There are many pets that their respective owners leave behind. More often, they are abandoned and left to fend for themselves, exposing them to hunger, harm, and death.
It would be great if there was an establishment in your area that took care of these abandoned and defenseless animals. However, with more and more of them abandoned, the shelters are becoming overcrowded. There are even cases in which the healthy were discharged because the place is crowded. They could have been saved if only there were available rescue centers in the area that could accommodate them.
Starting a shelter
If you are an animal lover and want to spread your affection for these abandoned creatures, you can start a shelter in your area. There are grants available for animal shelters that you can take advantage of when the need arises.
To begin, you need to assess the general condition of your area.
Assess community needs
Is there a shelter for pets in your area? Does it not meet the needs of the community in terms of shelter and safety of rescued pets?
Once you have identified the need and current situation for the center, the next thing to do is work on the best approach to establish it. It would be helpful if you had links to existing rescue centers and social assistance groups in your area. This way, you can get the support and assistance you need from experienced people.
Take the time to develop and gain some experience
It takes more than sheer will and determination to make it work. You would also need some experience in operating and managing the facility.
You can best earn it by volunteering at a rescue location or center of your choice. You can also use some time to join seminars and conferences. Also, take the time to build some networks, as you would need when you have to coordinate with someone outside of your immediate area or neighborhood.
Create a plan
Be sure to put your plans in writing. This would help you know that your organization is properly managed and aligned with your goals and objectives. You would also need an organization well prepared by laws, articles of incorporation, mission and vision statements, and other documents required to apply for 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status from the IRS.
You can start raising funds through donations from friends and colleagues. Also, contact government units and private foundations that provide grants for animal shelters and rescue centers. This is where networking plays an important role. Remember that important donations come from personal contacts; therefore, you need to strengthen your network to get more donations and support from your neighborhood.
In addition to donations, you can also start campaigns, events and programs where animal lovers can contribute to your project. Contact your rescue center for events they can organize for your “protected friends.”
Starting a shelter can wear you out faster than a day job. However, it would always be far more rewarding than your regular paycheck to know that you have saved an innocent cat or dog from the clutches of death. Why wait when you can start getting involved in animal welfare? Learn about grants available for animal shelters in your area and start saving canine and feline lives.