Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Animal welfare donation options

Several people have e-mailed asking about where they should divert their THS donations this year.

First, thank you for considering a donation to animal welfare and thank you even more for spending the time to research your donation options.

Here are some suggestions in no particular order.

1. Continue donating to the animals at the THS but do it through the OSCPA. You can donate specifically to animal care at the THS by writing a cheque with "For the THS" in the memo line (send it to: OSPCA, 16586 Woodbine Avenue, R.R. #3, Newmarket L3Y 4W1) or you can make a donation over the phone (1-888-668-7722 ext.322) and tell the person taking the donation that you want the money to go to the animals at the THS. The OSPCA maintains that this money will not be going into the THS budget which the original THS board may or may not still control but will go directly towards animal care at the THS.

2. Donate to Toronto Animal Services. 100% of donations that TAS receives go directly towards the animals. TAS is municipally funded, but doesn't receive a budget for things like medical care that is above and beyond what is necessary to humanely sustain life or for pre-adoption spaying and neutering of pets. Their goal is always to provide as much care for the animals as possible. Since they spay/neuter every adult animal before they are re-homed, they absolutely rely on donations. However, the fact that they are municipally funded means that none of the donations they receive go toward salaries or any other administration costs.

3. Donate to a local rescue. There are loads of rescues in Toronto who do an excellent job of providing exceptional homes for animals at minimal costs until they are adopted. Here are a few run by people I have dealt with:

Speaking of Dogs - specializing in but not limited to older dogs

Happy Tails - specializing in small dogs

Anne and Pete's Foster Home for Dogs - These guys are so amazing. They're kind of like a mini Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. I can't quite figure out if they take donations directly but you can always phone and ask.

Big on Beagles headed by the most excellent Marna Gale.

Toronto Animals Services works quite often with Loyal Rescue especially in the transport of dogs from other shelters to be adopted out in Toronto.

Labrador Retriever Adoption Service Inc. has also partnered with TAS.

And of course, CAACQ whose logo is on display at the top left of the page. Partnering with TAS, they've helped rescue from Quebec over 400 dogs last year. Unfortunately, they are not able to issue charitable receipts as they are not a charity because they lobby on behalf of animal welfare issues (lobbies can't be charities).

And if you can't decide on a specific rescue, K9 Rescue Me is an Ontario umbrella rescue organization where you can search and donate to a reputable rescue or have your donation split between all the K9 Rescue Me member rescues.

I'd think that you would get the best bang for your buck donating to a rescue. They have no staff to pay, no buildings to maintain and heat and minimal bureaucracy to deal with. Also, the animals are living in a home environment, not a kennel or a cage. As with any charitable organization, though, you do need to be careful to choose a reputable rescue to support. While the majority of rescues are well-intentioned, some may be poorly operated. You can research their website and since you're probably going to call them up anyway to donate, you can always ask them a few questions first.

How many animals have they adopted out last year? It's not strictly a numbers game but if all things were equal, would you rather give money to a place that adopted out 2 animals or 50?

Will they give you references? Some rescues may have strict privacy policies but not to have at least a couple of references on hand, well, it may not imply anything bad but it doesn't say anything good either.

Do they make sure their animals are spayed/neutered before adoption? Reputable rescues don't want to see more unwanted pets being born and will ensure that their animals are spayed and neutered unless there are extenuating circumstances.

Are they vaccinated and health checked and are their records available for viewing? Rescues spend money on vet care to maintain healthy animals. If a rescue does not do this or is not able to do this, then it might be best to choose another recipient of your donation.

How do they decide whether or not a potential adopter is suitable? While some rescues have been accused of giving potential adopters the third degree, a lot of questions do have to be asked to ensure the animals aren't being sent into bad situations. If a rescue gives away animals to anyone for free or sells animals to anyone with enough money, then move on.

Do they do home checks before adopting out an animal? Not all rescues will have the resources to do home checks but the best ones do go this extra mile to make sure the animal's new potential living environment is suitable.

Where do they get their animals from? How do they choose the animals for their rescue? Many rescues will specialize by breed or size and that's fine. You probable want to stay away from ones that have questionable intake strategies like only purebred puppies from puppy mills - that would make it more like a pet store, not a rescue.

Hope that helps.


House of the Discarded said...

...and if you'd like to help cats, you can donate to Toronto Cat Rescue! www.torontocatrescue.ca


Anonymous said...

This could also be read as "how to chose a rescue group" to adopt from. Being in a search for the past year, I would agree with all of your points. For us it is especially important to adopt to those ones that do "go the extra mile" and do the interview/home inspection.

Anonymous said...

I can give personal references for the following rescues, all of which use foster homes and are volunteer-run, and go the extra mile for veterinary care. Big on Beagles, Loyal Rescue, Happy Tails, Ontario Lab Rescue and Mature Dog Adoptions. Fred, you've already mentioned a couple of the other fantastic ones i.e. TAS, Speaking of Dogs, and Ann and Pete Wilson's Foster Home.

Fred said...

Yes, definitely. Don't know how I forgot those. I'll push them up to the main post.

Laura HP said...

And if you'd like to help bunnies, Rabbit Rescue Inc is amazing and definitely worth your donations! =)

Thanks for the list, I hadn't heard of all those...they seem like wonderful rescues.

Anonymous said...

Also consider Toronto Wildlife Centre, a registered charity that took in wildlife institutionalized in THS.


Social Mange said...

The OSPCA has set up a special account for monetary donations for THS animals.


Public Can Support Vulnerable Animals at the Toronto Humane Society Through Contributions of Funds or Pet Supplies

NEWMARKET, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 15, 2009) - The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) and the staff at the Toronto Humane Society (THS) would like the public to know there are ways to directly help the various animals in need at the THS.

A bank account has been set up through TD Canada Trust to accept contributions, every penny of which will be invested to care for over 1,000 animals in need at the Toronto Humane Society (THS). This fund is not to be used in any way for legal fees or other administration costs not directly associated with helping animals.

Those wishing to contribute are invited to transfer funds to the following account at any bank:

TD Canada Trust account number: 5224209
Transit number: 0307

"Obviously, this has been a very difficult time for animal lovers with the ongoing investigation into alleged animal cruelty and mismanagement by senior staff and board members at the THS. But the community has come together to support the animals in need at the THS shelter, and this support is truly wonderful and inspiring, especially at Christmas time when people are very busy," said Kevin Strooband, lead investigator for the OSPCA. "If the public wishes to help the animals at the THS, we will make sure their contributions of money or supplies will directly help animals in need at this shelter."

A wide range of pet supplies would also be gratefully accepted and appreciated from the public. Supplies that are especially needed are:
- Straw
- Timothy hay
- Aspen shavings
- Food for less active rabbits
- "Rodent Diet"
- Six-foot-long nylon or leather leashes
- "Yesterdays News" cat litter
- Canary-finch bird food
- "Cover Cat" non-clumping cat litter
- Toys for cats and dogs
- Blankets

These items can be dropped off at the THS animal shelter at 11 River Street. The OSPCA will keep the public notified of any changes to this list of needed supplies through its website at http://ontariospca.ca/press_releases/2009/ths_investigation.html. For more information about how you can help the animals at the THS, please call 1-888-668-7722.

Anonymous said...

Check out what I got in my inbox:

"Dear Supporter of the Toronto Humane Society,

We are deeply concerned and saddened with events at the Toronto Humane Society and how it will affect animal care and adoption in the future. As a volunteer member of the board I have dedicated my life to the care of animals.

I’m sure you are aware that the OSPCA raided the THS shelter last month, amid allegations about the quality of our animal care. I want to assure you that what you are hearing is not accurate. In fact the Animal Control Review Board just dismissed 3 charges the OSPCA tried to prosecute against the THS. The ACRB said the actions of the OSPCA were “not based on reasonable grounds.” The same can be said now.

I can tell you that the animals have been caught up in a dispute that goes back decades. This is once again being driven by the OSPCA. We are working to change that and we need your continued help. Recently, your support forced the Ontario Government to amend Bill 50 which would have enabled the OSPCA to take control of the names of independent Humane Societies across the province, names many of them have had for decades.
In the meantime we want you to remember:

* As an animal hospital we take in approximately 11,000 sick, injured and abandoned animals each year. It should not be surprising to see some sick animals at a hospital.
* We do everything possible to return animals to good health and find them a forever home. Sadly we still had to euthanize nearly 500 animals last year.
* We are proud of our policy of doing whatever it takes to help animals. It has resulted in a low 7% euthanasia rate. Other animal welfare organizations euthanize more animals more often.

The Toronto Humane Society needs your donation dollars. Please know this support is going to where it should - to the care and treatment of animals. This has always been the case as annual audits of the THS books will attest.
I am listening to our members and supporters. As an organization, we are constantly re-evaluating our performance. We know there may be areas in which we can be better. You have my assurance as the new President that I’m working on that every day.
Your donations are the Society’s only source of revenue to care for the animals. Please continue to give generously.

Bob Hambley CA

HomeToMany said...

Hi Fred,
I just sent in a donation on line to TAS while re-newing my dogs' licence. Does the money for the licences go directly to the TAS also for such things as: spay/neuter and food etc.

Just wondering, I always wonder where this money goes to.

Fred said...

Hi HomeToMany, thanks for the donation! I don't know what happens to the licensing money but I suspect it goes to animal care. I'll try to remember to ask the next time I'm in.