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Starting a Rescue

To run a successful rescue, you need more than just animal smarts—you need business savvy. Starting off right will help set your organization up for long-term success. Check the laws in your state (the Secretary of State and Attorney General Office are great places to start) for local regulations, but the below resources are universally applicable.

Checklist for Starting a Rescue


Nonprofit Status

Why should I incorporate and apply for 501(c)(3) status?

  • Protects the people in the organization from legal liability and debt incurred by the rescue group
  • Projects to the rest of the world that this is a legitimate organization
  • Non-profit organizations are exempt from federal income tax
  • Encourage people to donate by giving them a tax deduction
  • Many foundations will only award grants to non-profit organizations

General Resources on Starting a Nonprofit Organization

Starting an Animal-Related Organization


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