Know Your Non-profit: AnimalSave |

Know Your Non-profit: AnimalSave

Contact information:

Carolyn Niehaus

Executive Director

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Facebook: AnimalSave

Web Page:

Founded in 1973 to improve the lives of cats and dogs in Nevada County.

What is your mission statement?

AnimalSave transforms the lives of dogs and cats by providing humane education and affordable spay and neuter services and finding loving homes.

What is your yearly budget (optional), and how many paid employees do you have?

$478,000; five paid employees

What is your nonprofit’s history?

AnimalSave began as a grass roots organization (Golden Empire Humane Society) in the early 1970s to help abandoned cats and dogs and to promote spay and neuter and humane treatment of all animals. In 1998, AnimalSave was created as a special project of the GEHS to end the needless killing of companion animals in Nevada County.

Over the years AnimalSave has grown to meet the needs of the animals and pet guardians in the community. AnimalSave’s primary programs include: the Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic began in 2008; the Foster/Adoption Program began in 1999; the Humane Education Program, which provides information, guidance and resources to pet guardians so the human-animal relationship is enriched; the AnimalSave Thrift and Treasures Benefit Store opened in 1999.

Clients served:

Spay/neuter 2,000 dogs and cats each year; foster/adopt 350 dogs and cats each year; provide 20,000 pounds of supplemental pet food to low-income families each year; provide information, guidance and other assistance to at least 3,000 individuals each year regarding a wide variety of animal-related questions, concerns and re-homing assistance.

List the biggest achievements in your nonprofit’s history:

As the oldest and largest animal welfare organization in the community, AnimalSave has been responsible for significantly improving the lives of thousands of dogs and cats over the years.

While our Foster/Adoption Program is very effective, we realized that the problems with overpopulation and abandonment could never be completely resolved through adoption efforts alone. Our main focus is prevention through the Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic. We feel the clinic is providing the best solution to overpopulation and its associated issues. The fact that we have altered more than 8,600 dogs and cats in four and a half years has significantly reduced the number of animals that are without loving homes.

List the biggest challenges you face:

Funding; educating and overcoming a culture that does not value animals or understand the importance of early spaying and neutering.

What is your No. 1 short-term goal for the next year?

Purchase our own building in order to expand the services we provide and build our own asset.

What is your No. 1 long-term goal for the next three years?

In addition to increasing the size of our Cat Adoption Room in order to handle more animals and increasing the number of surgery clinics we conduct each week, we look forward to developing the AnimalSave Center at property we intend to purchase. We expect that the AnimalSave Center will become the community’s focal point for animal welfare related issues, affordable spay/neuter and animal wellness services, humane education and adoption services.

What are your major fundraisers and dates?

The 13th annual Santa Paws Holiday Auction is Nov. 16; fifth annual Wag ‘n’ Walk is June 8; third annual Fashion Show will be fall 2013

What is the best way a person interested in your organization could help?

Volunteering to work with the Friends of AnimalSave Committee to produce events, volunteering as a foster home, in the Cat Adoption Room, at the Spay/Neuter Clinic or in the benefit store; funding — generous donations from individuals, legacy gifts, grants, income from benefit store proceeds, adoption fees, spay/neuter clinic fees and income from annual fundraising events.

How your organization has benefited the community:

As indicated by many clients, AnimalSave has benefited the community in numerous ways. We are able to offer a low-cost alternative to pet owners wanting to be responsible about spay/neutering their pets; we have rescued and provided a safe haven for thousands of dogs and cats over the years and have enhanced the lives of many families by connecting them with the perfect animal companion.

For information, call Executive Director Carolyn Niehaus at 530-271-7071, ext. 201, email or visit

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