Non-Profit Donations

Dear Liz – Last week you talked about giving to animal rescues in honor of someone for Christmas.  Can you tell me how to tell if a rescue is reputable?


Santa’s Helper in Simsbury

Dear Santa’s Helper:

There are basically three things I want you to look for.

  1. Is the rescue a registered, non-profit organization?  Check their web site, call the IRS or ask them.  If you don’t get a clear answer, move on.

Being a non-profit organization means that they’re registered with the IRS.  It means that they’ve fulfilled all the requirements set forth by the State of CT (and there are a lot!) and that they’re not just one person running the show.  The state requires that there be at least (I think!) 5 people involved in running the organization.

  1. Call the animal control officer in the town that the rescue is based on and ask if there have been any complaints against them.

Most times they will be able to tell you.  But make sure you ask!  If the animal control officer says wonderful things about them, it’s generally a good thing!

  1. Can you actually talk with someone from the organization and are the animals they have actually here, in CT, or are they somewhere in another state?

I always shy away from an organization that I can only talk with via

e-mail.  If they don’t offer a phone number to chat with a real person, I wonder why.  I also wonder about a group that doesn’t actually have the pets here, in CT.

Hope that helps!!!


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