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September 10, 2012

How to Help Animals, from Snowcones to Used Cars

I was traveling in upstate New York this weekend and spoke to crowds in Buffalo, Ithaca, Syracuse, and Albany. In Syracuse, I saw 12-year-old Martin Welych-Flanagan, who is a great HSUS supporter and my friend. He’s raised more than $8,000 over the past four years for HSUS’s anti-seal killing campaign by selling Save the Seals bracelets. At my event on Saturday night in his hometown, he sold another $63 worth of bracelets that he, his mom, and his friend Johnny made.

Pets for Life vehicle donation poster
Help HSUS's Pets for Life by donating your used vehicle.

In Albany, I met two young boys, 6-year-old Roan and 10-year old Hayden, who gave me a cup full of money that they raised for The HSUS by selling snowcones in front of their house.

I was touched by these acts of kindness and generosity. These are kids who want to make a difference, and they are contributing in the ways that they can. These kids embody the values we want to see fostered in our society.

And it reminded me of all the ways that all of us can help. In the past, I’ve written about 50 ways to help animals and The HSUS. It would be a good time to review that list and remind yourself of the ways you can contribute–financially, in the marketplace, through volunteerism, and other ways.

There’s one relatively new way to help that I’m particularly excited about: donating an old car, truck, motorcycle, RV, or boat to The HSUS–and you can even get a tax deduction for it.

If you have an old vehicle lying around, or know a friend or family member who has one, you can donate it to The HSUS or encourage your contact to do so, and we receive, on average, 80 percent of the proceeds from the sale. All of the proceeds from donations of used vehicles go to our Pets for Life (PFL) program, which operates now in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia and targets under-served, economically disadvantaged communities where there are low rates of spay and neuter, and few veterinary practices. Our work is helping to elevate the bond between people and their pets, keep those pets in homes and out of shelters, and reduce the possibility of neglect, animal fighting, and other issues.

This weekend, our PFL team in Philadelphia invited members of an under-served community to come to a public park and receive free pet vaccinations, nail-trimming, and spay/neuter vouchers. Our team vaccinated 391 dogs and cats, gave out 212 spay-and-neuter vouchers, and also signed up 42 people for the dog training classes we conduct. Just on one day this weekend!

Imagine if we could fully fund these programs throughout the year and expand them to other cities? We would drive down euthanasia rates, improve the quality of life for dogs, and get that much closer to eradicating pet homelessness and overpopulation.

Donating a vehicle is simple, and the vehicle doesn't have to be running. You can enter the vehicle's information online, or call 1-877-836-6674 and someone will assist you. We'll schedule a time to have it towed at no cost to you. Your vehicle will be sent to auction, the proceeds passed along to The HSUS's Pets for Life program, and the title and sales paperwork will be taken care of for you. Your reward? In a few weeks, you'll get a donation receipt for tax purposes.

I hope you'll consider donating your vehicle and spreading the word about this important program that provides much-needed support for pets and people.

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