top of page

Where Do My Donations Go?

As a 501(c)3 rescue organization, we are completely dependent on the generosity of out supporters and donors. While it may seem we’re always asking for more money or begging for assistance with this, that, or the other; the simple truth is that it takes a lot of money to keep our rescue going. If you’ve ever wondered what it is, exactly, that we spend money on, wonder no more. Inside, you will find a breakdown of our expenses and where your donations are utilized.


Pull Fees: Since shelters require money as well to operate, sometimes they require a “pull fee” for a rescue to take a dog from the shelter. While the pull fees aren’t nearly as high as a shelter’s adoption fee, the costs can add up quickly. Most pull fees are $20-$100 a dog.

How To Help: Sponsor the pull fee for a shelter dog.


Transportation: Since all of our dogs come from North Carolina, we’re able to drive to pick them up from shelters, transport them to appointments and fosters, and to meet their new families. In addition to actual dog transport, we also do a home visit for every single adoption application. Included in this is the price of gas, automobile maintenance, insurance and upkeep. We, as an organization, can easily drive 12,000 to 15,000 miles a year transporting dogs. That’s several thousand dollars’ worth of gas.

How To Help: Become a HTRI volunteer! Help us with home visits, transporting dogs from the shelter, to appointments, to fosters and to their new families, and with running errands/going to events. We can also utilize pre-paid gas cards and Tractor Supply/Wal Mart gift cards.


Vet Care: Vet care is easily the largest expense. For every dog that enters Happy Tails Rescue, Inc’s program, the absolute, bare minimum dollar amount of vet care they receive is $300. That includes spay/neuter, all vaccinations, heartworm testing, microchip, flea/tick/heartworm prevention, and a fecal. Some of our dogs come to us with existing health problems and they require far more extensive vet care.

How To Help: Donate unopened boxes of Flea/tick/heartworm preventative. Most of our dogs are different weights so any size category will be useful. We also need basic first aid supplies and pill pockets.


Food: Each dog in our rescue goes through a bag of dog food a month. We feed premium, grain-free, all natural foods, and our cost per bag is $27. That’s $27 per dog per month. Our favorite brand is 4 Health and Taste of the Wild, both available at Tractor Supply Company.

How To Help: Donate bags of dog food. Any size.


Crates: We require our dogs in foster care to be crate trained, and so each dog that enters our rescue to have a crate. Most of our dogs utilze a standard sized 36” or 42” crate. Wire crates cost $65 to $120, depending on the size, and plastic-sided Vari-kennels are even more expensive.

How To Help: Donate wire or plastic crates that are in good shape. While we most frequently utilize 36” or 42” crates, we always need smaller crates (for puppies) and larger crates (for mommas and babies of dogs on crate rest), as well as stand-alone and exercise pens.


Basic Supplies: Each dog needs a collar, tag, leash, and two bowls for food/water. Collars run $6-$10 each, tags $3-$5, leashes $8-$10 and a set of bowls cost $10. For each dog, that’s $27 worth of necessary, mandatory supplies.

How To Help: We always need 4- to 6- foot leashes and 2-quart stainless steel bowls. We need collars most frequently in medium and large sizes.


Extra Dog Stuff: As anything else our dogs get super cold in the winter without protection. As such, depending on the time of year, our dogs may need a sweater, coat, or jacket to stay warm outdoors. Our dogs require a variety of sizes: Small, Medium, Large, and X Large ranging in price from $15-$45. Lots of our dogs come from abusive, hoarder, or neglectful situations and have never had things like a bed, a nice big bone, or toys of their own. When we’re able, we like to get our rescue dogs a nice bed, a KONG or other tough toy and a bone. Obviously, these are pretty far down on our financial priority list, but when we can, our dogs enjoy it. Beds cost $15+ depending on size, a KONG or other tough toys $10+, and raw bones/antlers $10+.

How To Help: Donate small, medium, or large KONGs, other durable toys and raw bones/antlers. We can use coats sized from Small-X Large, and any size bed.


Training: While not every dog in our rescue attends a formal training session, but many do. Training classes are valued at $150 for a two week class and boarding. If a dog attends training classes, he or she needs a 6- foot leash and a training collar, such as a gentle leader or a limited slip collar. They would also need high-value treats. Training supplies for a single dog take training sessions cost about $25.

How To Help: Donate gentle leaders or slip collars. Donate high-value treats for training.


Cleaning Supplies: If there are dogs around, you’d better believe there’s cleaning to be done. Between housetraining, dog hair, and simple sanitization, we go through a ton of pet odor eliminator, candles, crate cleaners, paper towels, vinegar, hypoallergenic laundry soap, scrubbing pads, sponges, kitchen and yard sized trash bags, puppy pads, and towels. Cleaning supplies vary in cost, but most are $4-$10 a bottle/item.

How To Help: Give us paper towels, trash bags (all sizes), dog safe cleaning supplies and pet odor sprays. If you want to get us a candle, the pet odor eliminator ones are great.


Office Supplies: You may not think about it much, but copy paper, printer ink, file folders, pens, labels, cardstock, and paperclips aren’t free. Each dog has a file, and there’s a lot of paperwork to be done between dog files, records, contracts, fundraising, Public Relations, outreach and marketing. Office supplies may be a small cost, but they add up. Costs for smaller items are $2-$5 each, and printer ink can easily be $10 per cartridge or $60 per set. This doesn’t even count the filing cabinets, binders, bookshelves, computers, or the printer itself.

How To Help: We need printer ink like it’s nobody’s business. You can sponsor the purchase of an ink cartridge. Of course, whether you donate money or items, it’s always put to excellent use supporting our mission of saving unwanted k-9s in our area, and your donation is always tax-deductible.

bottom of page