Animal Charities Raise Funding To New Levels

Charities have been giving increasingly more grants towards animal-related causes.

Americans gave $260.28 billion to charities in 2005, $8.86 billion of it going toward environmental organizations and groups working for animal welfare, reported Giving USA, a publication of Giving USA Foundation, researched and written by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.

This charity sector saw a 16.4 percent increase from the previous year. Cheryl and David Duffield, who contributed $93 million to Maddie’s Fund, the animal welfare organization they created in 1999, topped environmental and animal contributions for 2005.

In turn, these charities distribute money toward animal-related causes, many in the form of grants.

Maddie’s Fund is an example of money at work. It recently announced spay/neuter grants of up to $200,000 over two years. The grants are for counties with live animal release rates of 40 percent or less—counties where the animal control, traditional and rescue shelters euthanize 60 percent or more of the total shelter population of dogs and cats.

In the past several months, other animal charities have announced how they will distribute their funds.

Morris Animal Foundation of Englewood, Colo., recently approved $4.3 million in funding for 2007.

The money will go toward 55 new and 45 continuing studies addressing issues such as canine cancer and influenza virus, feline leukemia and kidney disease and equine genetics and pain management.

Morris Animal Foundation will fund 34 canine studies with $1.59 million; 34 wildlife studies with $1.46 million; 12 equine studies, $612,635; 13 feline studies, $439,066; four llamas/alpacas studies, $108,486; and two multiple species studies with $96,358.

The American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation has awarded a $24,777 grant to David Wilkie, DVM, of the Ohio State University to research canine cataracts, the most common cause of blindness in dogs. The foundation also approved $1.1 million in new grants, which will support research such as cancer, male infertility, vaccine-associated allergic reactions and neurodegenerative disorders.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ Equine Fund has given more than $14,000 in grants to various equine rescue groups and sanctuaries within the U.S.

The organizations that received the grants are Whimsical Equine Rescue of Seaford, Del., which received a starter grant to assist them in building their organization; Hope for Horses Rescue Inc. of Blue Ridge, Texas, which received a grant towards a purchase of hay and the castration of PMU colts (born to mares whose urine is used to make a hormone replacement drug); the United Pegasus Foundation of Tehachapi, Calif., which received emergency funding towards a purchase of hay and for drought relief; and the Lazy Maple Equine Rescue & Rehabilitation Center of Leland, Ill., which received funds for materials to repair stalls and build two shelters.

The Humane Society of the United States recently gave an $800,000 grant to the Louisiana State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine to launch a community companion animal health program, including an active spay and neuter aspect. The program, slated for the spring 2007 semester, is designed to give students medical and surgical experience while assisting animals in underserved communities in southern Louisiana.

Many nonprofit animal charities fueled by passion give in large quantities, but they are also backed by big money.

The Seeing Eye Inc., as of its financial statement in fiscal 2005, came in No. 1 in terms of assets at $266.58 million, followed by Maddie’s Fund at $199.3 million in fiscal 2004. HSUS’ most recent statement, which does not encompass the recent mergers, reported assets of $125.21 million in fiscal 2004.

When it came to revenue, or the amount of money a company earns from its activities, HSUS topped the list at $78.6 million. It was followed by the Massachusetts SPCA at $54.76 million and the ASPCA at $50.27 million, both in fiscal 2004.

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