Are there charitable orgs that help with refugees that have pets?
November 29, 2015 10:50 AM   Subscribe

For xmas, we'd like to give a donation on another's behalf to an organization that helps with refugees fleeing that have brought their pets with them.

My partner and I want to make a charitable donation for his brother/fiance as an Xmas gift and generally they don't like anything. One thing they do like, is dogs. Last year, we gave them a donation to their local animal shelter where they volunteer, but I thought that I'd like to donate on their behalf to an organization that helps with refugees fleeing that have brought their pets with them. Before anyone says that donating to people is more important... trust me, I get your point and agree, however to the brother's finance, nothing is more important than dogs (I actually mean nothing... :/).
posted by DorothySmith to Pets & Animals (11 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I don't think I've seen any news footage of refugees with pets. I don't think that's a thing. However, there are organizations who take in pets of people fleeing from spousal abuse or other intimate partner violence. Contact your local women's shelter, or theirs if they live elsewhere, and see if there is such an organization you could donate too. This is important to the families who want to protect their pets when such upheaval is taking place. Great gift.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 11:48 AM on November 29, 2015 [2 favorites]

I think it is a thing (see: and Unfortunately I'm not able to find any charities that are dedicated specifically to this issue. Perhaps you could print out some of the stories about refugees with pets and include that in the card with a donation to a general refugee organization?
posted by rainbowbrite at 11:59 AM on November 29, 2015 [3 favorites]

Here's a link to an article on Safe Families Safe Pets.

Oh, on preview maybe rainbowbrite has a lead for you.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 12:01 PM on November 29, 2015

Refugees do try to bring pets, but as far as I know assistance programs focus on registration, emergency survival needs, locating family, and children's education. Many refugees come with nothing but what they can carry on foot.

Maybe contact UNHCR and ask?
posted by zennie at 12:03 PM on November 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for the tips. I figure if I can't find a reputable charity to forward the money to for refugees' pets, then I will help one of those shelters aiding women leaving domestic violence (like the poster above suggested) or one that helps the animals of homeless folks in wintertime (there's one in Toronto, I believe).
posted by DorothySmith at 12:11 PM on November 29, 2015

Pets of the Homeless may have some ideas, including organizations in Canada.
posted by Little Dawn at 12:21 PM on November 29, 2015 [2 favorites]

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is the gold standard in animal rescue as far as I am concerned, and they help out in disasters such as Katrina and Sandy. They took in many of the Vick dogs. People can stay at the sanctuary to volunteer, so if your budget is large a trip for them to volunteer there would be great.
posted by littlewater at 1:04 PM on November 29, 2015 [3 favorites]

It's absolutely a thing. A man here had his dog put down because he couldn't afford the charge to quarrentine it after it had come with him from home, protecting him and keeping him warm and probably sane. I wonder how long it will take to win back his trust in the authorities here, there is a value to that even if you don't think animal companionship is a thing. Pick a country in Europe, for example Germany, Sweden, France or the UK, and contact their branch of Refugees Welcome through Facebook or similar. Tell them you would like to pay for someone's animal costs, such as quarrentine, if it means a choice between them keeping their pet or not. Y can also tell them you want to make a specific donation to be used for the purchase of pet-food and ask for a photo of the receipt.
posted by Iteki at 1:20 PM on November 29, 2015 [3 favorites]

This is a new thing everywhere, and a very important thing. I think it was during Katrina that people refused to be rescued without their pets. Here's an article.

If you can't find something that is global in nature, maybe find something that's exceptionally local. There's an organization in my community that works to keep pets and people together. So many situations, animals go to shelters due to problems with their people. The "Meals on Wheels" organization was working on this a couple of years ago. Keeping people and pets together benefits not only those people and pets, but also the adoptable pets already in shelters (by reducing the inflow).
posted by yesster at 2:45 PM on November 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

If you have trouble finding a global charity and decide to go the route of a women's shelter, I donate to a domestic violence shelter, Rose Brooks, that allows pets and I find them to be a really fulfilling organization to support. It'd make a satisfying gift for a dog lover. Here's a spectacularly moving video about why they decided to create their pet shelter.

Your question is really awesome (despite totally getting the exasperation behind your partner's brother/fiance's limited interests beyond dogs). I'm guessing that leaving a beloved pet behind may keep some refugees in dangerous situations the same way that it does for domestic violence.
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 5:39 PM on November 29, 2015 [2 favorites]

Not quite what you are after, but Red Paw Relief in Philly responds to fires, collapses and similar things to assist with pets.
posted by sepviva at 7:12 AM on November 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

« Older iPhone was Sprint, now thinks it's Verizon   |   Do you know why my espresso machine is acting like... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.