The important role of sponsors, pledges and donation webpages in shelter rescue

May 16, 2014

This article is about the animal advocates who work quietly behind the scenes in rescuing dogs and cats from the high-kill shelters scattered across our country. It’s time, not only for those individuals to be praised, but to remind everyone of their responsibility when an offer is made to save a life.

A lot of people don’t know the terms used in the shelter rescue world. The two I’d like to talk about today are sponsors, pledgers and fundraiser supporters. Perhaps after reading about these two very necessary functions, you’ll decide to become one yourself.

Sponsors
Sponsors are individuals who keep up with the urgent albums on Facebook. They pick an animal they’d like to help, and either call or fill out a form offering to pay the pull fee to get the cat or dog they’d like to help. This is very important, as it shows how a person can help save a life, even if they can’t personally offer the dog or cat a place in their own home.

Sponsors aren’t necessarily local to the shelter they choose to help. Many like the system set up by a particular shelter. Personally, I do a lot of support writing for Greenville County Animal Care Services, located in Greenville, South Carolina. This shelter is high intake, and unfortunately, the number of animals taken in may determine the number of animals killed.

Anyone who wants to support a cat or dog in Greenville can go here to do so.

Sponsors are important because it allows a rescue to go to a shelter and get the animal to safety without having to pay any money for “pet bail.”

Pledges
Pledgers are a lot like sponsors, in that they may follow a certain shelter. Unlike sponsors, there’s no certain amount they have to pay to help save an animal. If you watch the Facebook pages listing the euthanasia list pets, you’ll see pledges from $5 on up. There may be 20 people or more who will pledge toward one cat or dog.

Pledges are important, as they help cover medical expenses, transportation costs (many dogs and cats are sent hundreds of miles by the rescues that pull them. You have gas and pet food expenses and countless other issues to worry about when you run a rescue. Pledges make it possible for a rescue to break even. I don’t know of any rescues out there who actually profit financially when saving a shelter pet.

A large percentage of the dogs who leave the Greenville, South Carolina shelter are heartworm positive. Treatment can run anywhere from $450 up. That’s if no other health issues have to be addressed.

It hurts the cat or dog when pledges aren’t honored. Or should I say it hurts the cat or dog that could come after them. When a rescue group has to stop pulling those on death row due to lack of funds, it hurts all of the animals still on the urgent lists.

A rescue group doesn’t have time, and a cat or dog doesn’t have time for the rescue to have to spend a lot of energy trying to raise money. Which brings us to the final piece of the puzzle-Donation webpages.

Donation Webpages
Donation webpages may be set up at GoFundMe, YouCaring or any of the other websites that charge a small fee to host information on the dog or cat in need. If you don’t trust these sites, ask for vet information. Most vets now allow a call in payment.

When you see a donation webpage for a pet you’d like to help, why not click on it and check it out. You can donate any amount. Even $1 is appreciated because if there are 1000 people willing to donate $1, they’ve made a difference in saving a life.

Without donation webpages, many injured or sick pets wouldn’t be able to receive the care they need. And without sponsors and pledger’s, a large part of the rescue system would collapse.

This is an example of a donation webpage. Home At Last Dog Rescue rescued a dog named Daisy from the high-kill Greenville shelter. Take a look at the donations needed for treatment, and the amount that has so far been raised.

Everyone was so anxious to save Daisy, but financially, she’s been forgotten. Examiner covered her story May 13. Daisy will get the care she needs, but the lack of donations may mean Home At Last will face a financial strain for a long time. This may prevent them from saving more lives.

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