'Tis the season of giving once again, and many of our favorite charitable organizations are finding themselves cash poor this year. We can all help if we even give a small amount out of our holiday budgets in place of one or two gifts that we all know no one wants or needs. In our household, we buy very few gifts and the bulk of our holiday budget goes to the charities listed below.
By no means is our list an exhaustive one. It's just a list of major cat and animal charities that we've vetted and have found to be conscientious in their use of donations. If you have a favorite charity that you don't see listed here, feel free to contact us through our Facebook page and tell us about it. We may include it when we revise the list.
Now, on to the list!
Our favorite feral cat charity is Alley Cat Allies. They've proven themselves to be tireless defenders of feral cats and the community caregivers who help them to survive. They've been instrumental in helping to forge new laws that protect ferals from the inevitable hatred that is bred by misunderstandings of how community cats can be controlled, and they educate the public about the use of Trap Neuter Return instead of euthanization.
Our favorite special needs cat charity is Blind Cat Rescue Sanctuary. Located in North Carolina, BCR doesn't put it's feline friends up for adoption, but instead houses them and cares for them as long as they live. Blind cats are quite capable, but caregivers often need special training in order to understand their unique needs. BCR helps cat lovers to understand these needs and also serves as a reference for blind cats that are available for adoption throughout the US.
Our favorite nature charity is the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. While it isn't a cat charity, Sea Shepherd's work impacts us all--even cats. They police the world's oceans to stop illegal fishing, pollution, and other activities that endanger ocean ecosystems. As SSCS founder Paul Watson is fond of saying, "If the oceans die, we die." Ocean conservation is on the front line of ecological conservation for all animals.
We feel very strongly that each of these charitable organizations is worthy of your donations, but we would be remiss if we didn't tell you to begin by looking for a small rescue in your own backyard to support. Local rescues like Tiny Kittens or Stray Cat Alliance often receive very little in the way of donations, so your money can have a greater impact. Over the holidays, watch for matching challenges that can even double your donation for these needy groups!