Animal shelters are so overcrowded many abandoned pets are not even given a few days to be adopted by a new family. Instead, they are euthanized almost immediately after being brought to the shelter, through no fault of their own. What makes the difference in whether a homeless pet will be given a chance at adoption? The answer is resources. Without the money to maintain shelter facilities and pay for staff, veterinary care, and food for the animals, pets abandoned by their owners are put to death without ever having a chance to be adopted.
When you make an estate plan, you have many choices on how to distribute your property. Perhaps the inheritance you leave a family member will make his or her life more comfortable. But if you want to leave a legacy that will save the lives of those who are truly helpless, consider making a bequest or gift to help an animal rescue organization or other animal charity. Funds are needed for spay and neuter programs, educational programs about shelter pets that need to be adopted, and the operation of no kill shelters. Making an estate plan is not only a way to make provisions for your family and your pets in your absence, it is a way to make a lasting contribution that will truly mean the difference between life and death for many abandoned animals. See legacy planning and unwanted pets for more information.
List of Animal Charities for Estate Plan
The charitable organizations listed below are in need of bequests and gifts to fund programs that save the lives of animals and work to prevent cruelty to animals. If you are making an estate plan and want to leave a legacy to help homeless pets, you can either make a gift now or leave a bequest in your will.Animal Rescue OrganizationsBeagles and Buddies located in Apple Valley, CABrew Beagles of Northern VirginiaBest Friends Animal Society, located in Kanab, Utah
Citizens for Animal Protection located in Houston, TexasLange Foundation
Animal FriendsAustin Pets AliveSpay and Neuter Programs and Clinics
Mountaineer Spay Neuter Assistance Program M-SNAP
The Humane Society of the United States
Animal Rights OrganizationsMercy for Animals
If you want to leave a bequest in your will or make a charitable gift to one of these organizations, consult an estate planning lawyer about the best way to carry out your plan.Updated August 28, 2017.