As you know, I am an animal lover ♥ If you're looking for a place to donate at the end of this year (or any other time) I HIGHLY recommend looking into your local shelter or animal rescue.
Often, at the end of the year, you'll see lots of companies and organizations reminding you that you are able to donate to their cause and get a tax break for it. While that's still true of your animal shelter, the money you give will be going straight to the animals and their care.
Animal shelters do a lot for the community, aside from just keeping strays off the street. They also spay/neuter every animal that comes in. If the animal is sick, they provide medical care. My shelter gives them each a bed to sleep on and toys to play with. Of course, they also feed them and help them to either stay healthy or reach a healthy place. They also microchip the animals, so if they ever do become lost (or stolen, god forbid), you will be able to find your fur baby and bring them home.
This is Oberon, my best friend's dog. He was wandering the street, way too skinny, and without a microchip to contact his original owners with. It was pretty clear he'd been on his own for a while. My friends fed him and waited for animal control to come and pick him up, but they were already in love with him. They wanted to give his original owner a chance to find him though, in case they were desperate to find their fur baby and bring him home.
Oberon went to our local animal shelter, where his original owner never came looking for him. The workers fed him special food, trying to get him to gain weight. He was fixed and microchipped. After the required waiting period was finished, my friends went and adopted him. He now lives in their home with their other two dogs, spoiled rotten, a healthy weight, and loved beyond measure.
This is Hollow, one of my cats who is, sadly, no longer with us. I adopted her from the same shelter several years ago. She was one of the most loving and sweet cats I've ever owned. When we adopted her, the shelter warned us that she had come in with an older cat and had been very attached to him. Unfortunately, someone had adopted the male earlier in the day and left her alone. Her skittishness did nothing to deter us, and we brought her home that same day. Over the years we had her, she developed into a wonderful companion and friend. I miss her more and more each day but am so eternally grateful for the time we did have together.
I often think about what would have happened to these animals if our shelter hadn't been around to take them in and find them loving homes. I can't imagine life without our fur babies. Donating to the shelter to help others find their fur-ever family is one of the greatest acts of charity I can think of. Shelters are often looking for things like cleaning supplies, collars, leashes, food, etc. The money that is donated to them goes to purchase these things as well.
If you are unable to donate money to your local charity, think about donating your time instead. Our shelter is always looking for people willing to walk dogs and help with feedings, as well as to cuddle with cats. We are registered to take dogs hiking with us, and I plan to fit a single day a week into going to the shelter to help with whatever else they need. In my mind, there are a lot of people who need help too, but animals are not able to help themselves. It's not a lot, but I can do something to help make their lives better.
If you do not have a local shelter, or do not want to support a local kill shelter (a shelter that is forced to euthanize animals after they are not adopted in a certain time frame--please still support these if you can, so they do not have to euthanize animals!) I invite you to donate to my local shelter. Pet Allies is a wonderful organization! They are a no-kill shelter that does all they can for every animal brought to them. You can donate to them here. Any and all amounts are welcome and will be put to good use!
Thank you for your kind and giving heart!