Opossum Drops Remain a Threat

Two years ago tonight – on the eve of 2019 – an #opossum with a broken and severely infected leg was hoisted up in a plexiglas box from a #NorthCarolina stage in a thunderstorm, while a band played raucous music to a raucous crowd, then lowered at midnight, continuing a sick tradition in the vein of diving mules and bicycle-riding bears.

Millie was rescued after the event, but she lost her leg – it couldn’t be saved. In the time since, she has recovered through loving care at The Opossum’s Pouch Sanctuary, Rescue and Rehabilitation and has learned to trust humans again. Sadly, though Millie’s caregiver and The Opossum’s Pouch director, Beth Sparks, tells us this gentle survivor is nearing the end of her life, with late-stage congestive heart failure.

Recurring claims, including recent ones from trusted animal organizations, that opossum “drops” have been outlawed in North Carolina are unfounded.

So much hatred is directed toward opossums. There’s a lot to unpack around that. Efforts led by Beth, (ItsMe)Sesame, and others are making progress, but it’s up to all of us to go to bat for these shy and gentle animals.

Animal Help Now, The Opossum’s Pouch, and our partners will continue to fight for the abolition of this anachronistic “tradition” again in 2021, with, as she is especially today, Millie in our hearts.

Tax-deductible contributions: Learning along the way

I’ve been directing small nonprofits for 25 years, and I’m finally accepting the reality that fundraising is an essential aspect of the work of a small nonprofit’s executive director.

This is a bark and bite thing. The bite is not so bad, in large part because Animal Help Now offers popular and effective services on a shoestring budget.

Like you, I imagine, I’m seeing a lot of year-end appeals for funding, most of them mentioning CARES Act provisions dealing with contributions to nonprofit organizations. Having never really fully understood tax deduction, I was compelled to reach out to a CPA friend for guidance on this. I am compelled to understand taxes as they relate to Animal Help Now and our supporters, because I need every angle I can get to make a honest and compelling case for donations to our lifesaving nonprofit.

With that, here’s where I am today. Many of you will find nothing new in these paragraphs; they’re written more for people like me who are confused about the whole charitable tax deduction thing.

Donations made to nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations such as Animal Help Now may be tax deductible, meaning under certain circumstances the amount of the donation – or some percentage of that amount – can be subtracted from your taxable gross income. These deductions are not available to taxpayers who take a standard deduction (i.e., those who do not itemize).

The CARES Act has changed things a bit for 2020. Taxpayers who take a standard deduction may take an additional amount of up to $300 for qualifying contributions made to nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations. Taxpayers who itemize deductions may deduct contributions made to nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations up to 100% of adjusted gross income. (versus the standard 60%).

Donating to nonprofits never saves a person money under standard methods of accounting, but smart giving certainly can stretch the good you do with your donor dollars. Please see your tax adviser for specific guidance on how to make the most of your charitable contributions.

Be smart out there! And safe!

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Guest Blog: Animal adoptions are up. Considering one? Read this first!

All around the world, people are spending more time at home. So it only makes sense that so many people are considering adding a dog, cat, or other animal companion to their families. After all, having an animal companion can be a win-win: the animal gets a home, and everyone gets love. As an added benefit for humans, especially during a pandemic, is the proven stress relief “pets” can provide. A stay-at-home order also gives us extra time to help new arrivals adjust to their new homes. 

Now, if you want to help wildlife, Animal Help Now has all of the resources you need. However, if you are thinking about adopting or fostering a domestic animal, the following FAQs should be helpful.

Foster? Adopt? Other?

From adopting to fostering to volunteering, there are countless ways to make a positive difference in the lives of dogs, cats, and other companion animals. 

Guidelines

How Can I Prepare My Home and Life for an Animal?

Whether you adopt or foster, you will need some basics to keep that new pet healthy and happy. 

How Can I Deal with Common New “Pet” Problems? 

Animals can take time to adjust and learn routines, so be prepared to stay calm and patient. In addition:

Helping a homeless animal can give you such an extra sense of purpose during the pandemic. Whether you have the time and resources to adopt, foster, or volunteer, consider making room in your life for animals in need.

Author: Aurora James, DogEtiquette.info

Photo Credit: Pexels