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Hi I'm Dee, I'm new to the forums and I'm still checking it out, but the main reason I joined the forum was to gather information on opening an animal shelter myself (dogs, as well as pretty much any other animal).

I'm sure there is plently of information here, but I 'd like to know if anyone has first hand experience opening their own shelter(Is it your means of income, how did you get started, etc.)? Also are there any reputable, recommended books out there I could read?

Sorry for all the questions, but I am a second year Biochemistry major, and while I love it it has always been my dream to work with and rescue animals. That being said, I know that it can be hard-- next to impossible to make a living doing this. That's okay, as I would not be doing it for the money, but I do need means to survive, etc. Or is it even possible to open a shelter, AND have a either a full time or second job as well?

Any help? It would be MUCH appreciated

Thanks so much,
Dee
 

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I would start by establishing myself as a 501.C3. You need a mission and a board and by-laws. Once you are a 501/c3, it is much easier to get donations or solicite municipal contracts for animal control/boarding of impounds, which can be very, very helpful as a sourse of income during the lean years.

I ran a shelter for 3 years and started 3 other non-profits that dealt with animals. One was informal and never became very organized but did great work with therapy dogs and was able to fund raise. Another was an animal control unit. The third was a non-profit geared towards keeping dogs in their original homes with a secondary emphasis on re-homing.

The better the foundation, the more likely you are to get off the ground. I was only able to grow 2 of the 4.
 
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