It’s the third day of my 12 Days of Charitable Giving for 2019. Readers have suggested deserving charities over the past few weeks, and I’ll be posting the results here. Today’s charity is Pets In Need.
As a pet owner, I love the idea of Pets In Need. I know that taking care of a pet can be expensive, especially when your furry friend is facing a significant health challenge (our beloved dog, Lyle, died of bloat). I also know how important pets are to families.
Pets In Need of Greater Cincinnati (PIN) provides affordable, high-quality veterinary services for pets living in low-income families. The organization is committed to helping to keep vulnerable pets healthy and safe in loving homes.
Now in its seventh year of operation, its clinic in Lockland serves pet families whose household income is at or below 200% of the federal poverty level. It is one of only a handful of nonprofit clinics in the country that provides comprehensive low-cost veterinary care. There are currently 2,014 low-income pet families with 4,296 cats and dogs from 15 counties, and 137 zip codes enrolled and eligible for services at Pets In Need.
In 2018, the clinic provided 5,843 veterinary appointments, 5,070 vaccines, and 108 referrals for surgeries and dental procedures. They also offered 672 spay/neuter vouchers and 11,085 doses of flea/tick medication.
The reader who submitted this nomination shared one story close to her heart:
Joyce and “Snowy Biscuit.” Eighty-seven year old Joyce lives alone with her beloved best friend, 15-year old Snowy B. Before finding Pets in Need, the poor pup had been suffering for weeks with urinary tract issues. Joyce couldn’t afford the testing needed to diagnose him at a private clinic, and she felt completely helpless. At PIN, Snowy B. was diagnosed with a chronic bladder condition, but with ongoing care, it is under control and he is no longer in pain. Click HERE to hear Joyce explain her appreciation in her own words.
So how can you help?
For federal income tax purposes, if you plan to claim a deduction for a cash contribution, you’ll want to keep a record of the donation. Ideally, the organization will provide a written record with the name of the charity, date, and amount of the contribution.
Pets In Need also accepts gifts of publicly-traded stock. If you have stock that has appreciated in value, you can double your tax benefit: you will receive a federal income tax deduction equal to the fair market value of the stock for your charitable deduction (so long as you’ve owned it for at least one year), and you will avoid paying the capital gains tax. Normally, appreciated assets are subject to capital gains tax at disposition – whether by selling or gifting – but there’s an exception for donations to charitable organizations.
Do your homework.
As always, you want to make sure that your donation is going to a qualified charitable organization. A search using the IRS’ new Exempt Organizations Select Check reveals that Pets In Need is on the list.
I often suggest checking out third-party sites like Charity Navigator for more information about charitable organizations, including evaluations and access to tax forms and other financials. Pets In Need is not ranked on Charity Navigator because it has less than $1 million in annual revenue (you can find out how to evaluate an unrated charity here). When you search, be careful: I found many similarly-named charities. Make sure that you’re looking for the right one.
Remember: Readers nominate their favorite charities to the 12 Days of Charitable Giving, and in most cases, I can’t personally vouch for the organizations. So be generous but be smart: Do your homework.
For more on making charitable donations, click here.
For other charities in the series: