The American Veterinary Medical Foundation, the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation, PetSmart Charities and Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation are among the national animal charities with four-star ratings from the independent rating service Charity Navigator. Many state and local charities also have high ratings.
Charity Navigator evaluates charities based on two broad criteria: financial health and transparency and accountability. Top-rated charities are open about their practices, use available resources efficiently, spend a high percentage of the money they raise on their missions rather than on administrative costs and overhead, and have a track record for sustaining their programs at a high level over time.
The American Veterinary Medical Foundation is the charitable arm of the American Veterinary Medical Association. Donated money goes into supporting research aimed at improving animals' well-being and medical care, providing education, and increasing public awareness of animal health and welfare issues.
The American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation seeks to benefit the health of dogs and their owners by funding research into canine diseases. It also disseminates information about the prevention and treatment of canine diseases.
PetSmart Charities dedicates itself to saving the lives of homeless pets and creating healthy relationships between pets and their people. This charity collaborates with local animal welfare organizations across the United States in providing solutions to animal welfare issues and emergency care during natural and man-made disasters.
Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation works to strengthen the bonds between people and animals. Its special focus is providing for dogs and cats that have run out of time at public shelters and seeking to bring these animals together with people who would benefit from having a companion animal.