How do you go about deciding whether you’re possibly being scammed?

Do you ever see an abused animal on Facebook or another site and your heart feels like a fist is squeezing it?

And do you find yourself donating food or money to help an injured pet showcased on a website or social network?

Well, I sometimes do just that. I can’t seem to help myself.

The stories break my heart. But how do know if the money actually goes to help that pet?

Well, I guess I don’t. I just have to hope that my donation goes where it says it does.

In the back of my mind, I wonder if I’m being “had” of course. But then again I will look at the image or read the story about the animal and feel such anguish.

I often look for reviews and complaints about the organizations online and hope it is accurate.

How do you come to a decision about whether or not to donate to a cause or pet?

Rescuing Ivy:

I rescued Ivy from a local shelter when she was five months old. It was a small rescue organization, so there were only a handful of cats.

As I drove home with her in the crate I worried about the cats left behind. I couldn’t stop thinking about Ivy’s brother. I couldn’t adopt him because I couldn’t have more than two pets at my complex.

I’m so glad I adopted Ivy. I love her to pieces.

Volunteering:

Once about twenty or so years ago, I volunteered my time at an animal shelter.

It wasn’t two weeks before I brought an older dog home who had been returned over and over again due to its anxiety.

The dog was frightened by all the noise. And I simply couldn’t bear it. One day I went home, leaving the dog, and I cried and cried.

The next morning when the shelter opened, I was standing at the door waiting to adopt Pepper.

Pepper was 7 years old, all black, and a chihuahua mix. He was the sweetest little dog. And he lived to be 13 before illness took him.

I decided that I couldn’t volunteer at a shelter for animals because it was simply too hard. Later I signed up as a volunteer for Meals On Wheels.

Animals Have No Voice:

My heart goes out to animals because they have no voice.

When I was a child we had lots of pets and lived in the country. Those pets were my friends, as no children lived nearby.

I seemed to have more in common with the elderly than with children my own age. One woman I would often visit was 105 years old.

Scammers & The Elderly:

Deciding Whether To Donate:

We all want to help out. Sad stories tug at our hearts. But that sometimes means we are targeted.

How do you decide whether or not you’re being scammed?

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30 Comments

  1. Sadly, it’s so easy to be scammed. I just learned today that job postings can be scams – they ask for banking or social security information but there’s no real job. As you point out, it’s important to do as much research as possible before donating to a cause that pulls at your heartstrings, and go with your gut if anything seems off.

  2. I couldn’t volunteer at a shelter. It would rip my heart out every time I had to leave the animals there. I donate to the local shelters.

  3. Just yesterday I was reminded of the necessity to donate to local rescues. My cat had been very sick. I had taken her to the local vet and they had me take her to an emergency vet hospital. She spent the night, and I won’t even go into what they charged. They said they would like her to stay longer. I just didn’t feel I could afford it. I brought home her medicine and did my best to get her well. She was better for a few days then everything went downhill quickly. I have a friend that fosters animals for two rescue groups. She is how I found my two kitties. She suggested I take them to the vet clinic the rescues use. I called and told them how she was doing. They said bring her right in and I did. They were so kind to both her and me. They kept her for about 4 hours administering tests and medications. I brought her home and it is like night and day how her health is improving. The cost was little more than the local vet clinic charged to tell me she needed the emergency vet clinic. Just a reminder the local rescue groups can always use money. They care for animals in the area and do their very best to place them in loving homes in good health.

  4. The ads on TV really tug at my heartstrings but I mute and wait for them to end. I only donate locally then I don’t question my decision.

  5. I too brought home a very anxiety shaking chihuahua mix dog and still have him 7 yrs later. We cuddle him during thunderstorms which thankfully we don’t get a lot of. I donate still to this rescue group. I don’t do social media except to read blogs so I can’t let my emotions get all astray from so many stories out there. I am glad Jan mentioned ASPCA is a legit one as I do donate to them.

  6. I’ve had nothing but rescues and my present darling dog is from National Mill Dog Rescue in Pueblo, Colorado. Fabulous organization. I contribute on a monthly basis as well as have them as my charity on Amazon. It’s the best, because they send a percentage to your chosen organization. It’s a small percentage, but it really adds up and you receive regular reports of how much the charity is receiving as a whole.

  7. I NEVER donate to any cause (animal, human, political, etc.) appearing on social media or arriving unsolicited in my inbox or via a phone call.
    One big advantage to NOT watching commercial television is I’m not bombarded/harassed by the heart-tugging commercials from so-called relief organizations for humans & animals. So many of these organizations spend the majority of received donations on “administrative services/overhead” and a very small pittance trickles down to the humans & animals in need.
    All my donations are made to long-established vetted organizations and through their secure encrypted websites, and/or local organizations where I can drop-off cash or items requested by the organization (pet food at local rescues).

  8. I left Facebook more than a year ago and I’m so glad I did. I was not on any other social media, I was never really into it. I see sad stories about pets and animal abuse in the news and they make my heart literally ache physically. Sometimes I will contact the reporter – links to them are often provided in legitimate news agencies and media outlets, if I want to find out more because sometimes stories will say donations can be made, but you’re not sure where to make them. I donate to the Wisconsin Humane Society where I live, because I worked at a law firm associated with them for years and know they are legit, they are also a no euthanasia rescue. I donate to the ASPCA, a legit U.S. national animal rescue umbrella group. I also donate to the National Wildlife Federation, they do great work to preserve U.S. wildlife. I don’t send money to any “Go Fund Me” requests, as I cannot be 100% sure any of the requests are legit, and indeed, some have been proven to be fraudulent, and others are shut down by the site itself because they are not legit. Probably the safest way to donate is to donate locally where you can investigate organization claims for yourself in person.

  9. I only donate to the animal rescue I got Cooper and Buddy. They are a great organization and I know they are legit. I cannot watch any videos or commercials that have animal abuse or neglect. Makes me sick and heartbroken. I am glad you adopted little Ivy too.

  10. Thankfully, I’ve never answered or contacted any ad re pets.
    Very easy for these places to take advantage of anyone.
    Safer to contribute to your vet. Also ask who they’d recommend to help them with expenses for rescues.
    All our lives we’ve adopted our pets.
    Contributed to the specific shelter where each pet was taken in. Countless sad stories. We tried to do our best rescuing those left alone and behind.
    I also “found” stray pups in close by neighborhoods.
    Totally a miracle I was there at the right time to save them from harm.
    1 amazing rescue was when I was on my way to work one morning.
    Waiting for my bus, a ragged little puppy 🐶 was walking towards the 4-point intersection, sure to be killed by oncoming traffic.
    He was so tiny and scrawny.
    I was besides myself.
    Only thing to do was approach this pup ,,,,, gently grab him, and automatically I put him in my good sized carry-all bag.
    Taking gentle to the puppy 🐶 he seemed very tired.
    Once back home, (1 block away) I had to quickly figure out what to do next.
    Called off work.
    Then I had to introduce our other 2 pups 🐶 🐶 with “Maxx” ,,,,,, that I eventually named the boy.
    There were all sorts of struggles with Maxx.
    He was sick with a bad cough. Also had mange. I think everyone caught it from Maxx.
    It took a long time to get him well.
    Everyone loved ❤️ Maxx!! Even though naughty, the most gentle pup ever!!!
    He had a face like Spiderman, with his gorgeous Hazel eyes!!
    We had many wonderful years together with Maxx.
    At 14 or 15 yo, we had to part ways with our 🐶 sweet boy.
    The saddest time for everyone was loosing Maxx.
    There’s never a replacement for any of our beloved pets. But for sure, there’s always a “someone” very needy, waiting to be cared for and loved into a forever home.
    Would be great to keep adopting.
    Unfortunately, with old age there are limits to what we can do in our senior years.
    The younger generation must step up.
    Do their best to help these marvelous ❤️ pets.
    You will be rewarded ten fold!

  11. I also see all those posts popping up in my Facebook and Instagram feeds. I decided to donate only to rescues that I had a personal connection with. Both of my sons adopted dogs from different rescues, one here in Connecticut and the other in Kansas. So I donate to those. There’s also one other that I support because someone I know had a personal connection with them. All the other random ones that pop up in my feed are ignored. It’s hard to do when you read some of the stories, but I feel like I’m doing my part, and there’s only so much money to go around.

  12. I must admit I am the same but I do research as much as I can and have not been scammed as yet! I love animal companions so much and still do but a friend some years ago said to me you cannot call yourself an animal lover and still eat animals!! I couldn’t believe I needed that wake up call. Anyway that was some years ago and from then on first I was vegetarian and then 8 years ago I went vegan. I have never regretted it for a moment.

      1. Protein is a must Brenda, I was a vegetarian for over 23 years and my nails split, and my hair fell out. I started eating meat again 5 years ago and I feel so much better. If you decide not to eat meat talk to a dietician about how to get adequate and healthy sources of protein. Just my two cents.

        As for scammers, they are everywhere. So many evil people in the world that scam old people, or people in general.

        I agree with the comments above, talk to your vet, I am sure that they have rescue pets that could use help. And meals on wheels or a local animal or women’s shelter is always a great thing to donate to.
        I volunteer at a local nursing home/memory care facility and I also volunteer to bake for a local women’s shelter.
        Have a great day!

  13. Those commercials on tv break my heart. 😥
    Ivy was so lucky you chose her to love and care for. And I know she pays you back ten fold.

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