Animal Protection Program -

We are not accepting Letters of Inquiry for the Animal Program at this time. For the September 19, 2023 Board of Directors Meeting, we will begin accepting LOIs this summer. Please check back starting in June 2023 for more information.


Animal Protection Program Overview

Since 1988, The Summerlee Foundation has promoted a new ethic towards our fellow beings through its national and international grantmaking programs supporting rescue, research, rehabilitation, and protection. Our grants have assisted a wide variety of programs, including second chances for companion animals, increased knowledge and protection of wild carnivores, sanctuary and refuge. While many of these projects have been controversial, all have been critically important. Collectively, we have alleviated fear, pain and suffering in countless animals’ lives, advanced and expanded the rights of all non-human animals, defended the laws that protect them, and created new policies and programs to address new grievances against them. We have partnered to rescue, re-home, relocate, and rehabilitate.

And while we can celebrate our many successes, we must also confront the emerging and expanding threats to our most vulnerable animal populations: climate change, persecution and exploitation on a global scale, wildlife extinction and disease, companion animal abandonment, and intentional cruelty and torture. The challenges are serious and many. By working together, creatively and opportunistically, with vision and with wisdom, we will continue to protect and give sanctuary and refuge to the abused, underserved, persecuted, and voiceless.

The Summerlee Foundation is enormously proud of the dedication and achievements of our grantees and congratulates all animal advocates for their vision, your commitment, and ability to make a difference in the lives of so many.

Funding Priorities

As we develop our strategies for effective programs, Summerlee will continue the initiatives we originally created. Please review our funding priorities:


The Americas with special emphasis on those communities which are the most underserved and the most challenged.


Cats only in the United States and Canada – The tragedy of cat overpopulation and homelessness in this country results in intense and immense suffering due to disease, starvation, and inhumane practices by some local communities and agencies. Funding emphasis is on sterilization and vaccination primarily in rural or underserved communities.

Dogs only in the United States, Latin America or living in First Nations/Native American communities – Emphasis on sterilization, vaccination, and humane euthanasia.

Wildlife – Primarily mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes, and black bears, funding only those programs which protect through ethical-based research and advocacy/educational campaigns.

Marine Life – Emphasis on addressing marine mammal issues, health and well-being and anti-captivity (dolphins and orcas).

Sanctuary for Captive Wild Animals – Captive wild animal sanctuaries should be verified or accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries.

Wildlife Rehabilitation – Emphasis on hands-on animal care and well-being (emergency rescue, food, medications, housing improvements).

Emergency funding for animal cruelty cases – May be awarded through the Annie Lee Roberts Emergency Animal Rescue Service Fund administered by Greater Good Charities, Denise Bash,


Must be a 501(c)(3) public charity organization as defined by the IRS or a governmental unit as described in 170(c)(1) of the IRS code. Recipient organization must be located within the United States, Canada, or Latin America. Sanctuary organizations for captive animals must be accredited or verified by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries.

The Summerlee Foundation observes the philosophy of best practices and DOES NOT award grant support in the following categories:


  • To individuals
  • For religious purposes or operating churches
  • For monuments and memorials
  • For courthouse restoration
  • For lobbying efforts
  • To organizations that do not share the mission of the Foundation


We’re happy to help—please contact us for more information.