Experienced managers and owners will tell you it takes more than a love of animals to run a successful shelter. That is not only success seen in dollars and cents but in accomplishing what you open a shelter for in the first place, to provide quality care for the animals. To start an animal shelter, you and your qualified staff need dedication, management abilities, accounting skills, community contacts, and marketing experience is always a plus, as with any business enterprise.
Here are some tips from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals:
Before you incorporate, access your community's need for another animal shelter. Visit other shelters to help you decide if starting a new shelter is necessary and feasible.
Consider if an outreach program might be of more assistance. You could start a Friends of the Shelter group for an existing shelter. Operating humane programs in animal foster care, low-cost spay/neuter, fundraising, education, or in lobbying for legislation may be more helpful. The best way to get experience is to volunteer at a local shelter or rescue groups.
Raising funds is a constant priority with non-profit humane organizations. Hard work and good intentions are not all that is needed to meet your shelter's needs. Developing fundraising strategies from the start will help get your business off the ground and up and running.
Animal welfare organizations use creative ways to raise money and receive major donations hosting special events. From holding dog beauty contests to corporate sponsorships, make sure to tap any possible sources of revenue.
Make your shelter's grand opening a major event. Send out press releases, advertise, and sent all the local celebrities a personal invitation to your open house party. Promote what your shelter has to offer the community and encourage donations.
Start a regular newsletter to supporters, and ask to leave donation reminders in local businesses.
Most importantly, do not forget the animals who put this whole plan into action.
Starting a shelter is a wonderful way to give back to our animal friends who have always been there for us. Remember, if the process of opening your own shelter seems too overwhelming, you can volunteer at your local shelter.
You start by getting a contract that says that you can take care of animals and you do that by going to court and proving you are responsible