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These are the Best Pet Charities in the Country

In the aftermath of hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, many organizations rose up to the challenge of locating displaced animals and reuniting pets with their owners. You might wonder which of these charities are the best ones to donate to and which ones do a better job at actually using the money you donate for their main causes. We want to recommend the best animal charities to donate to, while providing some information about them and the reasons why we chose them.

How to evaluate an Animal Charity?

We selected these non-profit organizations for animals based on their Charity Navigator ranking, which is an indicator of how much of the funds go to help the organization’s main cause, as opposed to operational expenses, advertising, and salaries. The other criteria was size, we chose mid-size charities (between $3.5M to $13.5M) to help those nonprofits that might not be the most well-known, but large enough to make an impact. We also wanted to select charities from different parts of the country to help you find one near you or near one of your areas of interest. Charity navigator rates charities based on 2 major components: Financial health (according to financials reported to the IRS) and Transparency & Accountability (T & A). Then, an overall rating is computed based on these two measurements. Financial health takes into account what percentage of their budget is used for fundraising and administrative expenses versus program functions, since they want to offer an indicator about how effectively the organization uses its funds. Working capital ratios, liquidity ratios and other standard financial health metrics are used to assess the long-term position  and stability of the nonprofit. Transparency and Accountability is a rating that serves as a proxy for ethical behavior. The variables considered come mainly from the IRS form 990 and they are a way to verify the organization reported all required disclosures and the additional information associated with each of them. This category also evaluates if the financials were audited and the disclosure of conflicts of interest. Here is our list of animal charities. Keep in mind it is not definitive and we will revise it to reflect any rating changes and will expand it with more organizations in the future.

Top 20 Pet Charities in America

Nonprofit name Financial  T & A CN Rating
Nevada Humane Society 100.00 100.00 100.00
PAWS Chicago 100.00 100.00 100.00
Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation 99.86 100.00 99.90
The Humane Society Naples 97.50 100.00 98.23
Jacksonville Humane Society 97.50 100.00 98.23
Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League 97.50 100.00 98.23
Virginia Beach SPCA 97.50 100.00 98.23
Animal Defense League of Texas 99.05 97.00 97.77
St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center 97.35 97.00 97.17
Connecticut Humane Society 95.60 100.00 96.89
Houston SPCA 95.60 100.00 96.89
Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation 95.30 100.00 96.68
Idaho Humane Society 97.40 96.00 96.63
Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce Cty 94.97 100.00 96.44
Louisiana SPCA 94.52 100.00 96.13
Humane Society of Indianapolis 93.74 100.00 95.57
Animal Humane New Mexico 93.67 100.00 95.52
Charleston Animal Society 94.65 96.00 95.28
Animal Friends 92.90 97.00 94.55
Animal Rescue League of Iowa 93.41 96.00 94.55

Our list is only a snapshot of the thousands of organizations doing great work for animal rights and finding pets new homes. We'll update this list to reflect any changes in ratings and publish a lot more information about national nonprofits you can get behind. If you know about a nonprofit you love and you'd like us to review it, please let us know in the comments or contact us directly. Also check out these animal rights organizations you can get involved with today!

collie waiting to learn about the best pet charities in their area

For some more inspiration on how to pay it forward, see our Pursuit of Kindness post that takes a look at animals and people going out of their way to help each other.

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