What’s the difference between a licensed shelter and a licensed rescue?

use or contain dogs or cats, or both, and which is owned, operated, or maintained by an incorporated humane society, animal welfare society, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or other nonprofit organization devoted to the welfare, protection, and humane treatment of such animals.

Licensed Animal Rescue: There is no definition for animal rescue in the state of Iowa, so many rescue groups are licensed as an “Animal Dealer”.

Licensed Animal Dealer*: According to IDALS: “Dealer” means any person who is engaged in the business of buying for resale or selling or exchanging dogs or cats, or both, as a principal or agent, or who claims to be so engaged.

Licensed 501(c)(3) Non-Profit**: According to the IRS: To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.


Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS): https://www.legis.iowa.gov/docs/code/162.pdf

Internal Revenue Service (IRS): https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/charitable-organizations/exemption-requirements-section-501-c-3-organizations

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