Frequently Asked Questions

1. How is RADAR funded?
2. How will my donation be used??
3. How much of my donation actually goes to help the dogs?
4. Are my donations tax-deductible?
5. Can I get an acknowledgment letter for my donation?
6. In addition to donating, are there other ways that I can help RADAR?
7. Can I specify how my donation is used?
8. How do you determine which animal welfare organizations to help?
9. What if a rescue has significant financial resources?
10. How do you prioritize which specific dogs to help?
11. How are RADAR grants provided?
12. What do you mean by “at-risk” dogs?
13. Are there ways I can help at-risk dogs directly?
14. Is there a way for me to help provide essential needs directly to a shelter?
15. Does RADAR assist individuals with the cost of caring for their dogs?
16. Do you have dogs available for adoption?
17. How often does RADAR update its online information?
18. Do you have any questions for RADAR?


1. How is RADAR funded?

RADAR relies solely on the generosity of its donors to fund its mission to help at-risk dogs. The more donations we receive, the more dogs we can save. RADAR also actively seeks financial support through grants and matching gift opportunities.

2. How will my donation be used??

RADAR combines your donation with others to provide grants for specific dogs in municipal shelters. Our focus is primarily on small, overcrowded, underfunded rural shelters in Appalachia and the Southeast. Our efforts are aimed at helping otherwise adoptable dogs in these shelters who are least likely to get adopted (older dogs, black dogs, special-needs dogs, medical needs dogs). Rescue incentive offers of help are also made for shelter dogs. By covering part or all of the costs of veterinary care, etc. for these dogs most at risk, they are far more likely to be taken by a rescue. We assist rescues that commit to these at-risk dogs with veterinary care, transport, temporary boarding and other costs.

3. How much of my donation actually goes to help the dogs?

All of it! RADAR is a small, all-volunteer nonprofit organization with no paid staff or facility to maintain. Also, RADAR’s co-founders are paying all the operating costs. That means 100% of your donations received by RADAR will literally go to the dogs!

4. Are my donations tax-deductible?

YES! RADAR is a nonprofit organization incorporated in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on January 19, 2012, and recognized as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) public charitable organization by the IRS. RADAR’s IRS identification number (EIN) is 45-4375200. Donations made to RADAR are fully tax-deductible as allowed by law.

5. Can I get an acknowledgment letter for my donation?

Absolutely! We highly value our donors, and never take them for granted—regardless of the donation amount. While the dogs RADAR helps cannot thank you directly, we can, and we do! All online donations are acknowledged with a personal email. Unless otherwise requested, every donor is sent an acknowledgment letter promptly after each donation of $25 or more.

6. In addition to donating, are there other ways that I can help RADAR?

Yes! You can spread the word about RADAR to your family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc. Be sure to Like Us on Facebook and Twitter. You can also hold fundraisers to benefit RADAR, or have friends make birthday gifts to you in the form of donations to RADAR in your honor.

7. Can I specify how my donation is used?

Indeed! You can indicate whether you want your donation to benefit one or more of the types of at-risk dogs we help: older dogs, black dogs, medical-needs dogs or special-needs dogs. Often a dog RADAR helps will be a combination of all of these categories. You can also designate that your donation be used to help fund one or more of the “Featured Dogs” we are currently assisting. If we have already fully funded a dog before receiving your donation for that dog, your donation will be used to help another dog. Bottom line: Every dollar of every donation to RADAR is used to help an at-risk dog.

8. How do you determine which animal welfare organizations to help?

RADAR has a list of requirements and qualifications to determine which organizations are eligible for our grants.

Our focus is primarily on rural municipal shelters in Appalachia and the Southeast. These are typically often underfunded and overcrowded. A shelter is considered to be rural if it is located in a county with a low population density. Most shelters we assist are in counties with less than 250 people per square mile.

We also partner with 501(c)(3) rescue organizations to assist with specific at-risk dogs pulled from municipal shelters. RADAR can only assist with a dog pulled from a shelter if the rescue applies for our grant prior to committing to taking the dog. RADAR’s commitment to assist should be a contributing factor in the rescue pulling the dog.

When RADAR provides grants for a dog, that dog needs to be exempt from being euthanized. The only exceptions would be for previously unknown life-threatening or quality-of-life medical reasons, or aggression issues, and only after first consulting with RADAR. We reserve the right to withhold any future grants to any organization that does not abide by this policy.

9. What if a rescue has significant financial resources?

RADAR grants are intended to better enable all-volunteer rescues with limited financial resources take at-risk dogs from rural shelters in Appalachia and the Southeast. Often, a rescue is only able to take an at-risk dog with a RADAR grant.

RADAR is a small, donor-funded organization with limited financial resources. For organizations required to file IRS Form 990-EZ or 990, we will review the most recent filing to determine if a RADAR grant is warranted.

For an at-risk dog with a RADAR grant offer, we request that a rescue or animal welfare organization with significant financial resources opt not to use RADAR’s offer so that those funds can be applied to another urgent at-risk dog for a rescue that could not otherwise take the dog.

10. How do you prioritize which specific dogs to help?

The initial request for a RADAR grant for specific dogs is made by a pre-approved municipal shelter or rescue. Priority will be given to those dogs most at risk (older dogs, black dogs, dogs with medical or special needs) without regard to breed. To help as many dogs as possible be more likely to be adopted, RADAR will focus on dogs needing more modest financial assistance (hundreds of dollars) rather than major funding (thousands of dollars).

11. How are RADAR grants provided?

When RADAR commits to assist an at-risk dog, it typically is handled in one of two ways. With requests for smaller grants, we usually pay the entire amount. With requests for more substantial grants, we might pay only part of the amount, and that could be in the form of a match of the amount the requesting organization raises, or providing a backstop to pay the balance of what the requesting organization does not raise. In all cases, RADAR only makes its payment directly to the provider of the service to the at-risk dog.

Unlike with pledges of assistance, when RADAR makes a commitment to assist an at-risk dog, the amount of the grant money is already available and encumbered until the payment is made (or declined or no longer needed), and depends on the rescue qualify for the grant. After our grant payment is made, we post the dog as one of our Featured Dogs and encourage our supporters to donate to that dog’s fund to help reimburse us for our costs. That money, along with new general donations, allows us to commit to assist other dogs.

12. What do you mean by “at-risk” dogs?

These are dogs whose lives are truly at risk because they are the least likely to be adopted at a shelter or taken by a rescue. These otherwise adoptable adult dogs are typically older dogs (often called seniors), black dogs, dogs with medical or special needs, and dogs of certain breeds (like Pit Bulls or Hounds). Many times, these shelter dogs have been placed on euthanasia lists. Often, the most life-threatening circumstance for these dogs is time. Our efforts are aimed at getting immediate financial assistance to these dogs.

13. Are there ways I can help at-risk dogs directly?

Yes! You can volunteer at your local shelter, or with one or more rescue organizations. There is always a great need for fosters. You can also volunteer to transport dogs.
14. Is there a way for me to help provide essential needs directly to a shelter?

Yes. Many shelters need all sorts of essential items, like dog food or cleaning supplies. Contact your local shelter to see what’s most urgently needed.

15. Does RADAR assist individuals with the cost of caring for their dogs?

Unfortunately, RADAR does not. As part of our 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, our grants are limited to animal welfare organizations like municipal shelters and rescue organizations.

16. Do you have dogs available for adoption?

No. RADAR has no dogs under its direct control or care. All of the dogs we assist are either in municipal shelters or with rescues. If you are interested in adopting a dog that we are helping, that would be wonderful! You can contact the shelter or rescue directly (be sure to tell them you found the dog on RADAR), or email us for the contact information.

17. How often does RADAR update its online information?

Our information is updated continuously. We require the shelters and rescues that we assist to provide us with updates on the dogs that we are helping, and respond to our inquiries within 48 hours.

18. Do you have any questions for RADAR?

If so, just fill out our Contact Us form.

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