Fundraising Ideas for Shelters and Rescue Organizations

Kilo the Pug started out as our foster dog from Homeward Bound Rescue in Ontario and is now part of our family.

Talent Hounds 12 Easy Ways to Help Rescues Photo of Susie and Kilo the Pug

My cat Nala was also a rescue. There are so many pets still going into rescues and shelters each year.  We did our TV episode “Rescues Rock!” to build awareness about the benefits of adoption and about Puppy Mills and showcase wonderful rescue dogs like Linzy, Harley and Fishstick.


My blog does not make enough money to help every pet I’d like to yet, so I am always trying to think up easy, cost-efficient ways to support Rescues.

12 Easy Ways to Support Rescues

  • Shop – what could be more fun and practical. You shop and people donate food or dollars. Check out DogforDog, AdoptAShelter, PetSmart Charities,  Auction4PetSupplies and various individual books or items you can buy for charity.
  • Volunteer, take great photos of rescues like our friends Sadie( Sarah Parker) and Trish of Pawesome Pet Photography and CCRT (beautiful photos can really help a dog’s chance of getting adopted), write powerful and moving stories and books (like Val Silver and Mattie Dog and Henry Says Hello), write letters (check out the Ruby’s Legacy Campaign against Puppy Mills), foster, donate extra food or other items you may not need, get PR.
  • Sell – Create or find things to sell with proceeds going to an animal rescue or charity of your choice. Sell photos, food, buttons, cookies, treats, books, calendars, t-shirts, toys and other merchandise online or at events eg  Norbert and Lil’ Bub, Mattie Dog, Pug-A-Lug, Igor, Shelter Pets. Hold a Raffle, a bake sale, a silent auction or garage sale.
  • Events – If you work with a Rescue- help them to attend and take tables or booths at subsidized or free events and adoption drives like Dog Lovers Days, Canadian Pet Expo, Woofstock, Pawlooza or Rescue Me at Purina PawsWay to build awareness, educate and fundraise. Many of these events donate a portion of their revenue to rescues.
  • Go for a Walk! There are free apps out there designed for you to enter your daily dog walk information to then have that data converted to money donated to an animal rescue of your choice. The more walks you and others make towards an animal cause, the bigger the pay out. Check out WoofTracks for an example. There are also organized group walks. Many people seem to like to walk or bike or do other activities for charity.
  • Hold a fundraising event like our friend Carol at Fidose of Reality  and the Wigglebutt Warriors  (we hope to attend), Wienerfest (we attend), Pug-A-Lug Pugoween and Pugentine Parties (we also attend), Carwashes, Walks, Golf,  Fashion Shows, Talent Shows or Trick contests, Parades, Picnics, Dinners, Movie Screenings
  • Promotion and Influence– If you can not hold an event, attend one and use your influence to attract other people or to promote an event or cause. Crusoe the Instagram Star and Obie the Biggest Loser have each supported Wienerfest. Our best Facebook Pals Bocker Labradoodle and Gizmo from Gizmo’s Frens are always helping dogs and people in need.  We regularly support causes and events.
  • Create a sharable YouTube Video or other content. You can build awareness for your cause and ask for donations like Hope for Paws or The Driving Dogs video for the SPCA in New Zealand. You can also donate the revenue from ads on YouTube like we often do. Make sure you are set up to collect ad revenue and tick monetize then promote. We get less than $1.0o per 1000 views.  However one of our videos has almost 500,000, views so if we had been set up for ads from the beginning, we could have donated $500.  Be careful not to use someone’s music or you can not monetize.
  • If you have any budget for marketing, you can donate an amount for each new subscriber or for new likes or comments or shares on social media or on your blog rather than spending on ads yourself. Our latest contest “Share the Love”, we donated $1.00 per entry up to $50 to Kilo’s rescue. Everybody WINS!
  • To increase your marketing budget, work with a brand to do a campaign where they donate for likes or for a specific action like the #iheartmydog campaign.
  • Get a brand or business to sponsor a rescue or shelter with cash, food, supplies, treats , toys etc.. Bullwrinkles and Purina have both been extremely generous in our experience. In one emergency at a shelter outside Toronto (an overwhelming influx of Puppy Mill victims), We drove out to the Eurocan Bullwrinkles factory and collected not only treats and chews, but other much-needed supplies like garbage bags, cleaning products and towels. We then drove to the shelter and gave a donation of cash and supplies together.
  • Partner with local pet stores or other retailers to distribute information, hold adoption drives, collect donations. We love the RuffTail Runners, a  partnership that pairs dogs from Austin Pets Alive! a shelter in Texas with runners from a local running group. The program benefits the shelter dogs who get training, exercise and attention while promoting adoption.

Other Fundraising Ideas From Our Friends

Do you have any great ideas to share?



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  • Thank you for mentioning us, Everyone is welcome to list pet related items on our site, and as Layla says its a win win as you can make some extra cash and you are supporting a rescue organization at the same time, woof from the Boss

  • Such great ideas. I try to save things that the Farm cats have too many of since they are spoiled and donate them to our favorite shelter.

  • I’m glad that you are able to help rescues as much as you do! There are so many little projects going on at rescues that there is always something someone can do. I help by writing a weekly newsletter for my rescue. Sometimes my husband and I transport pets to the veterinarian too.

  • All of our furry family members are rescues as well. I work as a fundraiser in my day job and also volunteer my skills to a number of rescues in our area. There’s always something we can do to help – donate, volunteer and adopt or do all three if you can!

  • What a great list of ideas you’ve shared! Now there are no excuses!!!

  • Everything we can do, individually and collectively, that helps animals get adopted – we are all in! What a great bunch of ideas and we loved the video – we will share with all of our readers! Thank you for mentioning us too 🙂

  • Every little bit makes a difference.

  • We mostly donate extra things like collars, food and treats. Great list of ideas!

  • Thanks for including us on your list. It is so true that folks can do something, no matter how big or small, to help an animal in need. I love the variety!

  • These are some fabulous ideas! I love the John Legend video soooo much!

  • These are all excellent ideas thanks so much for sharing! If you can’t host your own fund raising event, you can help by volunteering or sponsoring one. I’m proudly sponsoring the upcoming Wigglebutt Warriors fund raising event taking place in April at a winery in New Jersey. It will benefit NY’s Second Chance rescue. I’m also volunteering at the Hero Awards taking place in Phoenix AZ later this month. It honors animal heroes with proceeds benefitting the county shelter.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them