Create a Legacy ❤️

A Gift for Future Generations!

For those of us who love animals, what more meaningful legacy could we leave than a gift that ensures compassionate care for animals in need? Planned gifts to the Humane Society of Sonoma County, such as a bequest in your will or trust, help to secure the future of our donor-supported safe haven for animals. Every gift, large and small, makes a significant difference to the animals – and you have a wide range of options, many of which offer significant tax benefits.

To make it simple for our supporters, we’ve partnered with FreeWill: a free online resource that guides you through the process of creating a legally valid will and making a legacy gift in just 20 minutes. As you work with your attorney, estate planner or financial advisor, consider making a charitable contribution to the Humane Society of Sonoma County in one of the following ways.

If you’ve made the decision to leave a legacy gift, please include the following information in your bequest or beneficiary documents:
Our legal name: Humane Society of Sonoma County
Our EID (tax ID number): 94-6001315

Donors can deduct contributions made to us provided in IRC Section 170. We are also qualified to receive tax deductible bequests, legacies, devises, transfers, or gifts under IRC Sections 2055, 2106 and 2522.

If you’ve already created a legacy gift to the Humane Society of Sonoma County, please fill out this form to let us know so we can thank you for your generosity!


A designated gift in your will or living trust is perhaps the simplest form of planned giving and the vehicle most commonly used. If you’ve already included the Humane Society of Sonoma County in your estate plans, please fill out this form to let us know so we can thank you and update our records!

Revocable Living Trust

A revocable living trust is an estate planning tool that can be used to distribute your possessions to people and organizations when you pass away.

To take full advantage of your revocable living trust, you need to transfer your assets and property to the trust during your lifetime. Once you (the trust’s Grantor and Initial Trustee) pass away, a Successor Trustee will distribute the property in the trust according to your wishes outlined in the trust agreement.

If you are in California FreeWill offers you the ability to make a revocable living trust for free.

Real Estate Gift

You may irrevocably transfer the ownership of a home or farm to the Humane Society of Sonoma County, retain the right to occupy the premises for the rest of your life and receive an immediate charitable tax deduction.

Gift of Stock

With a transfer of appreciated stock to HSSC, you receive a charitable deduction based on market price and avoid capital gains tax.

Life Insurance

Donating an existing life insurance policy can offer you a charitable income tax deduction.

Non-probate Assets

Do you have an IRA, 401(k), life insurance policy, or any other assets not included in your will? These are called non-probate assets and you must plan your beneficiaries for them separately. You can also use this online tool to designate the Humane Society of Sonoma County as a beneficiary of these assets to create a legacy with us.

Charitable Remainder Trust

A gift of assets establishes a trust and names the Humane Society of Sonoma County as ultimate beneficiary. You receive valuable tax benefits during your lifetime and retain for life the income generated from the assets given to the trust.

Donor Advised Fund

A giving vehicle established with a community foundation or charitable branch of an investment firm, you may contribute to your DAF as often as you like, receive immediate tax benefits and recommend grants from your fund to HSSC over time.

Retirement Accounts

Designating the Humane Society of Sonoma County as a beneficiary is an excellent way for you to make a gift to the Humane Society, using an asset that otherwise might be heavily taxed.

Retirement Account Required Minimum Distribution

A charitable gift to HSSC directly from your retirement account helps you fulfill your RMD and achieve associated tax benefits while supporting the animals.

Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD)

If you are 70 ½ or older, you can transfer money from your traditional IRA or Roth IRA directly to HSSC. Those funds will not be added to your adjusted gross income on your taxes and can count toward your IRA’s required minimum distribution (RMD).

Planning for Your Pets’ Guardianship

It’s best for your animals if they can go directly to the home of someone else. Even a shelter as nice as ours is stressful for an animal – a safe home environment is always better. In the event that you may have no suitable alternative homing options, we are happy to help caring pet parents like you in planning for your pets’ guardianship. The main thing we advise is to include directions for your pets’ care in your will or trust documents. You can do so in very simple terms. An estate lawyer can help you with the language, to make sure it’s clear and binding.

We also partner with a service called FreeWill, which guides you through writing your own basic will or trust, including directions for care of your animals. You can prepare a document through them and have it reviewed by an estate attorney, which can save significant fees. You’ll find the FreeWill site here.

If you don’t have a friend or family member who can take your animals into their home, you can specify that you wish your pet to be surrendered to the Humane Society of Sonoma County, 5345 Highway 12 West, Santa Rosa, CA 95407 (EIN 94-6001315). While we make every effort to take in every animal surrendered to us, we cannot, in good conscience, guarantee this. There are factors affecting our ability to do so that are not always within our control. This includes emergencies or disasters affecting our capacity, or if, due to behavioral, medical or other needs, it is determined that our shelter environment would be in any way detrimental to your pet. Our primary goal is always to do what is best for your pet. For any animal, avoiding the shelter environment is always best, so direct re-homing to another pet companion is always our first and highest recommendation.

For complete information on how to prepare for the rehoming or surrender of your pet, please go to our Re-Home a Pet page.

Federal tax ID number: 94-6001315

Information contained herein was accurate at the time of posting. The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor.