Nonprofit groups gain tax-exempt status from the IRS for their social services. They can be a membership or board-only and may have various activities. Whether they are private nonprofits, shelters or small volunteer rescues, many people are dedicated to helping community cats and working to reduce the number of homeless pets.
Whether by revolutionizing the public’s understanding of homeless cats through global campaigns or raising funds to improve treatments for feline diseases, these charities impact street cats and their community. Many of them implement Trap-Neuter-Return, an effective and humane method for addressing cat populations that have been proven to stabilize colonies, stop reproduction, reduce nuisance behaviors such as spraying and fighting, lower rat populations, and help the environment by decreasing predation on wildlife species.
It involves cat caregivers trapping a group of community cats, taking them to a veterinarian to be spayed or neutered and vaccinated for rabies, then returning them to their outdoor homes where the caretaker monitors them. In addition, the ear-tipped status of the cats makes it easy for animal control and shelter staff to recognize that they have been sterilized, which prevents them from being brought into shelters where they are likely to be euthanized. This is a life-saving approach for homeless cats and their caretakers.
Whether it’s for cats or dogs, adoption helps create forever families. Organizations such as the Humane Society of New York work to transform their place into a no-kill community where homeless pets can be adopted instead of euthanized due to shelter overcrowding and limited space. They provide various resources for shelter pets, including a cozy bed, toys, treats, and more to make them more comfortable in the stressful and scary environment of shelters.
They provide affordable emergency funding for life-saving veterinary care for low-income pet owners. They have an excellent transparency rating. They also have an outstanding reputation for their veterinary care. Their services are a valuable addition to the communities they serve.
Nonprofit organizations are normally organized around social causes and designed to provide goods or services that state and federal governments cannot do as well. They are generally run by a board of directors that dictates and manages operations along with executive officers. They do not have shareholders, and their assets cannot be used for personal profit.
As such, they are not required to pay corporate taxes, but they usually have employment tax obligations and abide by workplace rules like for-profit companies. Some nonprofits are volunteer-run and rely on inexpensive or free labor to help keep expenses low.
Education is key for everyone involved with animal welfare, and it is one of the most important roles that nonprofit organizations play in advancing the humane movement. Educating young people about the importance of supporting open-admission animal shelters, humane laws, and spaying and neutering can impact their lives for decades. It may also influence them to become veterinarians, marine biologists, and other professionals dedicated to saving animals.
Many people who help community cats work individually, but forming an organization creates a network that can act as a voice for local outdoor cat issues. It’s also a way to attract more funding, and local businesses are more likely to give donations to an established group than a single individual.
Creating an organization also gives caregivers status that can be beneficial in dealing with government officials and others who may threaten the welfare of community cats. Caregivers can band together to lobby against laws that do not support them, and they are more likely to receive moral support from other groups working for cats.
Lastly, an organization can serve as a hub for education on community cat issues.