VolunteerIn the wake of the Boston Bombings there were fake charities offering to help within hours of the breaking news. Charity fraud is all over the news these days. Americans are generous people and animal caretakers are some of the kindest people I know. I consider myself lucky to work with big-hearted souls every day. Unfortunately, it can be easy for people who care about animals to fall for something.

Remember, at Humane Society for Shelter Pets we do not want your money. We want you to find shelter and rescue groups near you that you can support by donating, volunteering or adopting where animals in need are being directly cared for. You can find these groups by typing in your zip code. Once you find a group, what should you look for?

Ask if they accept animals in need directly from pet owners in trouble or if they prefer to take animals out of other facilities. Ask how many animals they handle in a year and the number that are saved. Ask if you can tour the facility or if they use private homes ask for references from a veterinarian and satisfied adopters. Ask if they share their budget publicly and if they accept volunteers. The answers vary but finding a group that does work you want to support is important so that you don’t get caught up furthering a cause that goes against your beliefs or spending practices that don’t align with what you think they’re funding. (National groups that seem like an umbrella groups for local groups aren’t so. The Humane Society of the United States, for example, gives only 1% of funds it collects to animal shelters or rescues.)

If you want to help pets, looking into your neighborhood shelter or rescue is a good place to start.