Animals do so much for us, it’s only fair we do what we can to help them in return.
Countless GoFundMe campaigns have been started to raise money for various causes concerning animals in need, from stray cats to Sumatran elephants. INSIDER gathered data for the most successful GoFundMe campaigns for animals of all time, excluding one campaign that has since been deleted.
Read on to hear about the various animals that have been saved with the help of these GoFundMe campaigns.
19. Elephant Conservation: AUD $US99,641 ($US73,076)
The Elephant Conservation campaign seeks to create an Elephant Patrols Unit for the protection of Sumatran Elephants. In Indonesia, there are fewer than 1,000 elephants left as a result of rampant poaching. The campaign is still taking donations.
18. Homeless People & Animals Together: $US83,890
Journalist Glenn Greenwald and his husband, David Miranda, oversee this project based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The couple cares for 23 dogs in their home, all of which were found on the streets of Rio. They are working to create a new form of animal shelter, run entirely by homeless people.
The shelter aims to “create a top-flight animal shelter devoted to finding homes for abandoned and homeless animals in need, while providing homeless people a purposeful job based on their passion for animals, along with a wide array of support to help them exit life on the street and find permanent employment.” The project is still taking donations.
17. SAVING THE ANIMALS: $US86,347
The Pickens County Humane Society in Pickens County, South Carolina, has been working to rescue animals and prevent animal cruelty for over 47 years. Its GoFundMe campaign raised money for a mobile vet unit so that the society can expand its work to more communities.
16. Rehab Baby & Injured Birds: $US96,141
Rogers Wildlife Rehabilitation Center is an organisation based in North Texas that’s dedicated to helping injured, sick, or orphaned birds. The center started a GoFundMe to help cover the costs of food and medication, and is still taking donations.
15. Silver Muzzle Cottage Project: $US99,456
The Silver Muzzle Cottage is based in Elk Rapids, Michigan, and provides senior, disabled, and hospice dogs the chance to live out their lives with love.
14. Gunnar’s Wheels: $US135,785
Jason Parker founded Gunnar’s Wheels after his dog, Gunnar, got hit by a car and became paraplegic. His GoFundMe campaign aims to put together “a fleet of loaner carts for shelter dogs and animals whose owners cannot afford them.”
13. Project Open Paw: $US142,106
Project Open Paw feeds and takes care of homeless people’s animal companions. Paul, the founder, starting taking unused dog food that was being thrown out at the local dog boarding and care facility he worked at, and began giving it to homeless people around town with dogs.
When his food supply was cut off, he started a GoFundMe to pay for food as well as veterinary visits. The project is still taking donations.
12. Plush Bear rescue campaign: £113,788 ($US146,000)
Plush Bears Shelter in China has rescued a variety of animals from a variety of places – from dog dens to slaughterhouses. Its GoFundMe campaign is raising money for the shelter to build and maintain its own space, and to cover the food and veterinary costs associated with rescuing more animals. The campaign is still taking donations.
11. Support Rancho Relaxo’s Expansion: $US147,151
Rancho Relaxo is a New Jersey farm and organisation that rescues any and all animals from abuse and neglect. They’re home to over 300 rescues, and their GoFundMe campaign seeks donations for an expansion of their property, which will include a volunteer and adoption center. The campaign is still taking donations.
10. PAGAR EL NUEVO SANTUARIO: €129,691 ($US148,061)
El Hogar is an animal sanctuary in Spain that takes in underprivileged animals of all kinds. They have more than 300 rescues, and their campaign raised money to pay for a new location, which became the first multi-species animal sanctuary in Spain.
9. SALVEMOS WILD FOREST: €136,860 ($US156,246)
The Wild Forest Reserve is a sanctuary for over 50 wild animals in Barcelona, Spain. Due to legal issues, the reserve was forced to close down. The GoFundMe campaign raised money to pay for a new plot of land in order to reopen the reserve.
8. April the Giraffe & Family Fund: $US170,510
April the Giraffe went viral when Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York, posted a live stream of her giving birth to YouTube. The park set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the annual care of April, her baby, and the father, Oliver, at the facility.
7. Cavalier Puppy Mill Auction Rescue: $US188,815
The Cavalier Puppy Mill Auction Rescue GoFundMe raised money for the purchase of cavaliers that were being auctioned in Wheaton, Missouri. Thanks to the campaign, all the cavaliers were rescued.
6. Food for Cows: AUD $US269,273 ($US221,952)
The “Food for cows” GoFundMe campaign is raising money for farmers to buy food and water for their cows. This has become increasingly hard for them to do as a result of a two-year drought in Australia. The campaign is still taking donations.
5. Spay, Neuter & Feed Stray/Feral Cats: $US259,635
77-year-old Willie Ortiz has been taking care of the stray cats in his neighbourhood in Connecticut for 24 years, finding and selling scrap metal around town to pay for all of the expenses himself.
His friend set up a GoFundMe so Ortiz could continue taking care of the cats without worrying about the cost. The campaign has raised so much money that it is now in the process of becoming an official non-profit organisation. It’s still taking donations.
4. Save The Liberia Chimps: $US380,945
In 2015, the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International began providing emergency care to rescued chimpanzees in Liberia, West Africa, that had previously been the subjects of invasive testing by a US-based research organisation.
The situation has now moved out of the emergency phase, and the Humane Society has taken the chimpanzees into their care. The “Save the Liberia Chimps” GoFundMe campaign is raising money for the Humane Society to develop a high-quality sanctuary for the chimpanzees. They’re still taking donations.
3. Help Create Gentle Barn St. Louis!: $US405,375
Gentle Barn in St. Louis, Missouri, also rescues a range of animals from abuse and neglect. It raised money through GoFundMe to open a barn to house six cows that escaped a slaughterhouse.
2. Patrick The Tsavo Elephant Guardian: $US450,265
Tsavo Volunteers help animals in Tsavo, Kenya, especially elephants that have become endangered duu to poaching.
Fearing a prolonged drought, the GoFundMe is raising money (and still taking donations) to transport water to Tsavo. Without that water, animals must walk far distances to access the increasingly rare watering holes, often perishing of thirst in the process.
1. The Gentle Barn Nashville: $US601,710
From cows and pigs to sheep, goats, and turkeys, The Gentle Barn in Nashville, Tennessee, rescues a range of animals from abuse and neglect, most of which are too old or sick to be adopted.
Their GoFundMe raised money to purchase a permanent property for their many rescues.