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The best pet charities for your furry friends

Kristin Julie Viola is an L.A. based freelance writer, who has covered everything from the spiciest ramen to the hottest CW stars. When she is not at her computer, she can be found hiking with her golden retriever or savoring a glass of ...

Charities: Support your pet cause

Because of the current economy, animal charities are suffering more than ever. So why not do some good this holiday season and donate to a pet charity to help our pawed pals? Not only can you have a positive impact in a pet's life, but you get to support a fur-loving cause you believe in and help a pet charity make a difference.

Best friends

Best pet charities

Of course, there are dozens of pet charities in need of donations, and they know all too well how to tug on your pet-loving heartstrings. How to choose? We've done the legwork for you and selected some of the pet charities that are among the most deserving of your hard-earned dollars.

1The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)

www.aspca.org

Founded in 1866, the ASPCA is the first animal humane organization to be granted legal authority to investigate and make arrests for crimes against animals. Since its inception, it has been at the forefront of anti-cruelty efforts, including transforming dog pounds into professionally run adoption facilities, as well as founding an animal hospital that still exists today.

2Best Friends Animal Society

www.bestfriends.org

Devoted to finding homes for those pets that are deemed "unadoptable," Best Friends Animal Society operates an animal sanctuary in Utah, which is home to more than 1,700 cats, dogs and other furry friends. It also oversees spay/neuter, shelter, foster and adoption programs across the country.

3Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind

www.guidedog.org

By donating to the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, you can help blind and visually impaired individuals achieve greater mobility and independence. The foundation helps ensure that each visually impaired person is matched with the guide dog that best suits their personality, lifestyle and physical needs. It costs the foundation more than $50,000 to complete the training for a single guide dog.

4The Humane Society of the United States

www.humanesociety.org

Established in 1954, The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization. It takes action against animal cruelty and advocates for sensible public policies. Through its campaigns, the organization has combatted cruelty such as dog-fighting, puppy mills, horse slaughter, factory farming and other inhumane practices.

5Noah's Wish

www.noahswish.org

This nonprofit organization is dedicated solely to helping animals during times of disasters by means of rescue and recovery programs. It also offers educational outreach to help people prepare to the best of their abilities for future disasters. Post-Hurricane Katrina, Noah's Wish played a key role in rescuing displaced pets.

More on Best Friends Animal Society

The Vicktory Dog

The dogs who came from NFL quarterback Michael Vick's estate were celebrities for a day as reporters filed into Best Friends to see how the dogs were settling into the sanctuary.

More charities that deserve your donations

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