Give to the Max Day is almost here! We eagerly anticipate GTMD because it is always our LARGEST fundraising day of the year, but we need our community of supporters (you!) to rally together to help us meet our goal. Help Ruff Start raise $175,000 to support the veterinary expenses for the more than 2,875 animals we’re projected to save this year!

The Ruff Start Rescue Board and a generous anonymous donor have stepped up to match every donation for Give to the Max Day.

Today, every donation will be DOUBLED, dollar for dollar, up to $30,000!

Give to the Max Day (GTMD) is a 24-hour give-a-thon initiative known as Minnesota’s primary giving holiday. Each year, the event is held with the sole purpose of fundraising for nonprofit organizations and schools making a difference in our home state. This year, GTMD is on Thursday, November 16!

Our overall goal for the day is to reach $175,000, which is the largest goal we have ever set for ourselves. We were able to raise over $90,000 in early giving, but we are not slowing down! We are committed to helping even more people and pets than ever in 2024.

Your gift helps connect animals in need with loving households, as well as keeps beloved pets in homes that care about them. Each individual we help, both animal and human, sees immediate benefit from the work we do and the resources we provide them.

In the days and weeks ahead, we’ll be sharing how contributions from generous animal lovers like you have made a difference in the lives of people and pets throughout the state of Minnesota and beyond. In fact, every single story we’ve shared since our inception is a direct result of the support we receive from people like you.

Whether our teams are giving animals second chances by bringing them into rescue or providing means to owners that need a bit of extra help, we’re proud that our organization is making incredible contributions to the world during these uncertain times. Saving lives and building happy families can be strenuous work, but doing it together is our favorite part!

So, truly – THANK YOU for allowing us the opportunity to save over 20,000 lives and counting since 2010. THANK YOU for enabling us to act as a kind and compassionate resource to families and individuals who need us in times of immense hardship. THANK YOU for providing us with the ability to educate thousands of people about animal welfare. Your support has, and continues to be, nothing short of remarkable.

What We Do

Wondering what your donation supports? We’d love to show you.

We’re Ruff Start Rescue. We’re a foster-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit animal rescue, focused on connecting people and pets in many ways. Our work is vast and impactful for both animals and the humans who love them. 

Since our inception in 2010, we’ve saved the lives of over 20,000 animals. In 2022 alone, we’re projected to rescue 3,400. We technically rescue companion animals like dogs, cats, and critters, but many humans would state we helped rescue them, too, by matching them with pets that love them. We strive for a world where every companion animal has a safe and loving home and their family has the knowledge and resources needed to give them the life they deserve. 

Our work is generous, and our team – consisting of staff, volunteers, fosters, and supporters – is kind. We’re resource givers, animal advocates, lifesavers, difference makers and more. But at the base of it all, we’re people just like you.

Any contributions we receive will help support our animal care program, which provides both routine and advanced veterinary services to the dogs, cats, and critters in our care. Those contributions will also positively impact the communities that need us – we help them by providing resources that allow pets to stay in loving homes, and we also help build happy families we truly believe were destined to be.

Want to create change with us? Please, join us in our lifesaving work. We are so glad you’re here.

Make a Difference on GTMD

Want to make an even bigger difference in the lives of people and pets this Give to the Max Day? Help us spread the word about the spectacular work we’re doing together!


1: Make your own fundraiser.

Encouraging your friends and family to support Ruff Start is one of the most effective ways to make a difference on GTMD. Sharing the organizations you support on social media, especially on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, has historically been a very successful way our supporters fundraise!

Get step-by-step instructions on how to set up a social fundraiser, as well as other ideas about what to share, on our GTMD resources page.


2: Share your experience – or at least some other Ruff Start stuff.

It might sound simple, but truly – word of mouth makes our world go ‘round, especially in the days and weeks leading up to GTMD. Letting people know you’re supporting Ruff Start this November tells your friends and family that we’re worthy of their support. It also increases traffic to our web pages, meaning we see an increase in applications from eager adopters, volunteers, and fosters who want to get involved, as well as a significant rise in donations that support our cause!

Learn more about sharing Ruff Start stories, as well as our Give to the Max Day fundraising imagery, by visiting our GTMD Resources page.

Ruff Start Rescue