What you need to know before starting an animal shelter ๐Ÿพ

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Starting an Animal ShelterStarting an animal shelter is a great thing to do if you love animals. But, it needs lots of planning, money, and hard work.

Here are some important things you should know before you start an animal shelter:

Get the right permits –ย Different countries have different rules for animal shelters.

When you decide to start an animal shelter, the first thing to do is to understand the laws in your area.

Different places have different rules about taking care of animals. You need to get special permits to run an animal shelter. These are like official papers that say you are allowed to take care of lots of animals. To get these permits, you might need to talk to local government offices or animal welfare groups. They can tell you what rules you need to follow and help you get the right permits.

Remember, following the rules helps keep both you and the animals safe.

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This is an example of how things work in NYC: https://portal.311.nyc.gov/article/?kanumber=KA-01880

Before you open your shelter, you should make a detailed plan.

Creating a detailed plan is an important step before opening your animal shelter.

  • Start by deciding which animals you’ll help. Will you care for dogs, cats, or maybe even farm animals?
  • Then, think about the size of your shelter. How many animals can you take care of at once?
  • Location is important too. Look for a place that’s safe and has enough space.
  • Next, figure out how much money you’ll need. (This includes costs for food, medicine, and taking care of the animals. Don’t forget about money for the building and paying your staff).

Speaking of staff, think about how many people you’ll need to help run the shelter.

Your plan is like a map.

It will show you what to do when you’re starting and keep you on track after your shelter is open.

A good plan makes sure you’re ready for everything!

After you have your plan, you should let people in your community know about your shelter.

Once your plan is in place, it’s time to reach out to your community. Letting people around you know about your shelter is extremely important. You can do this in different ways.

  1. Think about using marketing, like making posters or using social media, to spread the word.
  2. Hosting public events is another great idea. You could have an open house at your shelter or set up a booth at local fairs. Also, try to work with other groups in your area. These could be schools, businesses, or other animal organizations. Building relationships with them can help a lot.

When your community knows about your shelter and supports it, your chances of success are much higher. They can help with donations, volunteering, and even adopting the animals. Remember, a strong community connection is a big part of a successful animal shelter!

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Running an animal shelter can be expensive. Make a budget and stick to it.

Managing money wisely is crucial when running an animal shelter. Start by making a budget (a plan for how to spend your money).

In your budget, include everything you’ll need to spend money on. This means the cost of food and water for the animals, paying for vet care, keeping the shelter in good shape, and salaries for your staff. Don’t forget about other costs like electricity, water, and supplies for cleaning. You need to know how much money you have and where it’s going. Sticking to your budget helps you avoid spending too much. This way, you can make sure your shelter can keep helping animals for many years.

Remember, a good budget is key to keeping your shelter running smoothly and successfully.

Create a support network

When you run an animal shelter, you don’t have to do everything alone. Make sure you have people around who can help! This is a group we call “support network”.

Think about including friends and family who care about animals too. They can offer help or advice when you need it. Volunteers are also a big part of this network. They can help with daily tasks like feeding the animals, cleaning, and even giving them love and attention. Don’t forget about other groups in your area, like animal rescue organizations or local businesses. They might offer support in different ways, like donations, supplies, or services. A strong support system makes the big job of running a shelter easier. It also means you have people to share the challenges with and celebrate the successes.

Remember, together, you can do a lot more for the animals!

Join other animal shelters as a volunteer to learn the job

Before starting your own shelter, it’s a good idea to gain some experience. The best way to do this is by volunteering at other animal shelters.

This gives you a chance to learn what it’s really like to run a shelter day-to-day. You’ll get to see how they take care of animals, manage their space, and work with the community. It’s also a great opportunity to learn from others who have been doing this for a while. They can teach you a lot about handling different situations and making tough decisions. Plus, volunteering is a good way to make connections in the animal care world.

These connections can be very helpful when you start your own shelter.

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Starting an animal shelter – easy guide

So, spend some time volunteering and learning. It will make you better prepared and more confident when you’re ready to open your shelter’s doors!

Interested in volunteering at animal shelters? Explore ourย Animal Welfare section for more information and opportunities.


Starting an animal shelter is a huge and difficult task, but it can also be very rewarding. If you love helping animals, starting a shelter could be a great way to make a difference!


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Author: Voluntouring staff

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