You’ve been thinking about ways to help dogs in need, or perhaps you’ve been rescuing dogs on your own, and are thinking about starting a nonprofit dog rescue. It’s great that you want to help, or continue helping! That is one of the key principles of the Animal Justice League of America (AJLA): to help animals by accountability, education, and purposeful activism!
It takes time and patience and self sacrifice to build, run, and manage a rescue. A nonprofit rescue can take up to a year to set up, paperwork wise. You want to begin by determining if there is a need for a nonprofit dog rescue in your area or if you would be best suited to volunteer with an existing nonprofit. There are several things to consider in either scenario. We hope that the following article helps you to start on your journey to either establishing your own nonprofit dog rescue or finding an established, reputable nonprofit dog rescue to become involved in!
If there isn’t an established, reputable nonprofit dog rescue in your area and there are homeless, abandoned, in high kill shelter dogs in need; you may be in the perfect position to start a nonprofit dog rescue and impact many human and canine lives! The first step in this situation is to do a LOT of research. Creating, managing, and networking any type of animal rescue is an extensive undertaking. Once you have researched nonprofit business management, identified the issue(s) you want to address, and have a loose outline on how you would like to address those issues, you are ready to start putting your plan into action!
You would, then, work to gather a group of like minded people that becomes your core support group. Some of those people will, eventually, become the board of directors for your organization. You would begin to identify what you do best, what the needs of the rescue are (remember it is a business, like any other), and form your core group based on balancing the needs of the dogs and the rescue with the talents of yourself and your team. These are the first steps, of many, on the road to establishing a nonprofit dog rescue.
If there is a nonprofit rescue (or more than one) in your area that are already helping to rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome dogs in your area, you can volunteer with them to help accomplish great things if your mission and values align! In this scenario you would want to research their online presence; look at their website, Twitter, Facebook, PetFinder, etc.
What is their mission statement? Is it something your values align with? How do they approach fundraising? Do they have a balanced approach of positive posts/happy endings and education/emergent cases? Who is on their leadership team? How do they conduct themselves, generally and on their own social media accounts? Do their actions match their words? Are they a part of the Animal Justice League of America (AJLA) network?
Start a conversation with some of their volunteers, their leadership team, and find out what is needed. You might find the perfect place for yourself within their organization. Follow your heart but listen to your head. If you do not agree with something that is going on, ask questions. You may need to volunteer with several different rescues in order to find the best fit for you.
Rescue is hard work, either way. There are few things in this world that are more satisfying than rescuing an animal that had no other hope, getting it to full health, fostering it to establish or rebuild trust, and then finding it its perfect forever home. That, in a nutshell, is the only reason to do rescue, nonprofit or otherwise: to enrich the lives of the animals you rescue. It isn’t about ego, pride, or accolades. It’s about the dogs. It’s about giving a voice to the voiceless.
Animal Justice League of America prides ourselves on working with quality dog rescues throughout the nation. If you are interested in helping with our mission, please help our cause my volunteering your efforts or donating to AJLA. We appreciate your support.
Content provided by Ericka Helmer