Similarly, people will buy various flea sprays, drops and pills whenever they see their pet scratching, making a wrong diagnosis — cats and dogs scratch themselves intensely for reasons other than fleas — even with fatal consequences for cats when given anti-flea preparations meant only for dogs.
Your end-of-the-year donations: Avoiding corrupt charities: There has been much talk in the news about various charities, designated as nonprofit organizations, from those claiming to help war veterans to international disaster relief, that prove to be scams with little or no funds ever going to help the designated causes.
Always make sure your donations are tax-deductible and go to a registered 501(c)(3) charity. For some guidance in this domain, visit charitywatch.org and charitynavigator.org. Also find some links to reputable nonprofit organizations on my website, DrFoxVet.com.
When it comes to animal and environmental protection organizations soliciting your support, some of the large ones are already well-funded by corporations and their spin-off charity branches or foundations. They may be limited in their effectiveness by conflicts of interest and by the need to maintain high executive salaries and slush fund travel expenses and other perks, some playing shell games with their accounting and accountability.
Remember, small is beautiful, and small, local groups and chapters of reputable larger nonprofits (such as the Audubon Society) are easier to support if you want to monitor your donations and not just send out some conscience money to feel good. Small organizations include your local animal shelter and humane society — not to be confused with the Humane Society of the United States — and wildlife rehabilitation and environmental education centers.
Some larger nonprofits, such as the Animal Welfare Institute, Union of Concerned Scientists and Earth Island Institute, are reliably transparent. One must be especially cautious with those soliciting funds to help nonprofit organizations abroad. Find out if your donations are tax deductible and what percentage goes to actually help rather than paying for overhead expenses.
Send all mail to email@example.com or to Dr. Michael Fox in care of Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106. Visit Dr. Fox’s website at DrFoxVet.com.
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