Animals lovers are a unique set of individuals, whose lives are enriched by being around animals of all kinds. Unabashed in their enjoyment of pet rodents, dogs, cats, birds, horses and more, people who truly love animals often seek out ways to advocate, assist and donate to organizations dedicated to the furry, finned and the feathered, regardless of whether the organization helps stray dogs and cats or works for wild animal habitat conservation. If you’re an animal lover looking for a new way to offer a helping hand, here are a handful of lesser-known charities whose work makes the world a better place for all God’s creatures.

Alley Cat Allies

Dedicated to helping the American housecat whether that housecat lives in a house or is feral, Alley Cat Allies is a national organization based in Bethesda, Maryland that works to transform communities into places that protect and improve the lives of cats.

Through advocacy and education, Alley Cat Allies works to secure the humane treatment of cats in all situations, whether they are in homes, shelters or alleyways. With over 40 people on staff, this organization functions in many ways as the voice for cats throughout the United States. From promoting humane care to working to make kill shelters illegal, Alley Cat Allies is devoted to improving the lives of cats, and the people who love them, everywhere.



Best Friends Animal Society

Started in 1984, the Best Friends Animal Society has one goal: end shelter killing once and for all. Every year, over 4 million stray and abandoned pets are killed in American shelters, and the Best Friends Animal Society works to reduce that number through a number of initiatives, including:

  • Making it easier to adopt an animal from a shelter
  • Promoting spay and neuter programs
  • Reducing the number of strays that enter the country’s shelters in the first place

American Bird Conservancy

The American Bird Conservancy (ABC) works to protect and conserve wild birds and their natural habitats throughout North, Central and South America. Based in the United States, ABC advocates, lobbies, educates, restores habitats, protects rare bird species, reduces threats to wild birds and acts to build up and strengthen the wild bird conservation movement in the U.S.

The Elephant Sanctuary

Located about 80 miles southwest of Nashville, Tennessee, The Elephant Sanctuary is the largest natural habitat refuge for African and Asian elephants in the United States. Founded in 1995, it covers almost 3,000 acres of land that includes forest and pasture, as well as heated barns for when the weather is cold. Sick, abused and ailing elephants are given refuge there, and the organization also works to

educate the public about the crises these animals face throughout the world through habitat loss, poaching, animal trafficking and more. Because it is a true sanctuary and is not intended to provide entertainment, The Elephant Sanctuary is closed to the public.



Pets for the Elderly

Growing older is often accompanied by loneliness as age and poor health limit a person’s ability to get out and about and be around others. Pets can provide a welcome relief from the pain of being alone that so many older Americans face. Pets for the Elderly helps pay the fees related to shelter adoption on behalf of senior citizens above the age of 60. This discounted rate not only provides an elderly person with a companion, but it also helps reduce the number of animals in the nation’s animal shelters. Over 52 shelters in 29 states currently participate in the Pets for the Elderly program.

Ocean Alliance

Founded in 1971 by Roger Payne, Ocean Alliance is a charity that focuses on data collection and research for whales and other ocean life from toxicology and behavior to bioacoustics and DNA. But they do far more than just gather and crunch numbers. With the help of their scientific partners, Ocean Alliance works to educate and advise teachers, legislators, policy crafters and more on better stewardship of the world’s oceans and waterways. Emphases are placed on reducing pollution, preventing extinction, reducing synthetic contaminants, promoting ocean health and the like. While it does place a particular emphasis on whales, Ocean Alliance is concerned with the well-being of all marine life.

From doting on your own pets to helping track down a neighbor’s lost Chihuahua, you can express your love for animals in all kinds of ways. Give your money. Give your time. Donate a boat or car. Helping animal-loving charitable organizations will keep the creatures you adore safe, strong and protected.

Filed under: All About Dogs

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