Business Overview

Animal rescues do incredibly important work within their communities. They free animals from abusive situations and help liberate stray pets that have been cast out onto the streets. They educate consumers in the region and work to properly place animals with new, loving homes. Rescues are dedicated to ensuring no healthy animal is euthanized and that the sick and wounded receive the treatment they deserve. Every animal rescue’s mission is to ensure those without a voice are heard.

Who is this business right for?

Have you always had a soft heart for animals? Do you feel passionate about raising awareness for animal advocacy? Are you the friend that is always saving injured animals or helping others find their four-legged “perfect match”? If you answered yes to any of these questions, starting an animal rescue may be the business venture that best suits you.

What happens during a typical day at an animal rescue business?

The specifics of your day-to-day routine will vary, depending upon what types of animals you rescue, the condition they are in upon intake, and the adoption process your rescue implements. Your daily tasks will include, but are not limited to:

  • Visit shelters within the community to identify animals in need. Communicate with shelter volunteers regarding each animal’s specific needs and fill out necessary paperwork for release.
  • Work with local veterinarians to ensure each new rescue animal receives a complete evaluation, as well as any necessary treatment.
  • Plan and host adoption events in the rescue’s region. This is a great way for the rescue to gain exposure and for animals and potential adopters to meet.
  • Perform home visits to ensure animals are being adopted out to qualified adopters. Many rescues require that each potential adopter fill out an application that includes references and current veterinarian information. All information must be verified.
  • Plan and host fundraising events. Many rescues rely heavily on volunteers and donations, funneling a majority of their earnings back into helping animals.
  • Check on rescue animals that are currently up for adoption. Provide medical care, transport, feed, and clean cages.
  • Network with other animal advocates in the community. These relationships are critical to your business’ survival. An open line of communication should be maintained at all times to ensure the best care and affordable rates.

Some rescues specialize in felines and canines, while others work only with farm animals. Some rely solely on foster homes, while others have a facility that houses rescues awaiting their new home. During the planning phase of your business’ development, explore all of your options. Research to determine what is most critically needed in your community. Once you have defined the parameters of your organization, you can begin to develop a business plan around that, reaching out to those that are most equipped to assist you in your endeavor.

What is the target market?

Your direct target market is any individual and/or family that is looking to adopt the types of animals you rescue. In this industry, you must also appeal to those interested in animal advocacy on a deeper level. Animal rescue is a community effort; it is your job as the rescue leader to ensure you and your staff work to attract individuals and businesses that support your cause.

How does an animal rescue business make money?

Animal rescues charge a fee for each animal they place in a new home.

What is the growth potential for an animal rescue business?

According to a recent IBIS World report, annual revenues from this industry have grown to over $600 million. Six to eight million dogs and cats are rescued in the United States each year. These numbers do not account for the various other animals rescued annually. Awareness regarding abuse, neglect, and euthanasia continues to rise, solidifying this industry’s expected growth over the next decade.