Idaho Gives: Animals 

Most Boiseans have probably already heard Idaho's impressive pet statistics: The Gem State ranked fifth in the nation for overall pet ownership in 2018 according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, and came first in dog ownership in 2016. It's no surprise, then, if Idaho Gives' section on animal-related nonprofits makes your mind jump immediately to pets. For a lot of people, that probably puts the Idaho Humane Society at the top of the list.

  • Courtesy Idaho Humane Society

"All of the funds [raised by IHS during Idaho Gives] will go towards medical care for shelter animals, including transfers from Idaho and across the U.S.," Idaho Humane Society PR and Communications Manager Kristine Schellhaas wrote in an email.

IHS expects to take in close to 2,000 dogs, cats and other animals from overcrowded shelters around the country this year. To encourage donors on the big day, the shelter will station adorable pets at different spots around town, including Even Stevens (8-10 a.m.), Mixed Greens (11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.) and The Village at Meridian (Noon-3 p.m.), with more in the works. Plus, the downtown location of Panera Bread will donate 20% of its sales to IHS from 4-8 p.m.

  • Courtesy Idaho Horse Rescue

Dozens of other pet rescues across Idaho will take donations on Idaho Gives Day, ranging from the Homestead Animal Rescue in Murphy to the Panhandle Animal Shelter in Ponderay. Some of shelters are cat- or dog-specific (or in the case of nonprofits like Boise Bully Breed Rescue in Eagle, Boxer Lovers Rescue in Kuna, and Boise-based Moonsong Malamute Rescue, Pug Pals Rescue of Boise and Idaho Saint Bernard Rescue, breed-specific) while others focus on pets that often get less attention—like rats. According to its Idaho Gives tab, a $10 donation to The Rat Retreat buys one rat a hammock to sleep and play in, while $40 will help pay for a vet appointment.

Other nonprofits, like Anythings Pawsable Foundation Inc., focus on a different side of animal welfare. APF Co-founder Mary Holley said her nonprofit centers on helping cities and counties build new, robust shelters that include services like vet centers. All of the funds APF raises through Idaho Gives will go toward building a new shelter and animal clinic in Glenns Ferry, set to be finished in 2022.

  • Courtesy Idaho Horse Rescue

"Building is the answer, and [that means] building it correctly and giving them the tools to be able to take care of the animals when they come in," said Holley, a trained architectural designer and long-time animal activist.

Horses, too, get plenty of nonprofit representation during Idaho Gives: Idaho Horse Rescue, HAPI Trails Horse Rescue, Swiftsure Ranch Therapeutic Equestrian Center, Wild Love Preserve and Dreamhaven Ranch are all equine-focused, with money going to feed horses, help disadvantaged kids attend riding camps (donations to Swiftsure Ranch, for example, can sponsor student riders from the Idaho School for the Blind and Deaf), and even secure land for wild horses. Speaking of wild, Idaho Gives also offers a platform to groups dedicated to preserving or rehabilitating Idaho's wildlife, from birds of prey to mink, bears and fish. Idaho Black Bear Rehab, Inc., for example, is a Garden City-based nonprofit that will celebrate 30 years of helping bears this May. So far, 225 bears have passed through IBBR on their way back to the wild.

  • Courtesy Idaho Black Bear Rehab, Inc.

Meanwhile, groups like the Idaho Fish & Wildlife Foundation and Idaho Rivers United are dedicated to keeping Idaho's river-bound animals safe in clean, plentiful habitat, and between the extremes of wild and tame are organizations like Friends of Zoo Boise, which is looking for donations to help bring a pair of Nile crocodiles to Boise for its soon-to-open Gorongosa National Park exhibit. When BW visited the under-construction exhibit in February, Zoo Boise Executive Director Gene Peacock let us sneak a peek at the concrete chutes the zoo was building to let the crocs move between their indoor and outdoor haunts—now all it needs are the crocs themselves.

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