There are many different ways for donors to give to support the Michigan Humane Society’s (MHS) mission of saving and improving the lives of homeless animals in our communities. One such way is by donating to MHS through a traditional individual retirement account (IRA). Philanthropic IRA holders who are nearing the age of 70 ½ can use their yearly required minimum distributions (RMD) as an opportunity to generously make a qualified charitable distribution (QCD) to charities such as MHS. By doing so, donors can meet part, or potentially most, of their RMDs and will not be taxed on the distribution if it is sent directly to MHS from their IRA.

A longtime MHS supporter, Elizabeth, made the choice nearly two decades ago to be a voice for abandoned and neglected animals by being a consistent donor. As a big-hearted animal ally, she also saw her upcoming RMD as an opportunity to help MHS continue to care for homeless and abused animals. As you may remember, in January of 2017, MHS rescued Baron, a rottweiler who was found wandering the streets of Detroit with his ears, nose, and tail violently chopped off. The incident was horrific and unsettling to all of us, including Elizabeth. However, thanks to our incredible donors, MHS’ dedicated Cruelty Investigation Department (CID) and skilled veterinarians were able to help give Baron a second chance at life, as well as finding him a loving forever home.

Moved by Baron’s transformation, our longtime friend not only seized the chance to donate through her IRA, but she also designated her thoughtful contribution to go straight to our CID and emergency rescue to help make these new beginnings possible.

“I had the great privilege of meeting some of the team that helped with Baron’s case while touring the Michigan Humane Society’s new Mackey Center for Animal Care in Detroit this year,” Elizabeth says. “It brings me a lot of joy to see how my QCD to MHS will help assist with animal cruelty investigations and emergency care for the animals.”

It is inspiring to see how Elizabeth and her financial advisor took something as routine as an RMD and turned it into something meaningful. If you or someone you know would like to donate to MHS through their IRA, please consult your financial advisor and contact our Gift Planning Officer, Paula Durant, at 248-283-5633 or

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