There are many great funraisers that can help your community raise money for the local animal shelter. The poor beasts that live at the shelter need continuous care, food, and attention. There is often too little to go around, and every little bit helps keep the shelter running smoothly. Every animal deserves a shot at a great life. The sad dogs and cats that enter the shelter are often abandoned with serious medical conditions. Unfortunetly, many are put down because the cost to heal them is too high. Even healthy animals are put to sleep because of overcrowding. However, all that can change with a fundraiser that helps keep every animal happy and healthy until they find a permanent home.

A Benefit Dinner

Organize a benefit at a swankly location in town. Ask for donations for a silent auction that will raise even more moneuy. You can even try to get a local celebrity to say a speech about their love for animals. This could attract more preople to the benefit. Hire the best band and caterer in town to keep people entertained and satsified all nightr long. Offer a cash bar where people can donate whatever they like to help keep the costs of the animal shelter down. If you get the alcohal dontated, then every penny made on top will go directly to the shelter.

Your city hosts a plethora of benefits; therefore, you need to think of a way to make your stand out. It is for a good cause, and most people love any excuse for a party. However, a unique theme could make it even better. For example, a masquerade never goes out of style. You could even host a Monte Carlo themed event with gambling tables all around. This will be a night that nobody forgets, and it will raise an incredible amount of money for the shelter if done right.

The Great Raffle

A raffle is one of the easiest fundraisers around because it costs very little to pull off. All you have to do is buy a big ticket item. The prize could even be donated if you ask the right people. All you will have to pay for is tickets and advetising. This is much less than organizing an event, and it could raise the same amount of money too. Hopefully, a combination of these ideas will help the animal shelter.

There will always be a need for animal rescue shelter as more and more people discard their pets especially in bad economic times. Discarding a pet is often the first economy when a family budget is pressed. Other pets are unwanted presents and gifts and are thrown out to fend for themselves. You may feel there is a need a need for an animal rescue shelter in your area. Below we have some tips on how to start a rescue shelter.

1, Stop and think. Is this something you really want to do? You’ll be letting yourself in for considerable commitment and for a long time. Please consider carefully before making a final decision.

2, Do lots of research, you need to know exactly what is involved in running a shelter. Speak to people who have run or running an animal rescue shelter.  It might be an idea to volunteer at an animal shelter to get some hands on experience so you know exactly what you are letting yourself in for.

3, You’ll need to speak to a lawyer to understand the legal implication of starting an animal rescue shelter.

4, Now comes the time to decide on what kind of animal rescue shelter you want to start. Do you want to specialize in dog or cats, or will you be sheltering all kinds of pets.

5, Next you’ll need to write up a mission statement. This is a document that sets out your aims, goals and ambitions for the future. You may need to write the mission statement with the help of a lawyer to ensure the legalities are observed.

6, Find suitable premises and make sure there is room for future expansion.

7, Raise initial funds by arranging garage sales and consider radio, television appeals and press statements. The more initial publicity you get the better.

8. Finally enjoy yourself.  Setting up an animal rescue will have it tribulations but the rewards may make the whole enterprise worthwhile for you, the animals your rescue, and your local community.


Millions of animals are euthanized each year before they even have a chance to find a loving home. Giving these animals a second chance combined with the smile and love they will bring to the new owner’s home simply warms the heart. Holding pet adoption events could be the gateway to a whole new life for these animals. The best thing is that adoption events aren’t too costly and can be held in many locations. Choosing a great location is essential to the success of your adoption event.


Petco is often flooded with excited potential pet owners each weekend as they visit adoptable pets. Petco partners with many foundations and companies to host these types of events. They offer a large area to your adoptable pets so people can meet the animals and find the perfect fit. You can offer infromation about each pet and even give education material provided by Petco to potential new family members of the pets. All you have to do is become an Approved Adoption Partner by completing an online application.

Local Parades and Events

A great place to bring together animals and their future owners is at a local parade or local event. Basically anywhere in your city that brings together many people in one place is a perfect place to host an adoption. People can spend time with the animals while enjoying the event at the same time. The best way to set this up is to contact the coordinators of the local event. They will usually give you a perfect location and let you take the reigns from there. Who can resist a little kid at a parade begging his/her parents for a cute, cuddly new pet?!

PetSmart – National Adoption Weekends

Petsmart is one of the best places to find wagging tails and purring kitty cats during adoption events. It’s is not only a great location to hold a classic pet adoption event, but gives you ultimate exposure on Petsmart’s National Adoption Weekends. PetSmart holds these events four times a year featuring several adoption organizations each weekend. On average the weekends help over 17,000 pets find their soulmate.

PetSmart is one of North America’s best known chain of pet stores. But did you know that PetSmart also sponsors pet charities that consistently get a five-star rating on Charity Navigator? Donating just a dollar at the checkout helps fund many worth charities and saves the lives of many dogs, cats and other pets. PetSmart Charities helps by:

  • sponsoring adopt a pet fairs
  • working with other animal welfare organizations to help pets and their owners in times of natural disasters
  • transporting animals from overcrowded shelters to under crowded shelters
  • gives substantial grants to animal shelters.

In Just One Year

In the year 2012 alone, PetSmart Charities helped save the lives of over 445,000 pets by getting them placed in forever homes. PetSmart Charities also helped donate grants to over 3,000 animal rescue groups in North America. In October of 2012, the East Coast was devastated by Superstorm Sandy. PetSmart Charities helped the victims by donated over 450 tons of pet food for relief efforts.

Applying for a PetSmart Charity Grant

Since 1994, PetSmart Charities has handed out over $27 million in grants for shelters in Canada and all 50 states of the US. Animal shelters can easily fill out an online application form available at the PetSmart Charities website. Three general types of grants are aviable:

  • grants to fund free or low-cost spay or neutering programs
  • grants to help increase pet adoptions for your shelter
  • grants to help fund emergency relief for animal victims of natural disasters and unnatural disasters like pet hoarding, dog fighting or clearing out puppy mills.


Perhaps your Animal Shelter Fundraisers have been missing out on some of the lesser known holiday opportunities that are out there, which could boost your adoption rate significantly. Here you’ll find several mentioned that you can hopefully add to your list of animal shelter fundraisers.

February is chock full of excellent opportunities to hold fundraisers. For example, it’s Responsible Pet Owners Month, so by thanking previous owners who have adopted from your shelter in the past, you can also invite them to your upcoming fundraiser, and have them invite their animal-lover friends, who would just love seeing all of the adorable animals your shelter has available for adoption. February is also National Cat Health Month, Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month, as well as National Wild Bird Feeding Month; so if your shelter has cats, rabbits and/or birds in residence, February is an excellent time to promote adoptions of them, as well as a chance to do some basic education about care, feeding, grooming, etc.

March is Adopt a Rescued Guinea Pig Month. April is Prevention of Animal Cruelty Month – a great opportunity to have a guest speaker or two on the topic to raise attendance of your fundraiser for that month and offer a tour of the beautiful creatures your shelter has available for adoption!

August 26th is National Dog Day, while National Cat Day is October 29th. These are great dates to orchestrate fun and exciting animal shelter fundraisers and expect high turn-outs and hopefully many happy adoptions.Speaking of canine friends, June is Adopt a Dog Month, and for the felines, October is Adopt a Cat Month.October is also Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, and some of our most lovable animal friends, those who are senior citizens, also have their own honorary month, with November being Adopt a Senior Pet Month.

You’ll find all kinds of creative ways to promote these various pet specific holidays, while still taking advantage of the more readily recognized national holidays as well. Set up your animal shelter fundraisers so that fun is had by all of the attendees, your available adoption population, and good luck!

Every animal shelter needs a little help sometimes, and successful adoption events can really raise awareness and money for your animal welfare organization.  But the keyword there is “successful”.  How do you take an event from average to extraordinary?

Here are some tips to help you along the way:

  • Decide on the Feeling.  Are you planning on having this adoption event in conjunction with a black-tie affair?  Will this be a casual day at the park?  Before you can proceed with the rest of the planning, you need to know what kind feeling you want your event to produce.
  • Find a Venue.  It’s not impossible to have adoption events without the animals present, but it’s certainly a lot easier to pull on potential adopters’ heartstrings when they can look into the eyes of those furry friends.  This can cause difficulty when it comes to finding a venue, however, as pets aren’t always as welcome as their human counterparts.  Sometimes venues will make concessions on their animal policies if you explain that you’re a nonprofit and let them know the purpose of the event.  If you’re having difficulty finding a venue, reach out to other organizations in your area that have similar causes for suggestions.  Often, they’ll be more helpful than not.
  • Get Help.  Adoption events can be huge undertakings, and you’ll probably be glad to get any extra hands that you can get.  Reach out to your donor base and your regular volunteers then spread the word via social media.  Often times you can find volunteers for one-time events that don’t otherwise have the time to volunteer on a regular basis.  Have a list of “occupations” on-hand before you ask for help, and as people start to offer themselves up, fill in that list so everybody has a concrete position and knows what they’re responsible for from the very beginning.
  • Have Your Event.  It’ll probably be a bit chaotic, but make sure you take a breath during your event to step back and smile and look at the magic you made happen!  Try to mingle and say hello as oftten as possible because donors and volunteers tend to respond well when they have a name and a handshake to put with the organization.

If you have other tips for planning successful adoption events, please share them with us in the comments section below or talk about it on our AWOIP Facebook page!

Your animal shelter provides an invaluable service not only to the animals you rescue, but the communities in which you reside. Often operating on a limited budget and depending on volunteers and donations to get by can put a strain on your resources and limit the amount of service you can provide. A fundraiser provides you with an excellent opportunity to gain not only an infusion of cash but awareness and support within your community. Planning such an event is a daunting task, but by knowing your audience and playing to your strengths your fundraising efforts can be wildly successful.

Begin your fundraising efforts by first identifying your needs. Make a list of what items or programs most need funding and list them by priority. Not only will this give you a clear indication of your own goals, but it can also serve to educate the public on why you need their support. Once this is complete, it is time to start working on your plan to raise the money you require. A long term fundraiser can take many forms. You may choose to host several awareness events such as: adoption drives, obedience classes, or dog walking events in local parks. Alternatively, you may choose to reach out to local businesses and partner with them for long term fundraising. You may even choose to do a mixture of several approaches depending on your needs. Try coming up with a list of frequent donors or volunteers. People that you have relied on in the past are typically eager to help with future fundraisers. Additionally, these people may also have contacts with the local government or businesses that would be willing to help with your fundraising efforts. The last thing you need to consider is how you will promote awareness of your fundraiser. Refer to the list of priorities you made earlier. Contact your local news media and ask them if they would be willing to run a story on your shelter. Play up your most urgent needs and show the public why you are asking for help.

Fundraising is always an uncertain and stressful task. However, the proper planning relieves much of the burden and allows you to focus on the important issues. Be sure to articulate your needs, ask your supporters for assistance and get the word out to the public.

 5 More Summertime Fundraisers


There are a number of ways to help raise money for your animal shelter, including summer time fundraisers. Here are five fundraiser ideas to get people outside and raising money.


Sponsor a 5K

While it will be work, setting up a 5K event will help to get people’s attention. You can make it a dog friendly event to help emphasize the purpose of the event. For a fee, participants will be able to get some exercise while earning money for the shelter. If you make it an annual event, it is likely to gain in popularity and grow every year.


Hold a Silent Auction

This one will require you to first gain donations from local businesses or sponsors, but it will be more of an investment of time than money. You can add a meal or snacks to the event to make it last a little longer, giving participants a little more time to increase their bids. Holding the auction outside is ideal so that people can bring their pets to mingle as they browse.


Torture the Boss

Create a short list of “tortures” for the shelter owner (or a willing substitute), like dying the boss’s hair or cleaning after the animals for a day. Then anyone who pays a set amount will be allowed to vote on what type of torture they would like to see. This is an easy way to do fundraising with minimal cost, except to the boss. Once the votes are tallied, the crowd watches as the boss gets a shaved head or begins painting the shelter. Coupled with a 5K, this could help attract a larger crowd.


Setup a Garage Sale

Ask for donations of gently used clothes, bikes, furniture, books, or whatever people are willing to donate, and then hold a garage sale. If you have the time to invest in a garage sale, it is probably one of the easiest ways to maximize the returns on your fundraiser.


Create an Obstacle Course

Much like the 5K, you can create an obstacle course. Participants can raise money from their sponsors to join the event. This is an excellent way to get outside and get dirty, but it will require some time to consider safety, as well as money to create the course. You will probably need waivers for the participants.