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Newsletter - Animal Writes sm
20 November 2000 Issue

FUR DONATION PROGRAM AIDS WILDLIFE
Info from SandieGaertner@gateway.net

An innovative program sponsored by The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has a solution for anyone who has inherited a mink coat from a relative or struggled over what to do with that fox stole in the coat closet. By sending your unwanted furs to The HSUS, you can help injured or orphaned wildlife and receive a tax deduction.

Danielle Bays, who runs the program for The HSUS, receives approximately 150 fur garments each year and says that the program's popularity is growing. "Despite the fur industry's claims, fur continues to be unfashionable," says Bays. "I get phone calls every day from people who are concerned about the animal cruelty associated with producing fur garments. Some of them own fur that they don't want to wear but aren't sure how to dispose of."

The program works like this: Ship your fur garments to The HSUS, which will provide documentation of your donation. The HSUS will send your fur to any one of about 40 wildlife rehabilitators across the country who participate in the program. They will cut the garment into smaller pieces and turn them into a surrogate parent for an orphaned wild animal, a warm nest for a burrowing animal, or just a warm blanket. Wildlife rehabilitators report that chipmunks, raccoons, squirrels and opossums given a piece of fur have shown reduced stress levels. If you itemize your deductions on your tax return, you can claim the fair market value of the garment on your tax return for the year in which you make the donation. Fair market value is the amount for which you could sell the fur today - not it's original price. Tax laws require an appraisal for items valued at $5,000 or more. The HSUS advises you to consult a tax attorney with any questions.

Furs should be mailed to:
Danielle Bays
The Humane Society of the United States
2100 L St., NW
Washington, DC 20037

The fur donation program is part of The HSUS' Fur Free 2000 Campaign, which is designed to save animals used for their fur by educating consumers about the animal cruelty associated with fur, working with manufacturers to promote alternatives to fur garments, encouraging designers and retailers to curtail their use of fur, and seeking stronger laws protecting animals. For more information, visit The HSUS' web site -
http://www.hsus.org

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