How to Start an Animal Sanctuary
If you're thinking about starting an animal sanctuary, first consider how much time, money and effort you can devote to this. Do you want to rescue a particular breed, like Chihuahuas or Pit Bulls, or do you want to fill a wider need in the community and take in any dog? You probably have a dog or three in your household already, but have you taken care of abandoned animals before? You might consider volunteering at a shelter to gain some experience before jumping in. Learn as much as possible before you open your doors and you'll save yourself headaches later.
A place to stay
Know how many dogs you plan to shelter. Of course, you'll need room for the dogs to sleep, preferably indoors or at least under cover, and you'll need access to an outdoor area where they can exercise and do their bathroom business. You'll also need to make sure your property is zoned for an animal sanctuary. Once that's done, secure an operating permit and a business license (even if you're a non-profit), and you're ready to start saving some dogs!
Care and feeding
Food might be your biggest ongoing expense, but it's important that your canine guests get a healthy, balanced diet. As a non-profit, one way to lower your food costs is to seek out donations of dog food from your local grocery store. As for care, bathing your rescues as they come into your sanctuary is a must, as is keeping everything clean.
Caring for them
Ask veterinarians in your area if they might be willing to partner with your cause and help keep your rescues healthy, as well as spayed or neutered, perhaps at a reduced rate. Last, as important as it is to take care of your furry friends, running a sanctuary is hard work. Don't forget to take care of yourself!