It is never too early to use your retirement assets wisely: People of all ages have IRAs, 401(k)s, and 403(b)s, and yet these assets are often overlooked when considering how to help animals in need. A beneficiary designation on a retirement plan costs nothing now, and at the same time allows you to include the ASPCA in your future charitable giving without having to consult an attorney.
It is also one of the easiest planned gifts to make. Your plan administrator, Human Resources Department, or the financial institution that holds your assets can provide you with the necessary beneficiary designation form to complete. You still retain complete ownership of your account to spend during your later years and any leftover funds will go to the ASPCA.
You can even name multiple beneficiaries: The ASPCA can be a full or partial beneficiary of any portion of those assets. Another option is to name the ASPCA as a contingent beneficiary to inherit those assets should your primary beneficiary not survive you.
Also, naming the ASPCA as a beneficiary of your retirement plan is a great way to save on estate and income taxes. Retirement plan assets that are left to heirs other than a spouse are taxed; however, a charity such as the ASPCA pays no tax. Furthermore, taxes on retirement assets must be paid at death which leaves less money for heirs. Thus, if you plan on making a gift to charity in your estate plan, giving retirement assets tax-free is a great way to maximize the value of your estate for your heirs, while also providing for animals in need.
Other assets that can be used with beneficiary designations are life insurance policies, investment accounts, and bank accounts.
For more information on how you can make a difference for animals in need, please contact the ASPCA’s Office of Gift Planning at (212) 876-7700 ext. 4505 or by email at [email protected]. You can also find more information in the Planned Giving section of our website.
The ASPCA, at the request of the Monroe County Humane Investigator and the Monroe County Sherriff’s Office, is assisting with the removal and sheltering of 15 dogs and a parakeet found living in an overcrowded mobile home in rural Kendall, Wisconsin.
As a result of an investigation initiated by Monroe County Humane Investigator Bekah Weitz, a search warrant was executed this morning for the removal of the animals.
Our Field Investigations and Response (FIR) team encountered a devastating scene: 15 dogs—including Chihuahuas and Pomeranians—were found living amongst feces, trash, and rotting food in a poorly ventilated, cramped environment. Multiple dogs exhibit signs of neglect, including dental disease and dehydration, among other medical issues. Responders also discovered animal remains on the property.
“The dogs were living in filth, and our immediate goal is to transport them to a safe place,” says Kyle Held, Midwest Regional Director of the ASPCA’s FIR team. The dogs are currently being taken to an emergency shelter to receive care and treatment from our medical experts until suitable placement options are available.
Agencies including Texas Humane Heroes in Leander, Texas, have deployed responders to assist with the removal and sheltering of the dogs. PetSmart Charities® provided supplies, including pet crates and food, to support the rescue operation.
These dogs are safe now, but their long road to recovery is just beginning. With your help, we can give these animals—and the thousands of others who still need us—a chance at a better life. Please consider making a gift today.
Stay tuned to aspca.org/blog for further details about this developing case.
September is National Preparedness Month, and we’re busy helping pet parents get ready to face a natural disaster or emergency before it strikes. Here are three things you can do this month to help your pets weather a storm:
1. Download the ASPCA Mobile App. Our new app allows users to store critical pet records required to board pets at evacuation shelters, provides customized steps to search for lost pets, and includes a check-list of actions to take before, during and after a storm.
2. Microchip your pet! Microchipping could be your pet’s best ticket home if he becomes lost. The chip contains owner contact information and can be read by scanner at most animal shelters. Ask your veterinarian about microchipping your pet asap.
3. Attend our Google+ Hangout on September 18 at 7:00 P.M. ET. We’re bringing together experts from the ASPCA, FEMA and the USDA for a Google+ Hangout moderated by Good Morning America’s Ginger Zee. Topics will include how to prepare for a disaster with pets, what to do if a disaster strikes, and how to find pet-friendly evacuation locations. Join us!
Our long-standing supporter Fresh Step litter is ramping up its commitment to the ASPCA and shelters across the country with the launch of its Million Meow Mission to help shelter cats in need.
As part of the program, Fresh Step has revamped its Paw Points® rewards program to give shoppers the option to donate their accrued Paw Points to a local shelter or rescue organization of their choice. In turn, these shelters can redeem the points for free liter, toys and other products that help homeless cats lead happier, healthier lives.
The ASPCA Adoption Center is also eligible to receive Paw Point donations. All points will be used at our shelter and new neonatal kitten nursery, and as part of our Safety Net programs to help keep more cats and kittens in their homes, off the streets and out of shelters.
You can participate and learn how your points can make an important contribution to a local shelter or the ASPCA by visiting the Paw Points rewards page.
At the ASPCA, we love our volunteers. These kindhearted people give their time and love to animals in our care, and we rely on them to help with many aspects of our shelter operations. Without our volunteers, we couldn’t do all the good things we do!
If you are in the New York City area and are interested in volunteering at the ASPCA Adoption Center in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, here are a few things to note:
All ASPCA volunteers must be at least 16 years old.
Volunteers must be able to commit to a minimum of eight hours per month for a minimum of six months. Due to the extensive training requirements, we are not able to accept short-term volunteers.
The ASPCA does not accept volunteers needing to fulfill court-appointed community service.
Some of the major volunteer opportunities available at the ASPCA include Adoption Counselors, Cat Volunteers, Dog Volunteers, Foster Caretakers and Veterinary Assistants. For active volunteers who demonstrate advanced animal-handling skills, other opportunities may exist pending further training. For detailed descriptions of each position, visit our official Volunteer page.
If you’re eager to get started, please note the ASPCA’s Volunteer Program accepts online applications on a quarterly basis (sorry, we no longer accept paper applications). The next application period will be from Monday, December 1 at 10:00 A.M. through Sunday, December 8—so be sure to return and apply in that time!
Not in New York City? Don’t worry! There are plenty of fantastic animal welfare organizations across the country that can use your help. Check out the shelter finder tool to locate the shelter nearest you. Good luck and happy volunteering!