Come Up With A Mission Statement And A Plan
Presumably, your group has already discussed its goals at length, but now its time to put your thoughts on paper for others to see. Write a mission statement that explains the purpose of your organization. This will help guide your development and is required for incorporation as a non-profit.
To incorporate, youll need to include the organizations bylaws and articles of incorporation, as well as a list of those on the board of directors. Refer to the bylaws of other organizations for ideas; samples are included in the NSO guidebook. There are a number of documents that must be filed in order to qualify for the IRSs 501 3 tax-exempt status. Mistakes in filing can mean lengthy delays in getting the shelter off the ground. Thats why its important to have an attorney help you navigate this legal process.
Once youve filed for incorporation, the next step is to develop policies and protocolsabout adoption, euthanasia and volunteering, to name just a few. Youll also to need to determine the future of your shelter. Where do you want the shelter to be in five years? In 10 years? What part will your community play in supporting the shelter? How will you develop supportive relationships with local and national vendors? Do you have people in your organization who can find and develop potential resources?
Step : Get Business Insurance
Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your companys financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.
There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If youre unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance. This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so its a great place to start for your business.
Learn more about General Liability Insurance.
Another notable insurance policy that many businesses need is Workers Compensation Insurance. If your business will have employees, its a good chance that your state will require you to carry Workers’ Compensation Coverage.
Recommended: Learn what business insurance for your Animal Rescue Business will cost.
Step : Define Your Brand
Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.
If you aren’t feeling confident about designing your small business logo, then check out our Design Guides for Beginners, we’ll give you helpful tips and advice for creating the best unique logo for your business.
How to promote & market an animal rescue business
As mentioned, this work requires the support of the entire community. As part of your marketing efforts, hold a public meeting. Clearly define your organizations goals and how you hope to give back to the community. As a non-profit, you will need to build a board of directors. Make sure every member of your board is equally as passionate about your cause and possesses the skills necessary to help further the business mission.
How to keep customers coming back
Still unsure about what kind of business you want to start? Check out the latest Small Business Trends to help inspire you.
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Managing An Animal Rescue
Starting an animal rescue may seem like an easy thing to do just put up a few puppies and kittens temporarily, right? If only things were that simple.
Its super rough in the beginning, Howell says. Youre dealing with things youve never dealt with before, like never-ending expenses and legal concerns, and youre learning as you go to make sure the animals are taken care of. It doesnt stop there, either.
You have to keep rolling with the punches. Having worked with this shelter for over 15 years, I can tell you that even now we face challenges. Their type and scope have evolved, but challenges are always there.
Beyond the daily operations, keeping a cool head and remembering why youre doing this are two important lessons you learn very quickly.
Once youve started your rescue, you have to manage it. Below are several key operational areas youll deal with from day to day.
Just so you know
Manage records, volunteers, and more for your animal rescue with our free customizable form templates designed to meet your needs.
Why Starting An Animal Rescue Business Now Is A Good Idea
There is a growing awareness of the problem of pet overpopulation and an objection to pet euthanasia which is driving more families to choose to adopt rescue pets rather than simply buying a new pet. As a result, revenue from animal rescue shelters has been on the rise and is expected to continue its growth trend through 2019.
Here are some facts and figures about the animal rescue business you should consider:
Animal rescue startup costs
Cost Worksheet The Humane Society recommends calculating space needed at 90 to 100 square feet per dog and;45 to 50 square feet per cat. If you are planning to rescue larger animals or marine animals, you may need more space depending on how large your planned capacity is. Then multiply that times the cost per square foot for the new construction or renovation of existing facilities. This is estimated to range from $192 to $258, possibly more or less depending on your geographic area. Multiply this result times 1.67 to account for other related costs. Add in the cost of land on which to place the facility, equipment, pens, food, medical and other supplies to ensure proper care and you could easily be looking at millions to start an animal rescue. Animal welfare grants are available from various organizations to help with funding.
How much do animal rescue workers make?
How much do animal rescue shelters charge?
Dogs: $105 to $250
Hamsters, Rats, Gerbils and Mice: $5
Birds: $5 to $200
Fish: $.50 to $10
What;skills are required?
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How To Start An Animal Rescue
So you want to start an animal rescue. Bravo! Our lovable, furry friends need more compassionate people like you who want to help them. There are lots of animals in need and a limited number of ready and willing rescuers, which means your efforts will be much appreciated.
However, if you want to start out strong and stay in it for the long haul, youre going to need guidance. Thats why we put together this informative guide chock-full of advice straight from the experts people who have either founded an animal rescue or shelter of their own or have worked for one for many years.
Step : Obtain Necessary Permits And Licenses
Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.
State & Local Business Licensing Requirements
Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate an animal rescue business. Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting SBAs reference to state licenses and permits.
Most businesses are required to collect sales tax on the goods or services they provide. To learn more about how sales tax will affect your business, read our article, Sales Tax for Small Businesses.
For information about local licenses and permits:
- Check with your town, city or county clerks office
- Get assistance from one of the local associations listed in US Small Business Associations directory of local business resources.
Certificate of Occupancy
An animal rescue;business is generally run out of a shelter or kennel. Businesses operating out of a physical location typically require a Certificate of Occupancy . ;A CO confirms that all building codes, zoning laws and government regulations have been met.
- If you plan to purchase or build a location:
- You will be responsible for obtaining a valid CO from a local government authority.
- Review all building codes and zoning requirements for your business location to ensure your;animal shelter business will be in compliance and able to obtain a CO.
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Get The Community’s Support
For your rescue to be functioning and thriving, you must have the support of your community that’s where the donations and volunteer help will be coming from. To begin, put together a public meeting and invite members of the public to attend. Use this meeting to explain your animal rescue group to the community. Be clear about your mission, your goals, and how your organization intends to help the community and how members of the community can help you to reach your goals.
Once again, looking at how others have done it and how they figured out how to start a dog rescue with community’s support can be of great help. Use some of the above links to other rescues and read their blogs they often post updates on their progress in engaging the community and more. For example, check National Mill Dog Rescue’s blog where they publish they actions and what exactly they do as a dog rescue.
Dont be afraid to promote heavily on social media, post flyers around the town, contact local media, and invite anyone and everyone to attend your meeting. Explain to them that you’re looking for support on how to start a dog rescue and explain your process and your goals. The more people who are familiar with your animal rescue, the more successful your fundraising efforts will be. After this is done, you’re moving onto the next step in how to start a dog rescue which is bringing people together.
Define Policies And Standards
Defining your organizations policies and standards is an ongoing process. If your organization is vital and growing, the policies and standards will be revised periodically. But you will not want to put off developing the initial policies for too long.
Establishing policies and standards , and sharing them with everyone involved, is a critical part of creating an environment where people can work together successfully toward a common goal. Everyone needs to know who makes decisions and what the usual procedures are.
Your policies will need to include things like the services you will routinely provide for the public, veterinary care protocol, and a listing of individuals empowered to authorize veterinary care. Such guidelines help to create stability within the organization . They also give the organization credibility by helping to ensure that consistent, quality services are provided. If you need a starting place, examine other organizations policies and procedures.
Arent policies and bylaws the same thing? They shouldnt be. While the organizations bylaws address the framework and governance of the organization, policies and procedures address daily operations. Policies are more detailed, but they are also easier to change than the bylaws.
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What Is The Growth Potential For An Animal Rescue Business
According to a recent IBIS World report, annual revenues from this industry have grown to over $600 million. Six to eight million dogs and cats are rescued in the United States each year. These numbers do not account for the various other animals rescued annually. Awareness regarding abuse, neglect, and euthanasia continues to rise, solidifying this industrys expected growth over the next decade.
Not sure if an animal rescue business is right for you? Try our free Business Idea Generator and find your perfect idea.
I Turned A Basement Into A Cat Sanctuary
Before I created Denises Washington Heights Sanctuary a year ago, I rescued roughly 50 cats a year and took them back to my apartment. Some cats were adopted; some were found to have microchips from other rescue groups and returned to them. I also kept some. My landlord gave me the space in the basement to create a kitty sanctuary. But it was in horrible shapeinches of dirt on the floor from years of flooding and boarded-up windows that needed replacing. It took a few months and thousands of dollars to clean and paint it, but now its a safe home for the cats I rescue. Since creating the cat sanctuary, Ive rescued more than 100 cats. Currently, I have approximately 38 cats. Half are in the sanctuary and half are in my apartment.
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Don’t Forget The Animals
Buddy, Sweetie, Dudley, Flower.Whoever the animals are who have touched your heart, always keep in mind that theyre the reason that youre doing this.
Starting a shelter is an exciting and complicated process, but its not for everyone. For those who embark on this course, we wish you every success. Fortunately, for the rest of us, there are other opportunities to help. Suggestions on how to improve your local shelter are just around the bend in the next issue of Animal Watch.
Prepare A Mission Statement
After you’ve chosen your name, you need to prepare a mission statement, which lets the public know what your company does, who it does it for, how you’ll accomplish your goals, and what its value to the public is. Decide whether you want to take in only dogs and cats, or if you want to include other animals, and say so in the statement.
Keep your mission statement shortonly a few sentencesbut make sure it is clear, positive, and upbeat. A mission statement is different from your goals, which is a separate document.
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Visit At Other Shelters
Every member of your team should visit several shelters, and those on the shelter construction committee should visit many more. Take your architect and/or contractor along, too. Dont look only at those in neighboring counties, but visit shelters in other states and other parts of the country as much as possible to garner a wealth of ideas. Visit shelters large and small, both retro-fitted buildings and custom-designed facilities. Make arrangements to have the executive directors give you a tour. Ask lots of questions. Find out what their goals were in designing the shelter, what they feel has worked well for them and what they would do differently. Take photos, videos and notes to share with the board.
Is A Dog Rescue Right For You
Before we start talking about how to start a dog rescue and the steps involved in setting it up, you have to consider whether this venture is for you. This is important because starting a dog rescue is a commitment and not something that you can back out of midway if you realize its not what you thought it would be.
It comes with certain responsibilities. By the time you launch your dog rescue organization, you have committed to helping the dogs you take in and future pet owners looking to save animals, and its your responsibility to make sure that those dogs are cared for properly and pet owners receive the necessary guidance, whether that means that rescue pets stay in your care for three weeks or three years.
Here’s what should you consider before looking into how to start a dog rescue and when trying to determine whether running a rescue organization is for you:
Funding. Do you have the financial resources needed to begin and fund a rescue organization? It’s true that most rescue organizations run on donations for a large part, but if those donations are few, are you going to be able to provide for the needs of your rescue and your rescue inhabitants, or find means to fund it?
Legalities. Do you have the space needed to run a safe, sanitary, and lawful animal rescue organization? Depending on where you live and where your dog rescue is located, different laws exist to govern the property and zoning requirements and limitations on building specific businesses.
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Things I Learned About Starting An Animal Sanctuary
For so many animal lovers, starting an animal rescue or sanctuary is on the list of things they most want to someday do. For my husband and I, this was something we really wanted to do now, with our young family, and not after wed hit our retirement years. It hasnt been easy, but it has been rewarding. For those of you who have this kind of dream on your bucket list, here are some tips on what you need to think about based on what weve learned along the way.
Q: Have You Ever Been Discouraged Or Wanted To Give Up What Motivates You To Keep Going
A: Many, many times! In addition to having a full-time job, I take care of over 40 kittens at one time, especially during kitten season. And usually theres about 25% of them that require medicating, force feeding, and time-consuming handling. It is tiring, and one can get fatigued and sometimes disappointed when after all the hard work, the kitten still doesnt survive. Or when the family you were so confident was going to be a great home for the kitten turns out to be disappointing.
But all I need to do is go see my little fosters and the love in their eyes when they see me, or the smiles of the adopters when they take their little kitten in their arms, and all is well. I cannot imagine not doing this.
Want to learn more? You can connect with Sandra and Cool Cats Rescue, as well as see all the kitties she has available for adoption, through her website or on .
Have you ever thought about starting your very own animal rescue organization? Please tell us about it in the comments below!
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