities of shelters that maintain at least a 90% live-release rate. Best Friends explains, “For any community to be no-kill, all stakeholders in that community must work together to achieve and sustain that common goal. This means cooperation among animal shelters, animal rescue groups, government agencies, community members and other stakeholders, all committed to progressive lifesaving.”

If you are not in the market for a new family member this Adopt A Shelter Pet Day, consider donating to save lives. Give to your local high-intake shelter, no-kill shelter, foster-based rescue, subsidized veterinary services, food pantries that provide pet food… or to the Give Lively members below.

The Nonprofits

All 4 Paws Rescue

This non-profit is a foster-based, all-breed, no-kill animal rescue based in Malvern, Pennsylvania, that offers rescue, rehabilitation and sanctuary to animals in need. All 4 Paws Rescue’s goal is to match each animal to a safe, permanent and loving home. Being a foster-based rescue means that adoptable animals live in homes with volunteer families and their personal pets, allowing the rescue to learn about the foster family and prepare for a forever home. 

All 4 Paws Rescue used a Give Lively-powered Campaign Page for its GivingTuesday 2023 appeal and maintains a Core Profile fundraising page to collect donations through its website.

Kabul Small Animal Rescue 

This NGO provides routine and emergency medical services for pets, street animals and working animals in Kabul, Afghanistan, as well as assistance to partner organizations in transporting adopted pets to their new homes outside the country. Kabul Small Animal Rescue (KSAR) started as a veterinary clinic in 2019 and began working with local and foreign organizations and embassies with feline trap-vaccinate-neuter-release programs on their grounds. It gained Afghan NGO status in 2020, branching out to include the care of K9 working dogs. When Covid-19 hit Afghanistan and flights worldwide were grounded, KSAR remained open for intake and its animal population boomed. When flights re-opened in late 2020, KSAR began transporting animals to their adopters, many of them US soldiers in North America and Europe. 

Kabul Small Animal Rescue is using a Give Lively-powered Campaign Page to fundraise for the “KSAR All Paws Airlift 2024,” a much-needed transport of 300 animals to their new homes in the United States, as well as a Core Profile fundraising page to collect donations through its website.  

Live Love Animal Rescue

This nonprofit’s mission is to save homeless animals in Long Beach, California. Live Love Animal Rescue partners with local rescue organizations, Long Beach Animal Care Services and city government to further develop and manage a network of volunteers and supporters with the goal of one day transforming Long Beach into a no-kill city for all animals. Live Love Animal Rescue takes in dogs from all situations, often the most extreme behavior and medical cases, and is dedicated to ensuring they are healed, brought to the greatest possible quality of life and placed in loving, responsible, committed foster and then permanent homes. While in the care of volunteer foster homes, the dogs are treated for any medical issues, spayed or neutered, fully vaccinated and receive behavioral training as needed. Dogs that are too ill to be adopted remain in the Live Love Animal Rescue family as “Forever Fosters” and cherished for the rest of their days. 

Live Love Animal Rescue makes good use of Give Lively-powered Text-to-Donate with codes including “GOTCHA” and “THRIVING2021,” as well as using a Core Profile fundraising page to collect donations through its website.  

Sacramento Shelter Pets Alive

This organization aids high-intake, underfunded and under-resourced animal shelters like Sacramento County Animal Care & Regulation and Stockton Animal Shelter, which desperately require a support system for large-breed dogs. Despite being demonized as high-kill, these open-admission municipal animal shelters need all the help they can get as they typically lack the resources to make the no-kill dream a reality. That’s where organizations like Sacramento Shelter Pets Alive (SSPA) come in. Dedicated and compassionate SSPA staff and volunteers offer innovative, comprehensive behavioral and rehabilitative programs, including critical playgroups, foster care and rescue support, communications assistance and adoption retention, all of which have proven to sustain a high live-release outcome. SSPA also provides post-adoption training. Importantly, SSPA approaches every dog as an individual, with the understanding, backed by scientific research, that physical appearance does not determine behavior.

Sacramento Shelter Pets Alive uses a Core Profile fundraising page to collect donations through its website.

Working Dogs for Vets

This nonprofit rescues dogs from shelters and trains them as service dogs for disabled military veterans. Working Dogs For Vets has teamed thousands of disabled veterans with service dogs trained to do myriad tasks for their handlers, helping them regain their independence, confidence and self-esteem. The PTSD Service Dogs that graduate from Working Dogs For Vets help relieve veterans from common PTSD symptoms like night terrors, anger issues and fear of crowds. By partnering shelter dogs and veterans, this program aims to save lives on both ends of the leash. 

Working Dogs for Vets uses a Give Lively-powered Campaign Page to collect donations through its website.