Making a Charitable Donation? Talk to June Buggie First.

MEOW! My name is June Buggie, and I have something to say.

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Do you give to make a difference for others?

The appeals for donations to worthy causes will be front and center this week as people open their wallets in order to obtain a tax break.

On December 19th, The Washington Post published a commentary by the philosopher Peter Singer that confronted our choices in charities we donate to. If you have not done so, I encourage you to read Heartwarming causes are nice, but let’s give to charity with our heads.

The piece made me think of the animal welfare community and some of the ways we donate money wastefully, such as:

  • sending money to people we’ve “met online,” only to find out later we’d been scammed, or
  • sending money with a dog “rescued from death row,” only to find out later the animal languished in the home of a hoarder, such as Sleepy Hollow (see photo of dogs they “rescued” in May of 2013), or
  • sending money to rescue groups that may have started out with good intentions, but ended up as anything but a rescue, such as the Olympic Animal Sanctuary.

Look people, I know that appeals to save an animal’s life can tug at your heartstrings.

But there ARE things worse than death for an animal. And it bothers me that sometimes people who want to help animals are, inadvertently, causing them more harm.


It’s your money, and you do have a right to do with it whatever you wish. But will you at least do your homework first?

Charity Navigator rates many of the charity organizations in the US.

If it’s a local rescue or charity, check the local newspaper and TV archives. I once looked into a rescue making an end-of-the-year emergency appeal and found this was a pattern for them. It seemed that the previous year they’d also had an emergency appeal for funds for a similar reason. A TV station had interviewed a volunteer inside the cat rescue, and the conditions inside weren’t good.

So don’t just give because it makes you feel good inside. Give because your money will truly make a positive difference in the life of animals.

Don’t support the problem. Be a part of the solution. 

18 thoughts on “Making a Charitable Donation? Talk to June Buggie First.

  1. Good point June Buggie, we should check the organizations before donating our money ….because it’s not for our self-satisfaction…it’s for helping our precious animals! The money should go to the right direction!

  2. Good post! I have used Charity Navigator for years. I do give to some bigger welfare groups who help out in disasters but I also give to my local rescues where I can go and visit to monitor what they do and how they do it.

  3. Great post! We need to be just as careful with our money when donating as we are when we shop. I try to only give to national organizations with a good reputation (Best Friends, Nat’l Mill Dog Rescue) or to keep it local. This year we gave to a local rescue for the shelter they are building. Since we just rescued a puppy from them, we know that they are a good organization! I was not familiar with the charity navigator site, so that is a great thing to know!

  4. Thanks for the heads up on Charity Navigator! We pretty much donate to our local Animal Shelter where we have adopted two cats and spend time volunteering with the cats. We also donate to a horse rescue and Wild Animal Rescue in St. Louis.

  5. We KNOW we can’t help EVERBUDDY… butt it is a shame to send money to the WRONG places. WE are very careful of who and what we give to. THIS was some VERY VERY good advice.
    Merry Christmas and Happy NEW YEAR.

  6. We agree! I always ask people to give locally to have a big impact on smaller rescues, but always profile, with photos, the ones I suggest and encourage. If anyone chooses to do this, it’s their right to know anything about the organization the feel they need to know. Larger organizations with a good reputation will advertise their Charity Navigator rating, like our local Humane Society with has the highest rating.

  7. Thank you for sharing this important information, June Buggie. You are a very smart cat. Love, Cali, Andy, Tater and Shelly (C.A.T.S)

  8. Good and important post. We try to research charities we give to and look at their financial statements which if non-profit are public info. Shocked by some of the distributions of funds to admin vs helping the people/animal we’ve rethought where we give. Thanks June Buggie!

  9. Well said June Buggie!!! I see this here all the time….I refuse to send money. I go to the local Shelters with food or toys or towels or whatever is needed.
    I have helped a few people online & they are genuine people so I have been lucky.
    However I am still cautious when all of a sudden I am being asked for money especially as most people know I have a chronic care feline myself and limited resources…
    Thank you for sharing this with all of us…
    Sherri-Ellen xo

  10. What a cool tool – thanks for the tip! I agree that we need to be careful when choosing the right charities. Hope everyone used this tool to decide which one best suited them! Much love, The Scottie Mom.

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