I spotlight an animal shelter/rescue/sanctuary here at sherrydunn.com once a month.
All shelters I review are registered 501(c)(3) charitable organizations.
This means all contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Giving Tuesday, The National Day of Giving, is on November 29.
If you haven’t decided on a charity, animal shelters can always use financial support.
To refresh your memory, the shelters in the spotlight since January 2022 are as follows:
January 2022 – Mutts Gone Nuts
This is not your typical shelter, but it is unique.
Mutts Gone Nuts consists of nine amazing mutts, or discarded dogs, performing in a 75-minute canine extravaganza entertaining audiences with their incredible talent.
Rescue dogs are known for being fiercely loyal and no one knows this better than Scott and Jane Houghton, the duo who adopted their first rescue dog in 1996 and began fostering dogs for a local rescue group in Tennessee.
Prior to the Houghtons’ first adoption, they performed in various theatre productions for many years but reinvented themselves as Mutts Gone Nuts.
The Houghtons are now owners of 10 amazing “secondhand dogs”, all rescues.
They also added Samantha Valle to their show who is one of the world’s top trainers and a spokesperson for animal rescue.
Mutts Gone Nuts performs at various venues throughout the country.
I suggest you bring out the kid in you if you have an opportunity to attend this performance.
Your kids will love it too!
It is wonderful fun.
You can support them by attending one of their shows.
The Mutts Gone Nuts website has a calendar of their upcoming events.
If you have family or friends in the area of one of their performances, tickets to this incredible show would make a great gift.
February 2022 – Star Gazing Farm
Many animal rescue facilities are 501(c)3 organizations, receiving money from charitable donations.
These facilities are committed to finding good homes for homeless dogs, cats, rabbits, etc. in their care.
However, there are also other, perhaps not as well known, animal shelter/rescue/sanctuary organizations.
One such facility I have supported for several years is Star Gazing Farm.
The farm is located on 4 acres of rolling hills in Boyds, Maryland.
All the animals are special.
The farm provides housing for chickens, ducks, geese, sheep, goats, alpacas, cows, pigs, horses, turkeys, and llamas.
All the animals are special.
Check out the Star Gazing Farm website at http://www.stargazingfarm.org/.
There is a lot to see.
Visit their online shop.
They have hand-crafted items that make wonderful gifts.
Every year they need to sheer their goats, sheep, and alpacas for their health.
They collect, sort, and wash the fleeces.
And ‘voila’, they make yarn.
You can also donate money or sponsor an animal.
Kids love that.
March 2022 – The Humane Society of the Treasure Coast
The Humane Society of the Treasure Coast (HSTC), Inc., is a no kill, nonprofit, shelter for animals, in Stuart, FL.
HSTC accepts animals regardless of health, age, temperament or breed.
The shelter provides quality medical care, shelter, and enrichment to animals in need.
In addition to cats and dogs, HSTC has many adoptable bunnies who need forever homes.
They also have many events throughout the year.
Bunfest is an HSTC annual event and is the largest event dedicated to rabbits and guinea pigs in the Southeast United States and it is incredible.
This event combines interactive activities for critters (and their people) in a fun and spirited atmosphere.
Proceeds raised help support cleaning, feeding, grooming, and caring for the HSTC shelter critters.
In my March HSTC post, I featured two adoptable bunnies, Destin and Marshmallow at their facility.
Two days after my blog post, both bunnies were adopted.
April 2022 – Dogs And Cats Forever Animal Sanctuary
Dogs and Cats Forever, Inc. was organized in 1988 for the purpose of building and maintaining a shelter for homeless dogs and cats of the Treasure Coast.
As with all dedicated shelters, this shelter is committed to finding good, adoptable and loving homes for their animals.
I am many things.
To name a few, I am a children’s author and animal rescue advocate.
I am a shelter pet owner.
I am also a Guardian Angel.
The Guardian Angel program at Dogs and Cats Forever permits individuals, groups and businesses to prepay the adoption fee of one (or more) of the cats or kittens up for adoption.
I have been donating money to the Guardian Angel program for several years.
I usually ask that my contribution goes to older cats so that they can live out their lives in a forever home.
Paid adoption fees help homeless cats find their new family.
This donation could be a great holiday gift to someone or in memory of someone and would help a shelter pet.
I donated a special cat outbuilding for the Dogs and Cats Forever Feline Leukemia Care Center in memory of my mom, Normandee Ludwig.
The shelter received a special building and I have a nice reminder of my mom when I visit the shelter.
You can do the same thing with gifts in memory of someone.
A simple card will do it.
Dogs at this shelter also have special programs.
Check them out at dogsandcatsforever.com for additional information.
May 2022 – Caring Fields Felines
Caring Fields Felines (CFF), in Palm City, Florida, was the shelter spotlight for May.
I had the pleasure of visiting this caring facility several times.
Pauline Glover and her hardworking staff of volunteers always greets visitors with a smile.
And the cats will make your smile wider.
This shelter cares for close to 168 cats and provides free-roaming campgrounds, with fenced enclosures, where cats can be themselves.
Each enclosure has a “cat cottage” which allows the cats to come and go as they please.
Giving Tuesday is just around the corner on November 29.
There are many ways to give…your time, your talent, your treasure…they need all 3 and not just on November 29th!
Here are some ideas:
- Join CFF for a 3-hour shift once a week to clean cottages, feed their residents, do laundry, or socialize frightened or overwhelmed newcomers.
- Become a foster parent. They provide everything you need…all you have to provide is a safe, loving place for wee kittens to become hearty enough for their spay/neuter surgeries in anticipation of their adoptions to forever homes. Homes for ALL of them, so set aside your fear that you will “want to keep them.” CFF’s foster coordinators are expert at guiding you through the process and helping you separate when the time comes. The more foster families they have, the more homeless or orphaned kittens they can bring in.
- There is no limit to their need for talent! Graphic design? Yes! Facebook? Yes!
- Instagram? Yes! Tik Tok? Yes! Fundraising ideas and execution? Yes! Carpentry? Yes!
Painting? Yes! The list is endless…
- CFF receives no public or government money and must rely solely on the generosity of their supporters to underwrite the work they do. EVERY donation, no matter its size, is a vote of confidence in their mission and the manner which they carry it out. There are many ways to donate:
- Website: cffelines.org
- Facebook page: Caring Fields Felines Palm City
- Mail: Caring Fields Felines
6807 SW Wedelia Terrace, Palm City, FL 34990
- Or, consider becoming a member of the Cat-A-List team by making a recurring, monthly donation!
CFF has a variety of programs to help their homeless feline residents. You can help the cats by adopting.
Kittens, cats, and senior cats are available.
These cats are looking for a cozy lap in a forever home and you might find that one special cat that touches your heart.
A fuzzy, wuzzy cat or kitten would make an incredible holiday gift for your family and for the adopted feline.
If you just can’t have a cat, sponsoring can make a big difference.
You can become a monthly or annual sponsor.
You can donate money and send a holiday card to someone letting them know their gift from you is a donation in their name to the shelter.
June 2022 – The Humane Society of St. Lucie County
The Humane Society of St. Lucie County (HSSLC) was the spotlight for June.
This was a great blog post to write.
This shelter is proudly under new management and leadership since October 2019 and they are an official no-kill shelter with the goal of finding good, safe, and loving homes for all animals in their care.
Each year, HSSLC rescues, cares for, or re-homes over 5,000 animals in their community.
The care and love provided to the homeless animals under their safe keeping is incredible, not to mention heartwarming.
I have personally seen them in action when they don’t know I’m looking.
The power of donations was evident this past summer.
HSSLC was in desperate need of donations to keep their shelter dogs cool.
There was no AC in the dog kennels.
The dogs were sitting in their kennels waiting for someone to adopt them.
The temperature easily reached over 90 degrees in Florida heat.
Fans were used to help circulate the air, but they needed to do better.
They asked for help and genuinely appreciated ANY amount people were able to give.
They needed $45,000. and they had three months to raise it.
Many generous people stepped up and HSSLC raised $52,852.57, over and above the $45,000 (117%).
AC Unlimited installed the AC, gave the shelter a discount, and gave them three months to fundraise the money.
Now that’s what I call the power of donations!
And a great holiday gift idea.
For the first time at HSSLC, their dogs had air conditioning.
I was honored to be asked out to the shelter to feel the cool kennels.
The dogs were loving it.
The power of adoptions is so wonderful to a shelter dog.
Harley was in the spotlight in my June blog.
Harley is approximately 5 years old and is a stunning American Staffordshire Terrier mix.
She was found lost and wandering the lonely streets in Port St. Lucie until she was brought to the HSSLC.
And guess what?
She has been adopted!
Congratulations, and thank you to her new “forever home” adopters!
Who wouldn’t want to wake up to that beautiful, smiling face each morning?
And let’s not forget about the cats at HSSLC.
The shelter always has a cat of the month on their website.
They have a great cat playroom for visits with the cats.
July 2022 – Nala’s New Life Rescue
Nala’s New Life Rescue, my spotlight animal shelter for the month of July has been saving dogs for years who have no other hope.
Nala’s New Life Rescue is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit, no-kill shelter dedicated to rescuing dogs and cats that have been abused, abandoned, forgotten, or rejected.
Their “no-kill policy” saves cats and dogs in need of rescue regardless of age, breed, or health issues.
The entire team at Nala’s is dedicated to finding the best family possible for each animal under their care.
In addition, Nala’s New Life Rescue specializes in saving unwanted dogs (and cats) from kill shelters all over Florida who would otherwise be euthanized.
This shelter pays to pull the dogs to safety and covers all medical and transportation expenses.
Donations of money are always great gifts to shelters.
Many shelters have decorated trees in their lobbies and people bring in food, toys, etc. for the shelter pets and place them under the tree.
Nala’s New Life Rescue asks that you donate and help their cause.
Financial support helps the many animals they see and care for each year.
“Help Feed the Dogs” is one way to support this shelter.
They even give you food suggestions, which is great.
Animals tolerate some foods better than others which also happens with humans.
Their suggestions are as follows.
Costco has cost-effective, good quality food:
• 40 lbs for $34.99 in-store ($10 more online).
• Box of biscuits $12.00.
• A case of canned food $24.00.
• A bag of kibble $40.00
If you prefer to order online, they suggest an order from Chewy’s brand, American Journey.
The canned food is well-loved by their dogs.
Message them for the delivery address.
For more information about Nala’s New Life Rescue and their shelter, check out their website or call for an appointment to visit.
Their website has the most adorable photos of dogs available for adoption.
Testimonials from adoption owners and staff are also available on the website, nalasrescue.org.
August 2022 – For The Love of Paws Senior Pet Sanctuary, Inc.
I never get tired of researching, visiting, and writing about the various animal shelters/rescues/sanctuaries.
I want my blog readers to be informed about how much good is out there helping homeless animals.
For The Love of Paws is an incredible pet sanctuary.
And what they do is unique.
They emphasize they are NOT a shelter.
They specifically deal with senior pets and senior citizens who are in a situation where they can no longer care for their pet or have passed away with no one to take their pet.
For The Love of Paws provides peace of mind to senior citizens who can no longer care for their pet(s) due to being placed into hospice, memory care, assisted living, nursing home, or are undergoing a medical issue and temporarily can’t care for their pet(s) due to extended rehabilitation. Incredible!
In addition to providing people food pantries with pet food, the sanctuary operates two mobile pet food pantries to help those in need with pets.
Why? For The Love of Paws has a motto, “Because everyone in the family matters!”
This sanctuary maintains their 5-acre country farm for the benefit of their rescues and fosters for as long as they can maintain a pet’s life.
Work is still being performed and the sanctuary will be cageless.
After which time, they provide a proper, respectful, and loving end of life and are surrounded by love as they pass over the Rainbow Bridge.
For The Love of Paws is an approved IRS 501 (c)(3) tax exempt charity.
It’s comforting to know that this sanctuary provides peace of mind to senior citizens who can no longer care for their pets.
This sanctuary also provides meals on wheels to the animals of individuals who are struggling to feed their pets.
How about taking a look at this incredibly, unique sanctuary at [email protected].
For The Love of Paws just keeps on giving.
“WHO SAID IT WOULDN’T FIT??
Love Of Paws, a Partner Agency with the Treasure Coast Food Bank picking up our allotment of 37, 40 pound Food Boxes and 37 5lb block of cheese for our Low Income County Senior Citizens. “Having a Pet is not a requirement, but all of our clients HAVE PETS, so it’s a win win program for us to be able to provide a 40-pound box of basic food and cheese to many of our Senior Citizens.”
October 2022 – Big Dog Ranch Rescue
Founded in 2008, BDRR is the largest cage-free, NO-KILL dog rescue in the United States located in Loxahatchee Groves, Florida.
They now have the ability to double their rescue efforts with the acquisition of 100+ acres in Shorter, Alabama.
Since 2008, BDRR has saved the lives of more than 50,000 dogs.
Their mission is to save 5,000 dogs every year, to heal and place them with loving families and to educate people about the proper care for dogs and the importance of spaying and neutering.
BDRR rescues, rehabilitates, and rehomes furry friends on their 33-acre campus in Loxahatchee, FL.
A few ways you can support Big Dog Ranch Rescue this Giving Tuesday are as follows:
• $25,000 Pet Boarding Bunkhouse – Kennel Naming and Artwork Design Rights. Construction of this four-wing bunkhouse begins in late 2022.
• $10,000 – Sponsor A Veteran Service Dog. The BDRR Veteran Service Dog Training Program matches service dogs with deserving veterans in our community, 100% free to the veteran.
• $10,000 – Fund A Life-Saving Rescue Mission. Your $10,000 will cover everything from the transportation, fuel, and staffing, to food, supplies, and boarding for up to 20 dogs in need.
• $5,000 – Fund An Orthopedic Surgery. A generous $5,000 donation will give an injured dog a second chance at a full and mobile life by covering the surgery and rehabilitation costs!
• $2,500 – Save A Mother and Her Puppies. A generous $2,500 donation will cover the rescue and care costs for a mother and her pups, and give them a second chance at a full and happy life!
• $1,000 – Heartworm Treatment. A generous $1,000 donation will cover the cost of 3 life-saving heartworm treatments! Each year, BDRR rescues more than 500 heartworm-positive dogs, and this donation will allow us to save and treat even MORE of these deserving pups!
• $500 – Sponsor A Spay/Neuter Surgery. In the past year, BDRR has performed 2,701 spay and neuter surgeries. A spay or neuter surgery allows BDRR to allocate more funds towards rescue missions and save even MORE dogs in 2023!
• Donate to BDRR Rescue Fund. For as low as $5, one can support rescue efforts at Big Dog Ranch Rescue! From food, treats, and toys to medical costs, transportation, and boarding, your donation will make a direct impact on the life of a BDRR rescue dog!
If any of these donation categories interest you, go to BDRR website at bdrr.org.
November 2022 – Save the Chimps Sanctuary
Save the Chimps is one of the largest chimpanzee sanctuaries in the world and house more than 220 chimpanzees.
The sanctuary is in Ft. Pierce, Florida.
Their mission is to provide refuge and outstanding care to chimpanzees in need.
Save the Chimps offers life-long care for chimpanzees rescued from research laboratories, the pet trade, and entertainment industry.
Chimpanzees deserve to live free from exploitation and endangerment is their core belief.
Wondering what to give a child or grandchild for a holiday gift?
How about symbolically adopting a chimp?
Your annual adoption helps the sanctuary maintain your chimp’s beautiful island home and provide the many enrichment toys and activities that fulfill their lives.
What do you give someone who has everything?
You can quit taxing your brain.
Adopting a chimp or chimp family of your choosing makes the perfect unique gift for a friend or loved one for any occasion!
Save the Chimps made a commitment to care for these chimpanzees for the rest of their lives.
Your one-time or recurring donation will help the sanctuary provide them with the dignified retirement they deserve including nutritious food, individualized medical care, engaging enrichment, and maintenance of their home.
Many people are unaware of Save the Chimps and the good that they do.
Check out their website at savethechimps.org or on all social media @savethechimps.
Check out their history.
Please visit their donation page online.
They also have a wish list which has needed enrichment items, household items, facility needs/capital equipment, and toys.
Save the Chimps is closed to the public except for Member Days, Chimpathon, their annual Caregiver Society event, or tours by invitation only.
Save the Chimps is a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization, and all contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
As with most rescue facilities or sanctuaries, the greatest need is always money.
No donation amount is too small.
Save the Chimps does not currently receive government funding.
On December 10, 2022, I will be attending Holiday with the Chimps!
I am so excited!
We will ring in the holidays at Save the Chimps!
We will tour their lush 150-acre sanctuary and visit one of the 12 chimp islands for a truly wild holiday party.
We will be able to watch the great apes rip open presents, circle a festive tree, feast on special foods, and serenade each other – and our group – with a cacophony of unforgettable sounds.
After our tour, we can chat with their primatologist and staff about chimp communication, care, their unique abilities, and the state of chimpanzee conservation.
I hope this summary of shelters, rescues, and sanctuaries sparks an idea of holiday gifts (or at any time of year) you can give to others while helping animal organizations do what they need to do and do best.
That is a perfect “twofer”.
You may have another animal shelter, rescue, or sanctuary in mind to support.
Before you go, be sure to sign up for my mailing list here, so you don’t miss my weekly updates: