How Animal Shelters Raise Funds
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How Animal Shelters Raise Funds

How animal shelters get money. How to raise funds to start an animal shelter. Where do pet rescues get funding? How do pet rescues get an income? How does a charity get donations? How to raise money to help animals in an animal shelter? How to run a non profit animal shelter and get proper funding for the charity? What are some fund raising events?

If you are reading this it may be because you want to open your own animal rescue and are wondering how to generate money, or you may just be somebody who is curious to know how animal shelters get funding. In either case this article will provide some general information, noting that all animal shelters operate differently.

Non-Profit - Donations

Most animal shelters are non-profit, registered, charities, this means they can accept donations and offer tax receipts. More people are willing to donate to a charity that has this status not only

because they get the tax receipt but also because it makes the charity seem more legitimate.

Donations also come in the form of bequeaths, and donations made in the name of departed pets.

Government Funding

Some animal shelters receive government funding, but not all do. Typically those that receive any money from the government are the animal shelters that also operate as the city pound. This would mean they take in, and house, stray pets for the city, in addition to having animals for adoption.

Each government funded shelter is funded differently, usually by the local municipality, receiving some funding for staff, the building, and they may also get a small amount per animal brought in as a stray. The city collects fines for the strays, the shelter usually does not get to keep that money.

Government Grants

Animal shelters can apply for different grants. They usually have to have a purpose for the money they request through the grant system. As such a group can apply for grant money to be used towards specific purposes, such as for building improvements.

Animal Relinquishment Fee

When pet owners sign their pet over to the shelter, the shelter usually asks for a relinquishment fee. This fee varies greatly from shelter to shelter, with non-profit shelters usually having a lower relinquishment fee. This fee rarely covers all the expenses and is just a small drop in the bucket but it does help. Most open-admission shelters still accept pets even when the owner is unable to pay this fee.

Adoption Fees

Adoption fees are often standard, the same fee for every animal of the same species and gender, at that shelter. The adoption fee rarely covers everything that has gone into the pet but does help recover some of the costs.

Fund Raising Events

Most animal shelters also hold several fund raising events, or raffles, throughout the year. Some of the types of fund raises an animal shelter might hold are garage sales, selling calendars, raffles, and so forth.


Some shelters operate a store that offers retail items for sale with the profits going to help fund the shelter itself.

Coin Banks

Many animal shelters also have jars located at various businesses around town where people can donate coins and change to help the animal shelters. These small donations do add up.

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Comments (7)

Thank you for sharing nice information.

My local shelter has a thrift store so I donate all my useable items to them. Great article. thank you.

our shelters are free to release animals no fees here in Montreal

Thank you for this information Brenda. I was just curious as to how animal shelters operate but I'm sure this article will be very helpful to anyone considering opening an animal shelter.

You pretty much covered all the bases in this fine article, Brenda. A safe and Happy New Years to you, Mark, and all your critters.

Great job, voted up. I love any articles written to benefit animals in any way.

Nice Brenda, voted. thank you