PoundWishes Offers Rescues a New Tool for Fundraising

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While it may take an entire village to raise a child, it takes a mere crowd to help a pooch and you can be part of that crowd through a unique fundraising organization called PoundWishes!

This relatively new upstart’s goal is to help animal shelters and rescue centers raise the moolah needed to help deliver those expensive medical procedures we are all too familiar with.

For those of us who have never done the math, you need to understand that the 4.9 million animals sitting in shelters (net those euthanized on arrival) represent a cost of nearly $6 billion to care for. Under-staffing means there is precious little time for shelters to devote to raising the cash critical to an already under-funded industry and the “local” nature of most shelters means financial sources can be limited to micro- versus macro-geographic regions (think area residents).

Related: How To Help Dog Shelters When You Can’t Adopt

The upside is that many of us are quite willing to pull out the plastic when it comes to lending a hand – we just aren’t sure who, what, when, where or how to reach some of these smaller organizations. With 2014 recording a whopping $358 billion in charitable giving, it’s time we start connecting those dots and that’s where PoundWishes comes in.

Unlike platforms like PetFinder who match pets with parents, PoundWishes helps match funding to an individual animal in need. Think of it as a “Make-A-Wish” for pets. In fact, the concept for PoundWishes came from a little girl who battled cancer with the help of the “Make-A-Wish Foundation.” She pointed out that pound pets need help too and her dad quickly picked up the baton and ran with it. Curtis Taylor is now co-founder and Chief Product Officer of PoundWishes.

Related: 6 Fun Ways to Raise Money for Shelters

How does it work? You start out by visiting the PoundWishes website.

Step 1 is the “Search for a Pet” screen that helps you narrow down your search by dog/cat, shelter address or your zip or postal code. I entered mine and found one nifty little Jack-Russell mix named Gypsy Rose Lee. I could then choose to fill out an adoption application or donate anything from a one- time $1 increment to a regular monthly contribution. Paypal or credit card… it’s that easy.

Feeling intrigued, I then clicked on “Grant a PoundWish” which connected me to photos of animals in need of more generous funding due to medical conditions. A name, a medical history, a target dollar amount and an endearing photo that will just make your heart melt. Quarter needs funds to help him learn to walk again, Dobby the dachshund needs heart surgery and Scarlett has a liver infection.

In their first year of operation (2014), PoundWishes was able to grant more than 150 PoundWishes including surgeries to repair broken limbs, medication for skin conditions and caring rehabilitation from the effects of abuses. As for Gypsy Rose Lee, while I can’t adopt I can support and she is a little richer as we speak!