Author: Jessica Brody
You want to help homeless pets, but you already have a full house. What’s an animal lover to do? Donating, volunteering, and fostering at local animal rescues are all great ways to help animals. But if you want to go above and beyond, consider a career in animal welfare. Here are three ways you can start a career helping animals.
Open a pet care business
Busy pet owners need help giving their four-legged friends the care they deserve. That equals a great business opportunity for pet lovers.
- When starting a business, decide if you’ll operate as a sole proprietor or limited liability company. Even if you don’t have employees, forming an LLC has benefits for your business.
- Insurance provides extra protection for pet care professionals. Every business should have general liability insurance, but there are other types of coverage to consider, too.
- If you’re hiring employees, look for payroll software that automates taxes and forms, tracks employee time, and offers same-day direct deposit.
Launch a nonprofit to help pets
All types of businesses can help animals through donations, sponsorships, and advocacy. But for some entrepreneurs, charity is the number one goal. If you want to start a business that gives back, consider a nonprofit.
- Forming a nonprofit is similar to other business types. However, nonprofits have the extra step of applying for tax-exempt status with the federal government. This is also known as 501(c)(3) status.
- Getting approved for 501(c)(3) status takes time — and money. Nonprofits can fundraise for startup costs, but make sure donors know your 501(c)(3) status is still pending.
- Not sure if 501(c)(3) status is right for you? Consider other organizational structures like a fiscal sponsorship or social purpose corporation instead of a nonprofit.
Get a job in animal welfare
Starting a business isn’t the only way to make an impact on animal welfare. Here are more job opportunities where you can help animals in need.
- There’s no shortage of jobs working with animals, whether you want to support animal rescues as a shelter manager or pet adoption counselor or work directly with pet owners as a dog trainer or veterinarian.
- Animal welfare organizations also need professionals with skills in finances, marketing, sales, information technology, and other key business services. These career pivot tips will help established professionals use their skills to work for a good cause.
- Are you a kid who loves animals? Learn about career paths in animal welfare and how you can prepare for a career working with animals.
There are lots of ways to make a career out of helping animals, whether you want to start a pet business, found an animal charity, or work behind the scenes in an established animal welfare organization. If you want to do more to help animals, use these ideas to get your pet career off the ground!
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