Start-Up Grants for Non-Profit Animal Rescue

By Marjorie Asturias

Animal rescue groups work to rescue unwanted, abandoned and abused animals from the streets or from irresponsible breeders and owners. They coordinate the fostering, medical care, training (when necessary) and adoption process so the rescued animals find caring permanent homes. Starting an animal rescue group requires a commitment to caring for animals, strong management and the funds to sustain the mission.

American Humane Association

The American Humane Association is dedicated to protecting the welfare of both animals and children. They administer a number of grants that benefit nonprofit rescue groups, including the Meacham Foundation Memorial Grant, which offers funds for capital campaigns, building improvements and equipment purchases. Rescue groups needing funds to defray the cost of critical medical care to abused and neglected animals can also apply for the Second Chance Fund.

Maddie's Fund

Maddie’s Fund specifically targets no-kill shelters in medium- to large-sized cities that would like to create an umbrella coalition but do not have the startup funds to do so. The organization offers a series of grants that include the Community Shelter Data Grant, Business Plan for Saving Lives, Strategic Plan for Saving Lives and the Pet Evaluation Matrix. Although the funds are intended to assist animal shelter coalitions, any animal rescue or shelter group can apply on behalf of its coalition.

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

The ASPCA provides grants to groups and shelters throughout the United States, with a special focus on issues such as anti-cruelty efforts, disaster recovery and preparedness and spay/neuter programs. Awards range from $500 to $5,000. The majority of the ASPCA grants support ASPCA partner organizations, but a number are also available to qualified organizations throughout the country.

The DJ & T Foundation

Established by longtime animal rights activist and former “The Price is Right” host Bob Barker, the DJ & T Foundation supports “the establishment of on-site or mobile surgical units, spay/neuter transport vehicles, and equipment for new and established clinics.” They also offer reimbursement vouchers to pet owners otherwise unable to afford to spay or neuter their dogs.

The Ralph and Virginia Mullin Foundation

Based in Tucson, Arizona, the Ralph and Virginia Mullin Foundation offers small grants to shelters and animal welfare groups. They also provide limited funds to organizations working toward a 501(c)(3) designation and incorporation.

The William and Charlotte Parks Foundation for Animal Welfare

The William and Charlotte Parks Foundation for Animal Welfare offers grants to individual scholars doing research related to animals, humane programs, shelters and other organizations that benefit animals. Funds may be used for construction and general operating costs.