Got your mouse in hand this New Year's Eve and looking for a charity to bestow a few bucks upon before the clock strikes midnight?
Earlier this month, I assembled a list of local and national animal charities doing exceptional work to help animals. (I know I only scratched the surface, so please send in your favorite pet charities for my next list).
Now here are a few more:
Started by nine-year-old Ava Gutierrez in 2009, Operation Ava rescues animals that are living on borrowed time at the Pennsylvania SPCA. The group now has an adoption center in Northern Liberties, a veterinary wellness center, and an education and outreach center where children (and adults) can learn how to be responsible pet parents, to ensure adopted pets don't end up back in the shelter. They also partner with local schools and youth groups to help young people understand issues facing homeless and sick pets.
Since 1993, Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue (shown above) has successfully placed over 2,300 homeless dogs throughout Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Many of the dogs that make their way to DVGRR are puppy mill breeder dogs from Lancaster County and elsewhere in Pennsylvania. Many of these dogs, who have spent their lives in wire-floored rabbit hutches arrive at DVGRR unable to walk on solid ground and timid around people. But through the work of the staff and volunteers. DVGRR is able to bring out the "inner dog" in them and match them with caring families.
This rescue group helps save and place to stray and feral cats mostly in Montgomery and Bucks counties but they will sometimes place cats in other southeast counties. They run an active Trap Neuter Release program that helps communities keep feral cats populations in check by trapping, altering and returning cats to the area where they were found (with the understanding that kindly neighbors will care for them).
This group is celebrating its 10th anniversary saving special needs animals in Philadelphia - including orphan litters that must be bottle fed - getting them medical care and placing them with foster families until their are ready to be adopted. The group recently opened Philadelphia's First Second-Hand Pet Shop- "Thrift for Tails, a Pre-loved Pet Boutique." in Northern Liberties where families in search of a new pet can shop and those that have gently used pet clothing, leashes and other supplies may donate them.
If you can't donate cash right now, many rescues depend on in-kind donations of food, bedding, toys, leashes and cleaning supplies (check their websites for "wish lists").
Or sign up to be volunteer dog walker or help in other ways. Maybe you'll meet your new best friend in 2012.