How You Can Help

Where Your Donated Dollars Go

  • 48 % provides funding for animal rescue & adoption programs
  • 26% provides funding for spay/neuter services
  • 7% provides funding for community education & outreach
  • 19% provides administrative and fundraising support

What It Costs Us to Provide Services

  • Printing and mailing of one community education newsletter $1,650.00
  • One spay/neuter clinic $500.00
  • Average cost of veterinary care for each rescued dog or cat $204.00
  • Average cost of care for one rescued horse for one month $130.00
  • Purchase of one medium cat carrier $25.00

The Oswego County Humane Society is a not-for-profit corporation of the State of New York and a 501-C-3 charitable corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible as a charitable contribution to the extent allowed by law. A copy of the Humane Society’s most recently filed annual report may be obtained from the Humane Society or from the New York State Attorney General’s Charities Bureau, Attn: FOIL Officer, 120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271.  You can download our 2012 annual financial report here.

The Kind-Hearted and Smart Society(top)

Because we know that you care about animals and the people who love them, we would like to invite you to join  the Oswego County Humane Society’s Kind-Hearted & Smart Society. Twenty-two other families and individuals have made a commitment so far this year. They are listed here, with our heartfelt thanks. We hope you will be a part of this special group of supporters.

Let us tell you why this is so important.  This explanation is long, but we are asking for a long commitment from you, so that seems fair.

Why that name you may wonder?

Well first of all the Humane Society is all about “heart.” We encounter situations that are, in a word, heart-wrenching, and we do whatever we can to turn those situations around–sometimes with assistance to a family–sometimes by finding a new home for an animal in need.  We did just that  for 403 animals–dogs and puppies and cats and kittens and several horses in 2011.

None of this would be possible without the ongoing support of kind-hearted people like you.
Most of our hands on animal services are provided by volunteers—but with the back up of phones and computer systems and printers and paper and advertising dollars and equipment and veterinary services that make it happen. We hope that you agree with us that our growing rescue and adoption program is effective and worth your committed support. But the Humane Society is also all about being “smart.” We know that we can’t adopt our way out of the problem of companion animal neglect, abandonment and homelessness. We can help the animals in urgent need now, but for the future we need to prevent unwanted animals from being born.

And that is where our spay/neuter clinic comes in.  Each year we  spay or neuter every dog and cat that we  adopt out, and we spay or neuter hundreds of cats living in low income households. That is enough to prevent thousands of unwanted kittens from being born—but there are thousands more.

Your committed support to fund our spay neuter services for low income households really can help us reach our goal of No More Homeless Pets in Oswego County.

Join the Kind Hearted & Smart Society

You can join the Kind-Hearted & Smart Society by making a commitment to your chosen level of support for the next five years.

You can download a mail-in form here, or go to our secure server here and just send us a note in the comment section that you are making a five year pledge in your chosen amount.

It really doesn’t matter how much you are able to commit at this time. We know full well that times are hard. What matters is that the Humane Society can plan for the future knowing more about what resources it will have.

Leave a Legacy(top)

The Oswego County Humane Society Legacy Giving Program

The Oswego County Humane Society (OCHS) has established a Legacy Giving Program to provide our supporters with several options that allow them to establish a legacy on behalf of their families, their pets and those less fortunate animals that are still waiting for their “forever homes.” The Legacy Giving program offers numerous financial and tax advantages to those who participate and, furthermore, can offer donors an opportunity to support OCHS in ways that might not be possible at present.

What is Legacy Giving?

Many people believe that the only way to support OCHS financially is through outright gifts of cash or other property that they currently have. While current donations are vital to OCHS’s survival, they are not the only way to give. Legacy Giving is a unique, and often overlooked tool that not only allows our supporters to ensure that OCHS’s work will continue into the future, but also helps them to fulfill both their charitable and financial objectives.

Legacy gifts include, but are by no means limited to:

  • Bequests included in wills
  • Living trusts
  • Other types of trusts
  • Gifts of life insurance
  • Gifts of retirement plan assets

These gifts could take the form of cash, stock, bonds, personal property, life insurance and real estate. While this brochure provides an introduction to the benefits of Legacy Giving, both to you and OCHS, you should consult with your legal and financial advisors if you are interested in participating in the program.

Wills and Living Trusts

Including OCHS in you will or trust is a meaningful way to ensure that OCHS will be able to continue to provide animal welfare services for as long as there are stray and unwanted animals in our area’s communities. Leaving OCHS in your will is as simple as it sounds. Naming OCHS as a beneficiary of assets that you contribute to a living trust works much the same way, but offers certain advantages such as control of the trust during your lifetime and the immediate effectiveness of the gift upon your death, bypassing probate and keeping the terms private.

There are many ways that you can give to OCHS through your will or trust.  They include (i) leaving a specific dollar amount (ii) designating that a specific percentage of your estate be given through your will or living trust, (iii) giving the remainder of your estate, meaning that which remains after bequests of specific amounts or property have been made to your loved ones, and (iv) providing for a gift of specific properly, such as real estate, stocks, bonds or other property. Furthermore, you may designate that your gift be used for OCHS’s general purposes, helping to pay the ever-increasing costs of operating all of our programs, or go to support a specific project or program.

Giving through your will or a living trust may offer tax or other financial advantages for you or your estate, such as the reduction (or elimination) of estate taxes. Furthermore, giving in this way is relatively easy.

A bequest could be as simple as:

I give and bequeath to The Oswego County Humane Society, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation, with principal offices presently located at 110 West Second Street Street, Oswego, New York  13126 (Federal Tax ID # 16-1586001), the sum of $_________ to be used for the accomplishment of its general purposes (or for a specific purpose, to be indicated).

Again,  as with any form of Planned Giving, OCHS urges you to consult with your legal and financial advisors if you are considering giving to OCHS through a will or living trust.

Gifts of Retirement Assets

You can also give the investments in your IRA, 401(k) or other retirement plan to OCHS. Contributions that you have made over time to such a plan have been growing tax-free. If you leave them to an individual, the funds may be subject to both estate and income taxes, which could cut greatly into the value of the account. On the other hand, if you leave them to a charity, like OCHS, these taxes generally do not have to be paid and the charity benefits from every dollar of your gift.  It is relatively easy to name OCHS as the sole or partial beneficiary of your retirement plan assets, and your plan’s administrator can provide you with the necessary forms.

Gifts of Life Insurance

Many people do not realize that they can use life insurance to provide support to their chosen charity in ways that their current finances might not allow. In fact, life insurance can be not only one of the easiest forms of Planned Giving, but one of the least costly to you. There are a number of ways that life insurance can be used to support OCHS’s work and to magnify your out-of-pocket donation many times over.

Naming OCHS as a Beneficiary

Just as you can choose to name an individual as the sole or partial beneficiary under a life insurance policy, you can do the same for OCHS. You can name OCHS as a beneficiary under a new policy, or change the designation of beneficiaries under an existing policy to include OCHS, all without preparing or changing a will or changing other aspects of your estate plan. Your insurance company can provide you with the necessary forms

Making OCHS the Owner and Beneficiary

Beyond making OCHS the beneficiary under a new or existing life insurance policy, you can actually take out a policy and make OCHS both the owner and beneficiary of the policy. One of the benefits of this form of giving is that, depending upon your particular tax situation, you may be able to take an income tax deduction for the policy premiums, which can be paid directly by you or by OCHS (funded by your annual gift to OCHS).

Giving OCHS a Paid-Up Policy

If you have a life insurance policy that has accumulated savings, or cash value, over time and has been paid up in full, you can transfer ownership of the policy to OCHS, which could then surrender the policy for its cash value. In that case, you may be eligible for an immediate income tax deduction for the gift of the policy in the amount that you paid for the policy.

Other Forms of Legacy Giving

Forms of Legacy Giving are by no means limited to the options discussed previously.  For instance, if you want to avoid capital gains tax on the sale of your home or other capital assets, such as stocks and bonds, and also take an immediate income tax deduction you might consider donating the property to OCHS, or possibly selling it to OCHS at a bargain price. Or, if you wanted to donate your home during your lifetime (so that you could take an immediate tax deduction) but needed to remain in your home, you could donate the property to OCHS, but retain a life estate This means that while ownership of your home would pass to OCHS during your lifetime you could continue to live there and use it exclusively for the rest of your life, while enjoying the tax benefits of the gift.

There are also numerous types of trusts that you could establish that accomplish such goals as (i) providing you with a set annual income, with the remainder passing to OCHS upon your death, or (ii) providing a fixed or variable income to OCHS during your lifetime, with the remainder passing to you at some point in the future, or to your heirs upon your death.  Depending upon the type of trust you choose, benefits could include immediate income tax deductions, a reduction in estate taxes, and fixed income for life (or, in some cases with the potential to increase).  Your legal and financial advisors can  help you establish the type of trust that meets both your personal financial goals and your goals in supporting OCHS. In short, you will find that the forms that your planned gifts can take are limited only by your individual objectives and your advisor’s and your creativity.

Seeking Professional Advice and Keeping Up to Date

The purpose of this information is to provide supporters of OCHS (and their legal and financial advisors) with an overview of what Legacy Giving is and what forms it may take. This is not intended to be, nor should you treat it as, legal, financial, accounting or other professional advice. Again, if you are considering these or any other forms of Legacy Giving, we encourage you to consult with your legal and financial advisors. Whether the financial and tax benefits discussed above will apply to you will depend upon your particular financial and tax planning picture.

Furthermore, if your personal or financial circumstances change after you have made a planned gift to OCHS, you (with your professional advisors) should check to make sure that the particular form of giving that you chose continues to meet your personal and charitable goals. For example, the birth of a child or grandchild, a death in the family, a move to another state, a change in marital status, or even a change in the value of your home or other assets may warrant a review of your planned gift. In addition changes in tax laws over time may have an effect on the benefits of the form(s) of Planned Giving you have chosen.

If you do decide to make a planned gift to OCHS, we suggest that you include the following information in all bequests or beneficiary designations:

Name: The Oswego County Humane Society, Inc.

Address: 110 West Second  Street, Oswego, New York 13126

Telephone: (315) 207-1070

Federal Tax ID #: 16-1586001

Finally, if you do include OCHS in your estate or other long-term financial plans, we would appreciate it if you would let us know.

Additional Information

lf you would like to obtain further information about OCHS, the animals we care for, the services and programs we offer, or Planned  Giving, please contact us at (315) 207-1070 or at ochscontact@hotmail.com.

OCHS is a not-for profit corporation established under the laws of the State ofNew York. Since it maintains tax exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, bequests and other contributions to OCHS qualify for certain charitable  tax deductions in computing federal income, gift and estate taxes. OCHS’s federal tax identification number is 16-1586001.
You should consult your legal or financial advisor regarding the state and federal tax advantages of charitable giving.

Volunteer(top)

No you can’t walk the dogs or pet the cats! The Humane Society does not have a shelter. Our adoptable animals are all in foster homes. But that’s o.k. there are lots of other opportunities to help out in very important ways. You can:

  • Become a foster caregiver for cats or dogs and the walk the dogs or pet the cats at home.   The application is here.
  • Help out with the planning and hosting of  special events.  The  main events change from year to year, but usually include our 5K-9 race in the fall,  one party just for humans, and the Home 4 the Holidays Adoption Celebration.  If parties (and the work that goes into them) are your passion, let us know and we will put you in touch with the chair.
  • Help with mailing “parties” to get out our newsletter or other mailings.
  • Help with the planning, writing and production of our newsletter.  Call Jo Piersma at 591-0459 or email her at jpiersma1@frontiernet.net.
  • Volunteer on a weekly or bi-weekly basis for our spay/neuter clinic.  It’s a big time commitment but our most important program.  Call the office to find out about training to become a clinic volunteer.

Please call the Humane Society at 315-207-1070, or email us at ochscontact@hotmail.com for more information about volunteer opportunities.

Online Store(top)

Cool Stuff From the Oswego County Humane Society
Sponsor a clinic 
Price: $460.00

Water Bottle

Water Bottle
Type: Water Bottle
Price: $3.00