How Do Animal Shelters Make MONEY in 2022?

How do animal shelters make money?

Most animal shelters rely on donations, government grants, and fees to pay the bills around the shelter.

We’ll explore this topic more in the sections below!

How Do Animal Shelters Make Money?

How Do Animal Shelters Make Money?
While most animal shelters receive funding from their local governments, they are always in need of public support and volunteers.

Are animal shelters non profit?

Most animal shelters operate on a non-profit basis, relying on donations, grants, sponsorships, merchandise sales, special events, and volunteers to keep their doors open.

However, there are always expenses that need to be covered, from food and medical supplies to utilities and building maintenance.

As a result, many shelters also rely on earned income to help make ends meet.

One way for animal shelters to make money is through adoption fees.

When someone adopts a pet from a shelter, they usually pay a fee that helps to cover the cost of care for that animal.

As you can see, there are a variety of different ways that animal shelters make money.

Read More: Are Shelter Dogs Safe? Learn more about how shelters care for dogs.

Why Some Shelters Struggle to Stay Afloat

Why Do Some Animal Shelters Struggle To Stay Afloat Financially?
Food and medical care for shelter animals are costly and lead to many shelters closing their doors yearly.

Running a shelter is costly, and many shelters struggle to stay afloat financially.

The biggest expense for shelters is typically the food and medical care for the animals.

In addition, kennels must be cleaned daily and disinfected regularly to prevent the spread of disease.

Maintaining a clean and safe environment for the animals and staff can be costly.

As a result of these financial challenges, some animal shelters are forced to close their doors each year.

To help prevent this, it’s important to support your local shelter through donations of time, money, or supplies.

By working together, we can ensure that all animals have a safe place to call home.

Read More: Can Animal Shelters Refuse Animals? Here’s why a shelter might refuse an animal and how you can help.

How to Support Your Local Animal Shelter

Animal shelters are often underfunded and rely heavily on donations to keep their doors open.

Thankfully, there are many ways that donors can help support their local animal shelter.

Donate Money or Supplies

One way to help an animal shelter is to donate money, either online or by mail.

Animal shelters use donations to pay for food, vaccinations, spaying and neutering surgeries, and other operational costs.

Read our related article, Do All Shelters Spay and Neuter? to learn more about this procedure.

Donations can also be made in the form of supplies, such as food, bedding, toys, and cleaning supplies.

These items can be dropped off at the shelter or purchased through their Amazon wishlist (check with your shelter first).

Donations can also be used to fund educational programs and outreach initiatives.

Read our related article, Do Dog Shelters Take Used Toys? to see if your local shelter could use Fido’s hand-me-downs!


Another way to support an animal shelter is to volunteer your time.

There are many dog shelter volunteer opportunities, and animal shelters always need volunteers to help clean cages, walk dogs, socialize cats, and do other necessary tasks.

By donating your time or money to an animal shelter, you can help make a difference in the lives of countless animals.

Read our related article, Can You Volunteer to Walk Shelter Dogs? for more helpful information.

Foster A Shelter Animal

Some shelters also have foster programs, where volunteers agree to care for an animal in their home until it’s ready for adoption.

By giving their time or resources, donors can help make a real difference in the lives of homeless animals and make space in the shelter for more unwanted animals.

If you’re wondering where your donations go at an animal shelter, watch this video:

Thinking of adopting? Check out this article: How Does Dog Adoption Work?

Why Animal Shelters Are Important

The Importance Of Animal Shelters In Our Society
Animal shelters keep homeless dogs off the street and pair them with loving families.

Animal shelters serve our society by rescuing abandoned and unwanted animals and finding them new, forever, homes.

They also play an essential role in protecting public health by ensuring that these animals are vaccinated and spayed or neutered.

In addition, animal shelters provide a valuable resource for education and outreach on responsible pet ownership.

Read More: Do Animal Shelters Give Vaccinations? Are they free? Here’s what to know!


In conclusion, animal shelters make money in a variety of ways.

Some of these include donations, grants, fees for services, and income from the sale of merchandise.

By understanding how these sources of revenue work, you can see that it’s essential to support your local shelter through donations and volunteering.

This helps the animals in need and supports the staff working hard to make a difference in their lives.

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Jesse Hopping, CCDT

Jesse is a natural-born dog-lover certified dog trainer (CCDT), dog foster, and former volunteer at Richmond SPCA and surrounding dog shelters for over 10 years. Her pack includes a Bernedoodle and 3 Boston Terriers. She’s sipping caramel coffee and watching her pack play in the sun when she’s not writing blogs. Jesse has her Certified Dog Trainer designation from CATCH Canine Trainers Academy since 2018 and and majored in English from the University of Virginia.

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