Updated: Oct 13, 2019
First of all, if you’re not already doing this, before you give away your hard earned money to any charity, you should check them out online. Here’s a free website you can go to: http://990finder.foundationcenter.org/
At the above site, you can look at the tax returns that all charities receiving over a certain amount of money per year have to file. They are called US Form 990. You can see HSWC’s last three 990s there and we will be filing our newest one for the 2016/2017 fiscal year soon.
Our yearly expense budget in recent years has been between $200,000 and $250,000. It has not been unusual for us to go “over budget” ever since we started taking in dogs. The fact is, they are more expensive to care for than cats. Hence, every year we are looking for more creative ways to raise our funding so we aren’t dipping into our reserves, but the bottom line is we will do pretty much whatever we have to in order to care for the animals properly. This includes frugality, ingenuity and dedication, and we could never do it without you, our donors!
Since the 990s have the actual dollar amounts on them, I’m not going to go into that type of detail here.
The following are some FAQ:
How much funding do we receive from Waupaca County? - ZERO $ -We are a charity, not a county entity and they do not fund us.
What about the city of Waupaca? The other townships? -The City of Waupaca (cats and dogs and City of Weyauwega (cats only) are the only municipalities that have a contract with us at this time. They pay us to care for unclaimed stray animals for a 7 day period. After the 7 days, unclaimed animals become the property and responsibility of HSWC. In other words, we are payed strictly what we are owed- there is no overhead or beginning-of-the-year fee. Owners reclaiming animals pay their own bills designed to cover our expenses for their animal.
Why can’t you charge less for the contracts and for people to reclaim their animals? Fees are based this way because: during the “stray hold” period, it is the responsibility of the municipality where they are found to provide for their care. If an owner is found, it becomes the responsibility of the owner to cover all of the expenses. We don’t feel it’s fair for our donors to cover costs for owned animals when there are so many homeless animals that need the funding, and it’s certainly not fair for taxpayers to foot the bill if the owner is known.
Why do you charge so much for adoptions? We try to make our adoption fees fair. Should animals be valued at less just because they are in between families through no fault of their own? We feel that those who are receiving the value should be responsible for as much of the cost as the market will bear without impeding timely adoptions. Also, we do not want to offer them for low prices and then find them being flipped on facebook or craigslist later for profit!
Do you ever have sales, specials or discounts? We do, but have not found them to be very helpful in terms of sending more animals home. They tend to just cut into the bottom line and besides, we want to encourage people to adopt when they’re ready, not just because they’re on sale this week! We do understand that senior animals often come with extra expenses due to medications, special foods and vet visits. Therefore, the senior adoption fees are usually quite low.
Feel free to ask specific questions in the comments.