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Supporting our furry friends: Seven reasons why it’s important to support animal charities

Animal charities play a vital part in society. Supplied image.

Animal charities play a vital part in society. Supplied image.

Published Aug 31, 2023

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Johannesburg - Animal charities play a vital part in society but are often one of the lowest funded Non-Profit Organisations (NPOS). Experts believe that this is largely because not everyone is able to see the importance of animal welfare, until they need help themselves.

They added that it is a costly exercise for an animal charity to be well run and the animals in their care to receive a well-balanced care plan.

In an endeavour to advocate for the well-being of our four-legged companions, Dogtown SA is seeking to shine a spotlight on the indispensable significance of donating to animal shelters.

With a mission to provide care, shelter, and rehabilitation to rescue dogs, the prominent local animal shelter and advocacy organisation underscores the profound impact of contributions in sustaining their life-changing efforts.

“The truth is, donating to animal shelters like Dogtown SA translates into tangible actions that save lives, offer second chances, and pave the way for a brighter future for countless furry friends,” the organisation explained.

In a bid to help raise more money for shelters around the country, Tracy McQuarrie, founder of Dogtown SA, shares seven reasons why donating to animal charities is vital for society.

Promoting animal welfare

Donations help prevent the suffering of abandoned animals and give those abandoned animals a second chance at life, McQuarrie said.

Limited support

In South Africa, where only a small percentage of the population and large corporations invest in animal welfare, donations become essential for their survival, McQuarrie believes. “Most animal charities have charity shops that help them raise funds, so stuff you’ve got lying around the house that really are just gathering dust but are in good condition could basically be the hope an abandoned dog needs.”

In a bid to raise much-needed funds for DogtownSA, the shelter has launched their new BarkingLot monthly lottery to help animal rescue groups around the country. McQuarrie said that by donating R20 for each ticket, donors stand to win up to R10,000 cash as well as R10,000 worth of dog food for their favourite animal charity. The tickets are limited and are available at https://dogtownsa.org/shopping/barkinglot/. Every ticket feeds a dog in need.

Meeting increased needs

In difficult times, such as during economic downturns or health crises, the need for animal welfare support can escalate. “Animals may face more abandonment, neglect, or suffering,” McQuarrie said.

She added that donations can directly impact the organisation’s ability to respond effectively to these heightened needs. “During economic turmoil, animal health concerns also increase, and it is often the animal charities who take on the responsibility to help their communities with animal care, vaccinations and sterilisation projects.”

Promoting responsible ownership

McQuarrie said that donations support education programs that teach responsible pet ownership, including proper care, training, and the importance of spaying or neutering. “Education reduces the suffering of animals,” she said.

Encouraging Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Corporates investing in animal welfare send a powerful message, McQuarrie believes.

“This act can encourage other businesses to consider their social responsibility towards animals and inspire them to contribute more to animal welfare.

“Animal lovers are a strong group that often passionately support corporations that help animal welfare groups.”

She added that an increasing number of youngsters are now shopping with a purpose.

“They want more than a good deal, and they want their money to go towards helping their favourite charities.”

And with more and more young people choosing to have pets, the market for companies to show their support for animal charities can have a great upturn in business.

“Animals are so important to our human world, from companionship to life saving endeavours,” she said.

Strengthening communities

Animal shelters contribute to healthier and happier communities by addressing animal-related issues, fostering empathy, and providing opportunities for volunteerism, McQuarrie said.

“Donations to animal shelters can make a positive difference in the lives of animals, the community, and society, as a whole.”

“Whether it's through financial contributions, volunteering your time, or donating essential supplies, this support directly impacts the well-being of animals in need.”

Tax benefits

Donations to registered animal charities are eligible for tax deductions, and this recognises and rewards your commitment to animal welfare, McQuarrie explained.

“Dogtown SA invites individuals, families, and companies to stand together in support of animal shelters and the invaluable work they undertake.”

She said that by donating to Dogtown SA and similar organisations, contributors become part of a movement that transforms lives, nurtures compassion, and showcases the enduring power of collective goodwill.

To find out how you can donate, visit https://dogtownsa.org/donate/.

The Saturday Star