Requirements for Setting Up an Animal Shelter

Requirements for Setting Up an Animal Shelter

Last update: 30 July, 2018

First of all, you need to have or look for a spacious area and register the animal shelter as a non-profit association. From there, you’ll need to get help from volunteers and get into contact with kennels to stop them from putting abandoned dogs to sleep.

Are you an animal lover? Do you think it’s unfair what they do to abandoned animals? If you answered yes, maybe you have once thought about having your own animal shelter. If you don’t know where to start, we are going to give you all the information required to set one up.

Where do I start if I want to set up an animal shelter?

Like all other organizations, an animal shelter requires a lot of paperwork, even if it’s non-profit. Continue reading the steps below:

Secure the place

Before setting up an animal shelter you must make sure that you have a place for it. It doesn’t have to be a separate location. It could be in your own house as long as you have enough space to care for some animals.

If you have a house with a yard, this could be an ideal place for it. However, you can also look for a small location that you could use for it. It’s a good idea to visit some of the shelters that you know of and look at how they did it.

Create an association

Create an association once you know that you are going to set up an animal shelter and you have a location. Give it a name and register it with the Ministry of the Interior. Don’t forget to specify its use and that it’s a non-profit organization so the IRS doesn’t give you any trouble in the future.

This is the most important step, once it’s ready you’ll officially have an animal shelter!

Find partners

Unless you’re a descendant of Ebenezer Scrooge, you are going to need financial support to get veterinary attention, accessories, and food for the animals that you’ll be taking care of. The animals have to have all their basic needs financially covered.

walking dog at a shelter

If you don’t know where to start, you could talk with other shelters, they could give you advice on how to do it. It’s possible that some of their partners would want to help you out as well.

Another idea that’s can work would be using social media. Perhaps there aren’t many people who will give you money, but can provide food, used beds, food and water bowls, an endless amount of supplies that they don’t need anymore. Believe it or not, this will save you a lot of money.


If you want to know how to run an animal shelter, nothing is better than working as a volunteer in one. Besides giving them a hand, you will learn about this non-profit job and get experience for having your own shelter. 

Furthermore, since you will soon have your own shelter, you can volunteer to take care of the animals that have no place to stay due to a lack of space. They could be your first guests!

Go to the municipal kennel

Let the municipal kennel know where you live and that you have set up an animal shelter. Tell them to notify you before putting to sleep any animals that haven’t found a home, in order to take them in. Most of the time, they will be ready and happy to help.

dogs at a shelter

Ask them what to do if you want to pick up any abandoned animals. They can tell you at the kennel which tools you need and how to do it properly since not all dogs will come when you call them. All the information that you can get there will be very useful.

Get some cages

The idea isn’t to have the animals locked up in cages, but keep in mind that some abused or abandoned dogs may have behavioral issues that could harm other pets or even yourself. Until they calm down, it is better to have these animals separated from the others unit you gain their trust, which requires lots of patience and love.

After reading this article, you now know that setting up an animal shelter is not impossible. Hopefully, you can start thinking about starting your own shelter to reduce the amount of abandoned animals on the street.


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