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Donate to Shelter Pets with New App Dander

By Colleen Williams
December 4, 2015 • 2 min. read
donate animal shelter online
Dander app
Ceres is one of the adoptable cats featured on the Dander app through a partnership with Chicago Cat Rescue. (

The holidays are a time for giving, and who better to give to than the 7.6 million pets in U.S. shelters? It’s tricky to estimate the exact number of animal rescues, but some put the number at 3,500. (To put that in perspective, there are over 4,000 Wal-Marts in the country.) With so many shelters and other non-profits knocking on pet parents’ doors during the holidays, our contributions can feel faceless and not enough.

This is where Dander comes in! The app pairs the concepts of micro-donation – yup, very small monetary gifts – with crowdfunding, which is typically done on a large scale (i.e. Kickstarter). After providing your first name, zip code, and “pet preference” (cats or dogs) you’ll be paired with adoptable pets. Dander has currently partnered with five animal shelters in the upper Midwest, including the Wisconsin Humane Society and Chicago Cat Rescue, with plans to expand.

Dander app
Isabelle is another adoptable pet you can donate to through the Dander app. (

Scroll through the feed of adoptable dogs and cats, donating to the pets of your choice. You can “pledge” a dollar per day per pet, to an unlimited number of pets. After a certain amount of pledges – essentially promises to donate; you don’t pay immediately – the Dander app will prompt you to pay up. The more you successfully pay off your pledge balance, the more pledges you can make at a time. High rollers can donate lump sums of up to $1,000, an option visible on each shelter’s info page.

Currently Dander only accepts credit cards – using encrypted processing company Stripe – and charges a flat 10 percent fee. The app does give you the option to donate your portion of the fee or have it be deducted from your selected donation amount. Transparency is refreshing, and security is a priority for Dander’s developers. You must sign up for Dander using an email address and password, which is entered before every pledge payment. A public profile is visible, with the amount donated as well as your pet preference, name, and a photo.

Dander appMaking a personal connection between benefactor and pet is a huge part of the Dander app’s charm. Keep track of your favorite pets, who display an orange “sponsored” banner on their photo. A counter of “days in shelter” appears below each animal’s photo; often the longer the time, the more they need your help. Future features promised by Dander’s development team include “Adoption Alerts,” which ping donators when a sponsored pet finds their forever home, and time-sensitive fundraising campaigns.

Dander is currently available for free iOS from the App Store! We look forward to seeing how the app helps homeless pets and encourages donation to animal shelters. To learn more about Dander, visit their website.

colleen williams
By Colleen Williams

Over the past decade, Colleen has written about health, wellness, beauty, and even pets for The New York Times, The Cut, Refinery29, xoVain, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance, and Seattle Met Magazine, as well as many beauty brands. She has a BFA in Art History from the University of New Mexico and an AAS in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design in New York.

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