Mon. Jun 27th, 2022

A nonprofit animal rescue requires lots of logistics and planning. Funding is basically sourced from donators and the job requires selfless service. The venture should have some legal backing including community representation.

Other requirements are volunteer professionals in the animal industry. This venture is more service oriented than a money making venture. Professional rescuers earn about $35,000 annually however non-profit organizations are volunteers.


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Who can start an animal rescue?

The ideal candidate should have genuinely love animals. Other criteria are good administrative knowledge, accounting, human resources and payroll. They need a background in animal safety, animal health. Others are determination, good judgment, and adequate community networking.

Personal Skills

  • genuinely love animals
  • good administrative knowledge
  • accounting
  • human resources
  • payroll management
  • background in animal safety and health
  • determination
  • good judgment
  • communication skill
  • community networking

Steps to start a nonprofit animal rescue

Step 1

Write a nonprofit rescue business plan and carry out a survey.

Step 2

Register the business acquire insurance including tax.

Step 3

Register a business name, secure funding, and choose an ideal location

Step 4

Secure the help of professional volunteers like veterinarians, site workers.

Step 5

Advertise the business through word of mouth, print and electronic media.

Step 6

Build a dedicated website or blog, engage on social media.

How to Establish a Nonprofit Rescue

The process involved in establishing a non-profit animal rescue is challenging and rewarding. You need people who genuinely love animals, funding, and legal backing.

Basics include writing a mission statement, goals purpose and objectives. Set long, short term goals then approach people to form a board of directors. Each member should have professional skill or knowledge of animal care.

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Organizational policy

Write policies or standards that the organization is bound. The policies most be clean well defined document.


Funding is one of the most challenging aspects of the business. An animal rescue shelter is a non-profit organization so you need lots of funding. Most aspects of the job is volunteer based with leverage on community and professionals in the field.

Funding is through grants, tax cuts, user fees and donations. It is important to cultivate public support then start a membership program.

  1. grants
  2. tax cuts
  3. user fees
  4. donations
  5. membership

Job scope

The job scope for the shelter is rescue, adoption, providing shelter. Others are medical treatment of injured animals, wildlife rehabilitation and education.

  • Rescue animals
  • Provide adoption
  • Provide shelter
  • Medical intervention
  • Wildlife rehabilitation
  • Community education


Executive and non-executive staff are board of directors, professional volunteers. Non-executive staff are janitors, field workers, driver, office secretary. Establish a training program for volunteers and staff.

  • board of directors
  • professional volunteers
  • janitors
  • field workers
  • driver
  • office secretary

Nonprofit animal rescue equipment

The type of rescue will determine the equipment. Common equipment are duct tape, ropes, rescue straps, pulleys. Others are loop sets, vertical strap, carabineers, towel, vet wrap, gauze pads.

  • duct tape
  • ropes
  • rescue straps
  • pulleys
  • loop sets
  • vertical strap
  • carabineers
  • towel
  • vet wrap
  • gauze pads


Register the animal rescue as a legal entity. Make sure the business conforms to state or federal laws guiding the enterprise. There are legal and tax related matters, unions and associations to join.

Fill appropriate IRS form, research bylaws guiding the enterprise. To secure non-profit status you need to project your financials for first 3 – 5 years. The financial parameters are estimated amount, expansion, future costs and assumptions.

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The animal rescue needs to attract donations, public support, adopters and volunteers. The marketing plan involves building a website, use of social media like Facebook, Instagram. You need to organize fundraising activities, advertisement, community sponsorship and free publicity.

  • attract donations
  • public support
  • adopters
  • volunteers
  • building a website
  • use of social media
  • organize fundraising activities
  • advertisement
  • community sponsorship
  • free publicity

Build a Website

Build a website with WordPress and include images of rescues. Add contact information, phone number, and area of operation. Seek donations, volunteers and skilled experts in animal welfare. Use social media buttons to encourage visitors to share the page.


The business is non-profit so you need volunteers. Secure the services of a volunteer veterinarian, legal representation and field workers. You need a board of directors, office staff, accountant, location driver.

  • Veterinarian
  • legal representation
  • field workers
  • board of directors
  • office staff
  • accountant
  • location driver

Market Analysis and Bradding

Determine the number of stray animals the shelter can accommodate. Secure donations, volunteers and places to place them for adoption. Study other shelter, learn about grants, donor agencies. 

You need to define the kind of animals the shelter can take. Decide on a catchy name and logo for your animal rescue. This will differentiate your serves and offer easy identification or referrals. A few ideas are Furry Hearts, Creature Sanctuary, Little Paws, Wildlife Alliance, Hotel Pet Haven, and Critters Sanctuary.

Establish an accounting system

Make sure you establish a transparent accounting system. Hire an accountant or bookkeeper to handle the accounts. Use appropriate software to show funding, expenditure, amount allocated for annual projects.

By Femi

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