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Most of you who own dogs treat your dogs like family and care deeply for the well being of all dogs. You want to give generously to charities that benefit dogs, but the AKC advises you to choose organizations that best serve your desired ends.

There is a difference between animal welfare organizations and animal rights organizations. Animal welfare involves providing a dog with love and proper responsible care for its entire life. Animal rights include extreme views that disapprove of and seek to eliminate companion animal ownership.

The AKC supports and encourages the best premises of animal welfare. Before making charitable donations to animal-related causes, the AKC urges you to thoroughly investigate, understand, and approve of the programs or ideals your donation will support. Ask for a written summary of the organization’s goals or mission. Request and review a recent annual report. Will your funds go directly to help animals or will they be used for administrative costs? Don’t be afraid to ask detailed questions about how your donation will be used, or to discontinue donations if you are not fully satisfied with the charity’s work.

You may consider donating to worthwhile causes such as the parent club rescue organization of the breed of your choice, an AKC-recognized federation, a local animal shelter you’ve worked with, the AKC Canine Health Foundation, Take the Lead or the National Animal Interest Alliance, to name a few.