Animal shelters are funded by donations, adoption fees, bequests and merchandise sales. Animal shelters also host special events, such as annual walks and dinners, to raise funds.
Animal shelters that are controlled by municipalities are funded by the government. The funds are often not enough to cover operating costs. These shelters usually have nonprofit branches to help cover their additional expenses.
Fund-raising activities and events, as well as donations, are the main sources of income for private, nonprofit animal shelters. Animal shelters such as the Animal Humane Society, gain funding by contracting with cities to provide housing for impounded animals. These funds make up only about 1 percent of the total operating budget. Private shelters are not given government grant money.
Organizations such as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals regularly provide support to animal shelters in the form of grants. These grants range from $500 to $10,000. Only solicited proposals are considered for these grants. The American Humane Association offers grants with an open application process.
Some animal shelters are partnered with major supermarket chains where donation bins are located. At different times of the year, food drives are held in stores to help keep under-funded shelters running.