Struggling Shelters: Local Pet Shelters Feel Shortchanged Due to Name and Donor Confusion

New survey finds local pet shelters are in crisis and feel shortchanged by national charities 



November 2023

As America participates in Giving Tuesday, our pet shelters are facing a moment of crisis.  

CBS News recently reported that “Animal shelters across the country say they are at 95% capacity and approaching a crisis level.” 

Across the nation, well-meaning animal lovers donate to big national charities like the ASPCA and the Humane Society of the United States, mistakenly believing that they operate pet shelters in their communities. In reality, the Humane Society of the United States operates zero pet shelters and neither organization is affiliated with local humane societies and SPCAs. Unfortunately, local pet shelters often receive little to no money from these national groups. 

A new survey of local pet shelters and rescues sheds light on financial challenges which are a symptom of widespread donor confusion. Almost 2,000 local pet shelters and rescues participated in the survey, which found: 

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How to Help Shelter Pets on Giving Tuesday

The best way to help cats and dogs this Giving Tuesday? Donate directly to your local pet shelter. Your donation can transform lives in your own community, where it’s needed most –

Your generosity can help a pet find a forever home and save a pet’s life.


Ways to Get Involved:

  • Donate to your local pet shelter:  Give what you can. Every dollar counts and can help provide food, shelter, and medical care for shelter animals.
  • Spread the Word: Share this message with your friends and family, and make sure they know that the ASPCA and Humane Societies of the United States are unaffiliated with local pet shelters. Encourage them to support local pet shelters this Giving Tuesday. 
  • Volunteer: Offer your time and skills. Many pet shelters are volunteer-operated – an extra set of hands can make a big difference in caring for rescue pets.
  • Adopt: If you’re looking for a new furry family member, consider adopting from your local shelter. You’ll be giving a loving home to a pet in need.


Learn more about how ASPCA and the Humane Society of the United States shortchange local pet shelters here.